St. Paddy's parade jigs and reels through downtown Montreal

The 191st annual St-Patrick's Day parade made its way through downtown Montreal on Sunday.

The parade, which many Montrealers consider both a rite of spring and an excuse to drink in public, often to excess, had dozens of entries this year and an estimated three thousand participants.

The weather was cold and sunny, the crowd green and orange and boozy.

The annual parade drew its usual tens of thousands of people into the downtown core, most of them well behaved despite being well lubricated.

Mike Bear and his friends were observing the parade from a slight distance on Bishop north of Ste-Catherine.

He said he likes to avoid the main group of parade watchers and hang back a little.

"It was a great parade, as usual, it's wonderful" he said. "It could be minus-40, it doesn't matter. We'll still be here."

Police say the parade was entirely peaceful.

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