Inau­gu­ral Hud­son St. Pa­trick’s pa­rade kis­sed with Irish luck

Thou­sands take in event

L'Etoile - - IN OTHER WORDS -

Huge tur­nout

There is no de­nying it: Hud­son loves to ce­le­brate. And last Sa­tur­day was no ex­cep­tion when more than 5,000 people tur­ned out for the first-ever Hud­son St. Pa­trick’s Day Pa­rade.

With a touch of Irish luck, mo­ther na­ture of­fe­red rea­so­na­bly mild tem­pe­ra­tures and part­ly sun­ny skies as pa­rade par­ti­ci­pants from­more than 50 groups or floats gea­red up to walk what had been dub­bed the green line. The pa­rade that be­gan at 1:00 p.m. at West­wood Sr. High School on côte SaintC­harles, wound its way down Main un­til Ca­me­ron, where groups tur­ned right, ma­king it ea­sier to double back to their star­ting point or conti­nue out of town.

The de­par­ture from the nor­mal pa­rade route that ends at the Com­mu­ni­ty Centre (where ve­hicles have a hard time tur­ning around) was ap­plau­ded by ma­ny as far ea­sier to na­vi­gate.

An­drewDu­mas, aHud­son re­sident and co­ow­ner of Cun­nin­gham’s Pub, which foun­ded and or­ga­ni­zed the event, es­ti­mates bet­ween 5,000 to 10,000 pa­rade goers at­ten­ded the day.

“It’s hard to count sin­cewe didn’t sell ti­ckets or any­thing, but the pa­rade route was pa­cked its en­tire length,” he said, ad­ding he was ve­ry sur­pri­sed at how qui­ck­ly the event blos­so­med.

“When we ori­gi­nal­ly came up with the idea, we thought we would have five or six floats for our first ef­fort,” Dumas said with a laugh.

In fact, more than 50 com­mu­ni­ty groups - from a one-per­son par­ti­ci­pant, to the Sh­ri­ners, which had do­zens of chap­ters in­vol­ved - hee­ded the call to be­come Irish for the day.

Other groups in­clu­ded the Hud­son Yacht Club, some players from the Mon­treal Alouettes foot­ball team, the Saint-La­zare Spi­rit Bas­ket­ball or­ga­ni­za­tion, se­ve­ral lo­cal news­pa­pers, the Hud­son and Saint-La­zare IGA, the Hud­son Vil­lage Theatre, Mega Blocks, and, of course, a float re­pre­sen­ting the th­ree Cun­nin­gham’s Pubs lo­ca­tions (Hud­son, Bea­cons­field and Sainte-Anne-deBel­le­vue). As ex­pec­ted, green­was the co­lour of the day, with pa­rade par­ti­ci­pants and re­vel­lers alike de­cke­dout in eve­ry­thing from green coats, hats, pants or shoes (so­me­worn at the same time,) to a mo­tor­cycle ri­ding pa­rade par­ti­ci­pantw­ho had tin­ted his goa­tee and tongue the same vi­vid eme­rald hue.

First of­ma­ny

When as­ked if the re­gion will see a se­cond, third or fourth an­nual Hud­son St. Pa­trick’s Day pa­rade, Du­mas­re­plied inthe af­fir­ma­tive.

“For sure this will be­come an an­nual tra­di­tion... We’re mee­ting to­night to go over what was good and what we might need to change, but we will de­fi­ni­te­ly do this again next year.”

Dumas cre­dits a team of close to a do­zen vo­lun­teers­with the pa­rade’s suc­cess, and says the town of Hud­son al­so came through with flying co­lours.

“They co­ope­ra­ted 100-percent and sup­por­ted us eve­ry step of the way. We real­ly could not have pul­led this off wi­thout that kind of en­cou­ra­ge­ment.”

Af­ter rea­li­zing how big the pa­rade would be, the town al­so of­fe­red help Sa­tur­day from the com­mu­ni­ty pa­trol and the fire de­part­ment.

Dumas said most bu­si­nesses in town be­ne­fi­ted from the huge tur­nout with in­crea­sed bu­si­ness, none pe­rhaps as much as Cun­nin­gham’s it­self.

The res­tau­rant’s Ca­me­ron St. lo­ca­tion was pa­cked to over­flo­wing, with crowds spilling out in­to the street im­me­dia­te­ly fol­lo­wing the pa­rade.

But they did not sul­ly their Irish roots by ser­ving Green beer.

“No, we would ne­ver do that. Green beer is a ve­ry Ame­ri­can thing and so­me­thing a true Irish­man would ne­ver drink,” he said.

As­ked what a real Irish drink would be, Dumas re­plied: “A hear­ty pint of Guin­ness, of course.”

Cun­nin­gham’s Pub in Hud­son was the place to be fol­lo­wing the pa­rade.

The Sh­ri­ners had do­zens of groups in­vol­ved in the pa­rade.

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