Stanstead College headmaster Michael Wolfe and students give thumbs-up as the St. Patty parade begins in Montreal last Sunday.
The Pat Burns Arena was represented in this year’s St. Patrick’s Day parade in downtown Montreal on Sunday, March 21. A bus load of ‘Arena Ambassadors’ were transported from Stanstead and Magog to Montreal, courtesy of Stanstead College’s school bus. While dressed in Pat Burns Arena jerseys and silly green hats, the group followed beside the floats, waving to the huge and festive crowd.
The Arena’s float, which consisted of two vehicles, was created to publicize Stanstead and the Arena. The float was organized by Joseph Levy, vice-chairman of the Arena fundraising campaign. Levy, a former student of Stanstead College, currently sits as a trustee on the school’s board. In collaboration with Pat Burns’ cousin, Robin Burns, and his friend, Patrice Brisebois, Levy made arrangements for the Pat Burns Arena to appear in this year’s parade. The first vehicle in the float was a BMW convertible advertising the arena with the smiling Brisebois on board waving to appreciative hockey enthusiasts. He was followed by a Zamboni donated for the day and towed by Robert Boileau.
The day was beautiful and sunny and the streets packed with spectators. Marching bands could be heard while other floats played loud dance music. People were seen hanging over rooftops, balconies and in upstairs windows. Others climbed up traffic-light posts to catch a better view. The whole parade route was completely packed with a cheering and waving ocean of people. Walking with the Arena float were various Stanstead residents; local students, adults and some Stanstead College staff members, including the school’s principle, Mr. Michael Wolfe, who was accompanied by his two daughters.
Patrice Brisebois suc- cessfully drew attention to the float, as fans rushed to shake his hand whenever his car slowed. Two Stanstead College boys, Yuri and Darcy, were happily dancing behind the floats, drawing laughter and smiles from the crowd. Finny, an eight year old Stanstead resident, sat atop the Zamboni, secured with duct tape. With a huge smile she waved and blew kisses to the crowds from her special vantage point.
The parade appearance was a huge success. The children had an especially wonderful time. So wonderful in fact, perhaps Stanstead will want to consider making an appearance at the Canada Day and St Jean Baptiste Parades? It is something worthwhile to consider.
The Stanstead Gang, dressed in Pat Burns Arena jerseys, gets off the Bus in Montreal for the St. Patrick’s Parade.
Hockey player Pat Brisebois promotes the Pat Burns Arena in the St. Patrick’s parade.
The Pat Burns Arena float carries Zamboni and Finny down Ste. Catherine Street.