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Carved to celebrate
Definitely the best weekends on the Main
By : Lauren Chang MacLean
Madness hits the stifling Montreal summer streets twice a year. In June, and again in August the Main is closed down entirely from Sherbrooke to Mont-Royal (much to the chagrin of taxi drivers and delivery services) and every establishment sets up outdoors with discount wares, sunny terraces, and cultural treats for a few days of humid chaotic and friendly madness. This is the kind of tradition that keeps the pace of life a little bit slower and a little more focused on living and loving life than your typical North American city, as every businessman and business woman finds an excuse or two to keep them out of the office, on firmly planted with a glass of rose on the happy “madness” streets of the boulevard.
Dias Das Montras
Modeled on a Portuguese Christmas tradition the shops and restos of St-Lauren shops unveil the elaborately decorated seasonal windows for the three week festival Dias Das Montras or Windows on the Main. A festive and eye-catching reminder that Montreal winter isn’t just about the cold, Dias Das Montras gives everyone a chance to traipse through the streets and enjoy the crisp air, while absorbing some local artistic fun. Perfect for an afternoon with the family, or for a romantic hand-in-hand walk with a lover.
The annual Pop Montreal festival is held in October and is known as one of the most heralded in the music industry for it innovative, edgy and exciting performers ranging from Billy Childish to The Dirtbombs and even Beck. Star-studded and full of groups with more energy than a class full of six-year-olds, Pop Montreal is where stars are born, and groupies formed. The media comes out in full force to check out the newcomers to Pop every year, making it a very important fest for the most inventive aural art around.
Bigger than Christmas, bigger than New Year’s Eve and possibly bigger than Jesus, the Grand Prix weekend in Montreal is a super-crazy-party-all-week-long affair for the entire island. Each year, the city racers, celebrities and VIPs from literally all over the world for one week-long dining, drinking, dancing and spending fest – the weekend brings literally millions of dollars to the local economy. Restaurants offer caiver for breakfast and nightclubs pull out all the stops, bringing in the biggest DJ’s they can afford for a week-long bash of gigantic proportions. The race itself takes place just off-island, and the sound of roaring tires can be heard for miles. Check the website for tickets, and remember to keep cool in the summer sun so you’ve got time top check out all the festivities that night!
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