March 17, 2015, St.Patrick’s Day.– Hundreds of thousands of Quebecers, Irish by blood or just for the day, will fill the streets of Montreal next Sunday, March 22, for the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade. This year, Éduc’alcool and the United Irish Societies of Montreal have decided to highlight the event by holding a celebration of moderation, by renaming the metro green line the St. Patrick Line until the end the week, and by publishing the 2015 St. Patrick’s Day Survival Guide. By focusing on the enormous cultural contribution the Irish have made, both organizations hope to remind everyone that Ireland’s national holiday is no excuse for alcohol abuse.

To that end, Éduc’alcool has produced 50,000 green pennants with the words “moderation” and “St. Patrick” on them, which will be distributed free all along the parade route and in the nearby metro stations (Guy-Concordia, Peel and McGill) so that everyone can participate in promoting the message of moderation.

Also, further to the remarkable success of the 2014 St. Patrick’s Day Survival Guide, the new and improved version of the guide reminds people that those who choose to drink will enjoy the parade and related celebrations all the more if they drink moderately.

The Survival Guide is available in all SAQ outlets in Greater Montreal, and at many Cegeps and universities. The City of Montreal and many suburban municipalities, as well as the Montreal police department, are also helping to distribute the guide. And it can be found in most of the Irish pubs in the city.

An important measure

“On St. Patrick’s Day, everyone in Quebec is Irish,” notes Hubert Sacy, Director of Éduc’alcool. “Alcohol sales and consumption hit seasonal highs on that day. Last year, we launched an enormously successful campaign and we intend to continue along that road. For that reason, we are joining forces with the United Irish Societies of Montreal to keep helping all St. Patrick’s Day die-hards celebrate safely. There’s no need to drink in excess and ruin such a wonderful celebration. That’s the message we want to proclaim loud and clear, and we hope everyone involved will proclaim it along with us.

“We all recognize that there is a place for alcohol when people gather to celebrate. Unfortunately, some people use these events as an excuse to drink heavily. We do not encourage such behaviour, and we hope that the Survival Guide, with its message of moderation, will help make the day as safe as it is festive. Getting really drunk, even just once and even on St. Patrick’s Day, is one time too many. Whatever the circumstances, moderation is always in good taste,” concludes Hubert Sacy.

By all means celebrate but drink moderately

The United Irish Societies of Montreal does not promote or condone drinking of any kind during the parade; however we do recognize that it occurs and we are very pleased to work with Éduc’alcool to promote moderation, adds Kevin Murphy, Vice-President, Advertising and Public Relations, for the United Irish Societies of Montreal. “We are proud to see Montrealers and people across Quebec join with us in our celebrations at our family oriented St. Patrick’s Parade and encourage the work being done by Éduc’alcool”.

The St. Patrick’s Day festivities, which began on February 17 with the raising of the Irish flag at Place Ville Marie, will wrap up on March 28 with a dinner dance and awards presentation. During this period, many events will be held around Quebec, in particular, in Montreal, the 192nd annual St. Patrick’s Day parade, which will have all of St. Catherine Street cheering on Sunday, March 22. The 6th Quebec City parade will take place on March 28, the 6th parade in Hudson is on March 21 and the 11th parade in Châteauguay is on March 29.

Éduc’alcool’s ten handy tips to ensure a safe holiday

  1. There’s nothing magical about green beer. It’s just as intoxicating as beer that has not been dyed with food colouring.
  2. A thimbleful or two is all it takes for a leprechaun to become inebriated, and it takes only 4 green beers for the average adult male weighing approximately 90 kg to become similarly impaired.
  3. Food – like Celtic corned beef and cabbage or Quebec poutine – will slow the rate at which alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream. In other words, eating while you drink helps keep you from getting too tipsy too quickly.
  4. Don’t rely on the luck ‘o the Irish to get you home safely on St. Patrick’s Day. It will take more than a four-leaf clover to redress a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) conviction.
  5. A standard glass of Guinness, Irish Stout or Irish Ale, a standard glass of wine (140 ml) and shot of hard liquor (1.5 oz) are all the same when it comes to alcohol content. A standard drink is a standard drink, and that’s 17.05 ml or 13.45 gr of ethanol.
  6. The average St. Patrick’s Day parade lasts approximately three hours – the same amount of time it takes for an adult male to metabolize 2 single green beers.
  7. Water may not be the official drink of St. Paddy’s Day, nor is it the most exciting beverage, but a glass of water in between alcoholic drinks will keep you refreshed and hydrated. If you want to drink like a fish, drink what fishes do!
  8. An Irish harp will surely make your soul weep, while alcohol will dehydrate you in other ways. Be sure to replenish your liquids throughout the day by drinking water and non-alcoholic beverages.
  9. Remember that March 17 is St. Patrick’s Day, not St. Patrick’s Day and Night. Most DUIs are the result of extended drinking sessions.
  10. Those who kiss the Blarney Stone are said to receive the gift of the gab. Those who fail to heed the above advice may kiss the porcelain Blarney Bowl instead and receive the gift of a hangover.