The uncertain weather came to spoil the big National Day reunion on the Plains of Abraham on Thursday evening. Despite a crowd that could not be compared to the good years, thousands of diehards had brought out their fleur-de-lis flags to attend the traditional Saint-Jean show in Quebec City, a first since 2019.
While the rain that fell in the early evening surely discouraged many, others did not want to miss the opportunity to celebrate Quebec on the plains. This is the case of Marie-Lou Harvey and Laurie Ménard who traveled to Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu in the morning to attend the show in the evening.
Marie-Lou Harvey and Laurie Ménard came from Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu to attend the Saint-Jean show.
After two years of pandemic, the opportunity was great for friends who have just turned 18 to experience a showof Saint-Jean in Quebec. “National Day in the Capitale-Nationale is the dream. We're here for three days,” exclaimed the girls, who were eager to see Marjo and Marc Labrèche in action.
For Marine Colling, who arrived from France two years ago to join her sister Océane, it was the first National Holiday on the Plains of Abraham. With friends, she also took the opportunity to celebrate her 21st birthday. “In France, everyone goes out in the street, but there is not a big stage and a big show like here,” she says.
Sisters Marine and Océanne Colling, natives of France, who live the experience of the Fête nationale du Québec.
Wind of freshness
Despite the gloomy weather, businesses on Grande-Allée relished the return of National Day to the city center . Most of the restaurants and covered terraces were full at dinner time and the end of the evening was promising for those who have been bored of large-scale events for two years.
“Mother Nature has not spoiled us, but we have a beautiful evening. The traffic is very good,” explains Alex Grenier, co-owner of the Atelier. Moreover, the traders met admitted that the frenzy was felt all day. They were also expecting a very good weekend due to the three-day holiday for the majority of workers.
For the back from Saint-Jean on the Plains of Abraham, the Quebec City Police Service (SPVQ) had deployed a number of police officers to ensure the safety of citizens.
The agents were visible in particular near the Parliament of Quebec, but also everywhere in strategic places on Grande-Allée and the Place du Grand spectacle. In his preliminary report, SPVQ spokesperson David Poitras confirmed that the evening passed off peacefully and that there were no unfortunate incidents to report. The police were still on alert until the wee hours of the morning.