Sunshine brings out smiling faces at Ste-Catherine St. festival

Sunshine brings out smiling faces at Ste-Catherine St. festival
Sunshine brings out smiling faces at Ste-Catherine St. festival

The Ste-Catherine Street Sale is just one of the festivals to take over blocks of Montreal this summer. Dave Sidaway / Montreal Gazette

The Ste-Catherine St. festival’s 20th edition is in full swing under sunny skies Saturday despite a rainy start the day before. 

“Yesterday the weather was quite difficult to deal with,” said Montreal-based jewellery maker Sonya Szczygiel. “But right now it’s fantastic.”

There’s been a good energy on the street, she said. “There’s the music, people are friendly. People seem excited.”

Artist Stéphanie Bérubé had been at work since 9 a.m. on Saturday creating a scaled-down replica of the Olympic Stadium in the intersection at McGill College Ave. It was about 12 to 15 feet long, and about 5 feet wide at the base. Part of it was painted onto what looked like a piece of plywood, while the rest was painted onto the ground.

By playing with perspectives, Bérubé was able to make her 2-D design look as though it was sprouting up from the asphalt. 

She and her assistant helped passers-by take the perfect shot of it by directing them to the best vantage point. She said parents loved it just as much as their children. 

This is Bérubé’s third year participating in the festival and now that the skies have cleared up, she said it’s clear that the city’s 375th anniversary has drawn a lot of people. “It’s nice out and everyone is great,” she said. 

The borough of Ville-Marie expects 300,000 people to pass through Ste-Catherine St. over the weekend, for what they called “biggest open sky gathering of merchants in Canada.”

“I think it’s perfect,” said Montrealer Bing Fung, who had no prior knowledge of the festival before stumbling onto Ste-Catherine St. today. She said prices are good, making for fun day of shopping.

Alex Dion, an employee with the city of Montreal distributing maps of the downtown core, explained that he and his colleagues have been approached by more than a hundred people, many of whom have been asking about the Just for Laugh festivities, taking place about four blocks away. 

Ste-Catherine St. Celebrates runs until 10 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, between Guy St. and Aylmer St. It is expected to be sunny on Sunday, with temperatures around 27 degrees Celsius . 

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