Equal parts pain and joy of being a Montrealer is that each summer, we attract a lot of people. There’s nothing quite like heading downtown on a sunny summer afternoon and taking advantage of an awesome terrace, a sidewalk event or just a walk down St. Catherine or St. Denis to enjoy the unique shops and scenery. There’s also nothing like brushing shoulders with a bro sporting an XS tank top, his girlfriend shooting you The Look of Death and and their buddy puffing delectable cigarette smoke into your face. I suppose that’s the small price to pay for living in one of the coolest metropolitan hubs in the world, but either way, here’s some of the coolest and lamest things about Montreal’s Formula 1 weekend which takes place this weekend from June 5th to the 7th.
1. Crescent Street
An annual tradition in Montreal is to close of Crescent street during the Grand Prix weekend. From kiosks to concerts, from food to free swag, the whole street turns into one big block party. For this year’s 15th anniversary, the Corona-sponsored event is going all out, with all-day concerts, activities and a real Alfa Romeo pit stop.
2. St. Laurent street
Not wanting to miss out on the festivities, Montreal’s main is hosting their own get together with an assortment of sidewalk sales, middle-of-the-street celebrations and nonstop celebrations. The fun starts at 8 AM every morning and the party keeps going til 3AM. Watch the race on the street, or take advantage of the events going on St. Laurent between Sherbrooke and Pine.
3. The Cars
Whether you’re a “car person” or not, it’s still neat to watch some of the nicest, highest performing cars in the world dot the streets of Montreal. Last year, I witnessed a congregation of bros who were all about snapping new profile pics with the exotic sports cars that dotted St. Catherine street. Can’t afford a Ferrari? Wanna trick your friends into believing you can? Rest your arm on the hood, and give your best mean mug/peace sign look, and you’re good to go!
4. Free stuff
Dotted along St. Catherine, St. Denis, Crescent and Main, you’ll find every other company you can name tossing swag into the crowd. If you’re paying for t-shirts or energy drinks this weekend, you’re messing up hard.
5. New People
It’s one of the (many) weekends where it’s pretty acceptable to hit a bar before the clock strikes 12 (that’s noon), and what better time to do it when half the crowd probably aren’t even from MTL? Sure, people are people but Grand Prix Weekend draws a lot of F1 enthusiasts from pretty much everywhere, so here’s your time to brush shoulders and clink glasses with someone who might not like 4 blocks away from you.
1. This Guy
This guy. This guy is attending Grand Prix Weekend.
This one is obvious, but if you’re downtown for any reason other than to take part in the festivities, you’re gonna have a hard time getting much done. Expect way too many intrusions into your personal space and lines that are definitely way too long.
3. These guys
These guys love guzzling Jägerbombs and spilling drinks. They also love F1, and you can grab a couple drinks with these fine gentlemen at any point this weekend.
Traffic. Yeah, the event is overcrowded, but if you’re trying to move from one side of the downtown core to the next, expect to slam your head against your steering wheel, because you aren’t getting to your destination anytime quick.
5. New People
Loud, obnoxious tourists drinking overpriced beers? I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I’m down with that.
Well there you have it. Let us know what your top and bottom 5 things are about being a Montrealer during F1 weekend.