Thousands gathered today to bask in the sunshine at Montreal's annual St. Patrick's Day parade, one of the oldest and largest in North America.

The clear skies and above-freezing temperatures for the 194th edition of the event were a welcome change for revellers after the blizzard earlier this week.

Organized by the United Irish Societies of Montreal, the parade featured more than 20 floats and several marching bands.

It got underway at noon at the corner of Fort and Ste-Catherine Streets. Here's a map of the parade route and the streets to avoid if you're driving today.

map

The parade runs along Ste-Catherine Street from Fort Street to Phillips Square, while René Lévesque Boulevard will serve as a staging ground. (Google Maps)

Mayor Denis Coderre was the parade's grand marshal, showing off his Irish heritage in style. Coderre has Irish roots stemming from his maternal grandmother's side. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was also in attendance.

Dogs also took part in the festivities. 

And, of course, CBC Montreal was there too.

A full list of participants can be found here, including a group of young hockey players visiting from Ireland.