The Montreal Santa Claus Parade returns to downtown, Drag Queen as Star Fairy


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dated: 2022-11-20 06:57:06 .

Santa Claus will return Saturday on a sleigh ride through downtown Montreal after a two-year absence due to ill health.

His return will be marked by a touch of extravagance, with the presence of Barbadian drag queen Barbada, who will follow in the footsteps of the Star Villa for the first time.

A procession of about fifteen floats – all 100 percent electric – will start at 11 a.m. down Sainte-Catherine street west of Guy street to Place des Festivals, where the Grand Marché de Noël de Montréal also begins.

More than 500 performers and volunteers will parade alongside the red-clad grandfather, as well as members of the Cirque du Soleil Corteo and the troupe of December’s Québec Issime show.

Children’s entertainers Atchoum and Henri Godon will also be on hand to start the holiday magic.

The organizers expect 400,000 visitors.

“I think it will also be an opportunity for people to come back downtown because obviously with the pandemic, not only have we not gathered, but we’ve given up [the heart of Quebec’s metropolis]Barbada said in an interview a few days before the event.

“We found it again this summer with the festivals, but for the holiday season it will be another opportunity to re-experience the beauty and diversity that downtown Montreal has to offer.”

The drag queen, who since 2016 has been leading stories involving children in libraries, bookstores and kindergartens in Quebec, promises an extravagant style.

“I can guarantee you I won’t be standing in the door, not because of my swollen head,” she joked, “but actually because of the costumes and headdresses I’ll be wearing.” I think that’s what we’re going to show. We’re back, all extravagant and glittering.

“Take the time to come and see.”

Emergency services bring children to the Santa Claus Parade in Montreal on November 19, 2022. (Christine Long/CTV News)

Barbada follows in the footsteps of Joannie Rochette, Vanessa Pilon, Ima, Marie-Mai and Marie-Ève ​​​​​​​​​​​Janvier, who have all played the Star Fairy in recent shows.

The fact that a drag artist interprets this imaginary character caused misunderstandings and derogatory comments.

The main actor pays little attention to these reactions. He invites everyone to come and watch the show before giving their verdict.

“I can understand that it’s very different, but (…) you will see that you will be very, very, very surprised by the scale of this year’s show and what it brings to have a drag queen, right on the extravagant side,” said the artist who leads on show for young people.

According to Barbada, negative comments often come from people who completely lack the art of drag. Just like in the world of comedy and song, there are different types of drag performers that cater to different audiences, she said.

The content of what was said will vary from a lecture in the library for young people to a performance in a bar for an adult audience, she added.

“You don’t agree with the fact that there should be a darling in the procession of Santa Claus? Take your time and watch the parade, see how extravagant, extravagant and super trippy it will be. Then afterwards you can say, ‘Well, it was really cool, but I didn’t like it.’ People have the right not to like it,” Barbada said.

The event, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary, will be broadcast by TVA the following day.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on November 19, 2022. This article was produced with financial support from the Met and Canadian Press News Grants.


The Montreal Santa Claus Parade returns to downtown, Drag Queen as Star Fairy

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