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Revellers take over Marshall Street in Waterloo for St. Patrick’s Day parties


What started as a rainy, quiet morning turned into a sea of green as thousands gathered on Marshall Street in Waterloo Friday to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

The celebrations come after a couple of calmed-down years thanks to COVID-19, and this year, with the pandemic-related restrictions removed, the party was in full swing.

“Honestly, I’ll party in any weather, I don’t care,” one party-goer told CTV News.

One student said they didn’t mind the quiet morning, even hoping that the rain wouldn’t let up to allow for the gatherings to take place.

“We’ve had some troubles in the past where we’ve took a lot of the brunt for things that happen in the street,” the student said. “Celebrate St. Pat’s in a fun way, but also a safe way.”

Others predicted it was just a matter of time before the party moved on to Marshall Street.

“I’m happy, whole community out, everyone celebrating, everyone’s got their borgs, their trusty borgs, we’re all having a good time,” the student said while referencing an alcoholic drink that has drawn criticism for its safety risk.

Thousands of people have spilled into the streets of Waterloo to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. (Krista Simpson/CTV News)

Students say they’re content with how authorities like the police are handling the situation.

“They’re actually doing really well. They don’t try to intervene or anything they just try to control it,” one student said.

CTV cameras captured one incident involving a person being handcuffed and placed in a police cruiser.

It wasn’t until the early afternoon, when the weather started to dry up, that large gatherings began to form.

Around 2:30 p.m., it appeared thousands of people had come to take part in the day as the parties spilled from inside into the streets.

By 6 p.m., those in attendance started to break apart.

In past years the street party had pretty much subsided by early evening, but this year it had a bit of a later start.

Ezra Avenue, the traditional gathering place, was subdued after officials put up fencing mid-week, blocking off the road as well as Clayfield Avenue and leaving only narrow sidewalk access.

“I understand why they’re doing it, cause they don’t want big crowds or people. It is what it is,” a party-goer told CTV News.

St. Patrick's Day partiers brave the conditions, walking down Marshall Street Friday morning. (Tyler Kelaher/CTV Kitchener)

 On Firday around 10 a.m., the City of Waterloo announced an overnight parking ban for both Friday and Saturday night in the MacGregor Albert, Northdale and Uptown neighbourhoods.


With large crowds gathering right across the City of Waterloo, residents and commuters felt the impact first-hand on Friday.

The area in which much of the partying took place in Waterloo’s University District is comprised of student housing mixed with long-time residents. Some of those residents told CTV News that the day can be a shock to the system for anyone new to the area due to the loud noise, long traffic lines, and plenty of law enforcement.

Waterloo regional police, paramedics and fire crews monitored the Marshall Street area for much of the day. The roadway was closed off to traffic as the crowd drifted onto nearby residential streets.

Those crowds delayed traffic on neighbouring roadways and the people who live on them.

“It definitely took us for a turn and we did not expect this at all,” said one homeowner in the area. “The house is pretty good to keep out the noise."

Meanwhile, some residents said they were embracing the one-day pandemonium.

“I’m okay with it. I’m walking downtown today to hit the pubs and it’s nice to see everybody out having a good time,” said one resident. “You’re only young once. The students are having a good time and are pretty respectful. I don’t have an issue with it and I live in the neighbourhood.”

Local residents also credited the work that police did throughout the day and added that the police presence made a noticeable difference in keeping the peace and keeping everyone safe. Top Stories

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