When the people of Charlottetown throw a party, everyone turns up! And why not, the Gold Cup Parade is famous, and it’s on August 17 in 2018. Atlantic Canada’s largest annual parade might be a whole lot of fun for tourists, but for the Islanders, it is a piece of history and tradition well preserved. It precedes the Gold Cup and Saucer Race that takes place next evening. All these events are part of the Old Home Week on Prince Edward Island. And the parade always takes place on Friday, during this week.
Gold Cup Parade - History
The 150th Birthday of Canada was Celebrated
The parade celebrated Canada turning 150 years old! The theme made the floats even more spectacular this year.
The Parade Committee Becomes Nonprofit
The Charlottetown Parade Committee Inc. became nonprofit — owning the name, "The Gold Cup Parade."
The Parade is Founded by Frank Acorn and Bill Hancox
The Gold Cup and Saucer Parade took place in Charlottetown for the first time to honor the traditions of the Old Home Week.
It's Popular Even During the Depression
Old Home Week (of which the parade is a part today), attracted 15,000 visitors during the Depression. People just want to be happy!
Gold Cup Parade Activities
1. See the parade to believe it
It’s totally worth watching it for real but if you can’t, catch it on TV or social media. It’s a sight to see!
2. Bet on a dark horse
Or just watch the race. The Gold Cup Race follows the parade and it is guaranteed to get your adrenaline pumping.
3. Join the chatter on social media
What did you love? Do you have pictures to share? What were your best moments? This is how we record memories.
5 Facts About The Gold Cup Parade That Will Blow Your Mind
1. It’s the biggest parade east of Montreal
And they put up a fine show! Marching bands, brass pipes, drums, colorful displays, amazing vintage cars, balloons, and lots of entertainment for kids and families.
2. Spectacular floats are built on a theme
Every year the Gold Cup Parade has a new theme and sometimes the floats follow it. In 2017 the theme was “Canada Eh!” to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday. What fun!
3. Giant helium balloons are the parade favorite
These giant, colorful helium balloons that dot the sky are brought all the way from Windsor, Ontario! It’s totally worth the journey.
4. Some do it for the awards
Winning awards at this parade are no small feat, no wonder people work so hard on their floats! They also give out awards like the best band, the best volunteer group, most humorous, etc.
5. In the good old days floats floated
That’s how parade floats got their name. Floats in the olden days were designed to float over canals, and marchers on shore towed them with decorated barges using ropes.
Why We Love Gold Cup Parade
A. It’s a parade after all
Who doesn’t love a parade? And this is the best in the Atlantic. Need we say more.
B. It’s all about family and community spirit
The success of the parade is proof of the great support the event gets from the local Islanders. Not to mention the 60,000 people that support it by attending every year!
C. Tradition and history come together
The parade is a little bit of tradition, a little bit of history, and a whole lot of fun. The tradition of Old Home week started around World War II and it hasn’t stopped since. The parade is a part of this grand week.