When the people of Charlottetown throw a party, everyone turns out! The Gold Cup Parade, on August 16, is famous as Atlantic Canada’s largest annual parade. It’s the Main Event during Old Home Week on Prince Edward Island.
Granted, it’s a whole lot of fun for tourists, but for the Islanders, the parade is a well-preserved piece of history and tradition starting in 1888. The original two-day event showed off the hard work of the island’s agricultural community. Today thousands of outsiders join the residents for the week’s activities. Should you decide to take part, along with seeing a great parade, don’t miss the Gold Cup and Saucer Race the following day. So, if you love a parade, don’t miss the Gold Cup Parade on Prince Edward Island. It will be a blast!
Gold Cup Parade timeline
The 150th birthday of Canada was celebrated
The parade celebrated Canada turning 150 years old. The splashy, birthday theme made the floats spectacular!
The parade committee earns nonprofit status
The Charlottetown Parade Committee Inc. became nonprofit — owning the name, "The Gold Cup Parade."
Frank Acorn and Bill Hancox initiates the idea of a parade
The Gold Cup and Saucer Parade took place in Charlottetown to honor the traditions of the Old Home Week.
It's popular even during the Depression
Old Home Week attracted 15,000 visitors during the Depression.
Gold Cup Parade Activities
See the parade to believe it
There's nothing like the live action of a parade passing by. But if you can’t be on Prince Edward Island for the Gold Cup Parade, catch it on TV or social media. It’s a sight to see!
Bet on a dark horse
Or, just watch the race. The Gold Cup Race follows the parade and it's guaranteed to get your adrenaline pumping.
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!
4 Reasons To See The Coolest Parade In Canada
It’s the biggest parade east of Montreal
You'll love the marching bands, brass pipes, drums, colorful displays, amazing vintage cars, balloons and lots of entertainment for kids and families.
Spectacular floats are built on a theme
Every year the Gold Cup Parade has a new theme that designers use to create the floats. In 2017, the theme was “Canada, Eh!” to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday.
Giant helium balloons are the parade favorite
It's worth your journey to see the giant, colorful helium balloons dotting the sky. They're imported all the way from Windsor, Ontario.
Back in the day, 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
It’s a parade, after all
Who doesn’t love a parade? And this is the best in the Atlantic. Along with the beautiful, scenic wonder of Prince Edward Island; you couldn't ask for a better location for end of summer fun.
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 joined by the 60,000 people who make a special trip to attend the festivities. You want a party? THIS is a party!
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's still going strong. The parade is the anchor for all that activities of the week.