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The Gold Cup Parade falls on the third Friday in August and proves that when the people of Charlottetown throw a party, everyone turns out. Famous for being 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 its roots can be traced back as far as 1888. The two-day event held that year showed off the hard work of the island’s agricultural community. Today thousands of tourists 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. It will be a blast!
History of Gold Cup Parade
Although Old Home Week has been running since 1905, the first-ever Gold Cup Parade happened in 1962. The event was founded by Bill Hancox and Frank Acorn whose intention was to revive Old Home Week in Charlottetown. They wanted to give Prince Edward Island’s racing industry a boost as it was starting to lose its appeal to audiences.
After those initial attempts to revive some local industry, the parade’s popularity began to grow at a rapid rate. In 1986 the original group of businesses that had started the parade decided to become a non-profit company and took up the name of the “Charlottetown Parade Committee’’
Each year lots of volunteers get involved with the designing and building of floats, which are a key attraction and are especially popular with the thousands of children who enjoy waving at them as they pass. The Gold Cup Parade has become a key date on the Charlottetown folks calendar, and with so much fun to be had it’s a huge hit with the tourists too.
Gold Cup Parade timeline
During ‘‘Old Home Week’’ the most skilled riders jockey the fastest horses to compete in 15 racing programs in just 9 days.
The parade celebrates its 50th anniversary.
The theme this year was ‘‘Bringing the Farm to The City.’’
Parks Canada, sponsored by McDonald’s wins ‘‘Best Presentation of Gold Cup Parade Theme.’’
Gold Cup Parade FAQs
What is the Gold Cup Parade day?
A feature event for ‘‘Old Home Week’’, the Gold Cup Parade celebrates the joys of summer on Prince Edward Island.
What time does the Gold Cup Parade start?
The Gold Cup Parade usually starts at 10 am and ends at noon.
Who won the Gold Cup and Saucer in 2019?
Rock Diamonds N won the Gold Cup and Saucer in 2019.
Gold Cup Parade Activities
Go to the parade
Make a trip to Prince Edward Island to get a feel for why this event is so popular. There’s nothing as awesome as soaking up the atmosphere and creating memories with your family and friends. Catch all the festivities and we’re sure you won’t regret it.
Catch the horseracing
You have to see it to believe it! This is not the kind of horseracing you’re probably accustomed to seeing on TV. The jockey is in a two-wheeled vehicle and is positioned behind the horse. It’s a pretty big deal in Canada, so visit and see it to find out why.
Share your pics
Share your pictures and videos from this summer’s day. Tag them on twitter @GoldCupParade and @goldcupparade on Instagram.
5 Facts About The Gold Cup Parade
Canadian’s day off
Schools and businesses are closed on this day and the general population has a day off.
It’s A big deal
The Gold Cup Parade is the largest annual event in Atlantic Canada and the largest parade East of Montreal.
Every year the Island Hymn is played while horses and riders pass by.
Ready to roll
At two minutes to midnight, horse and driver wait for the call to post and prepare to compete in the Gold Cup and Saucer Race.
A Huge Audience
60,000 onlookers enjoy the parade every year.
Why we love the Gold Cup Parade
It’s tied together with tradition and history
The whole event is all about celebrating home, tradition, and community. What’s not to love?
Fun, Fun, Fun
There’s marching bands, giant floats, clowns, horses, and much more. Then of course there is all the food and family fun to be had.
A symbol of the summer.
This huge event is a symbol that summer is in full swing and that life is good. We love a reason to celebrate, and the Gold Cup Parade is exactly that.
Gold Cup Parade dates