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.