Prince Edward Island is considered the birthplace of the Canadian Confederation. This little Canadian Island was called a ‘cradle in the waves’ by the Indians who were the original inhabitants. The island was colonised first by the French and then the British. It went through a number of name changes until it was eventually named Prince Edward Island, after the Prince who was to father Queen Victoria. On July 1, 1873, Prince Edward Island entered the Canadian Confederation that had been born on the island at the Charlottetown Conference in September 1864.
PEI, as the island is known, hosts the Gold Cup Parade in the capital town of Charlottesville.
FACT 1: The Gold Cup and Saucer Race were started in 1960 and the Gold Cup Parade was initiated in 1962. The events were started by Frank Acorn and Bill Hancox.
FACT 2: There is no real history behind the parade. The traditional Old Home Week of Charlottetown was losing its popularity. Acorn and Hancox wanted to inject some new life into it. They also wanted to provide entertainment for the islanders and the tourists. Commercially they hoped to promote the islands harness racing industry.
FACT 3: Since 1962 the Parade has been held annually. It has become a feature of the summer season on Prince Edward Island.
FACT 4: Originally organized by a loose group of business men the parade is now the jurisdiction of the Charlottetown Parade Committee. The committee owns the name ‘Gold Cup Parade’
FACT 5: The 2015 chapter of the parade was held on Friday 15th August. It kicked off at 10am.The Grand Marshalls of the Parade were special Olympians Jenna Smith and John Paynter who represented Canada at the Special Olympic World Games held in Los Angeles.
FACT 6: The theme for the 2015 parade was the ‘Year of Sport’ highlighting Canada’s contribution to the world of sport. The theme honoured Canadian sports persons and highlighted the role of sport in the Canadian lifestyle.
FACT 7: All the participants in the parade were asked to construct their floats around a central theme of sport.
FACT 8: The 2015 parade had the biggest collection of bands ever. More than 200 band members took part. There were six marching bands and one majorette group.
FACT 9: The parade aimed to encourage the next generation to imbibe the Gold Cup as a symbol of the island. There was a major focus on entertainment for children. SpongeBob Square Pants and Canada’s own My Little Pony had their own float in the parade.
FACT 10: After the parade the cartoon characters put up a complimentary live stage show held a meet and greet session with the kids.