24 August 2010

gold cup and saucer parade, charlotte pei

One of harness racing's most prestigious events in Maritime Canada is the Gold Cup and Saucer held at Charlottetown's driving park. To celebrate and support the occasion roads are closed and a parade winds its way through town. Photos of the Parade are here.

We packed the girls in the car and snaked our way into town along with thousands of others, all optimistic of parking close to the parade's route. Arriving an hour before the start we managed to find a parking spot just a couple of hundred yards from a main road and set off carrying our folding chairs with MJ in tow and KR in the stroller.

By 10am the crowds lining the roads had swelled to five or six deep and a ten kilometre fun run raced past, with the loudest applause reserved for a five-yeariold who brought up the rear after running the whole way with his father.

We watched around a hundred floats grind slowly by, each one decked in bright colours and advertising a local business or organisation. Groups held giant inflatables, pulling on the guy ropes to lower their charges beneath Charlottetown's overhead power and phone lines.

MJ was pumped up by the sights, the sounds and the activity. She couldn't stop herself rushing into the road to join in the leaping and dancing of the cheerleaders and baton twirlers, or to march with brass bands and bagpipes. She is never a passive observer but wears her heart on her sleeve, pointing, shouting and faking fear as giants and clowns loomed in to view.

KR wriggled and fussed and squirmed in her stroller but eventually fell asleep. Flatbed trucks sounded their air horns making her startle without waking. After two hours the parade was over and we joined the rapidly dispersing tide of humanity hurrying for our cars.

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