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UPDATE: P.E.I. shows its talent during Gold Cup parade

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - Ann Thurlow fell in love with the Gold Cup parade 30 years ago when she took her two-year-old daughter to watch the spectacular procession.

“I would not miss this parade,” said the Charlottetown resident. “It’s my very favourite parade. I like it more than Christmas. I like it more than my birthday. I just love this.”

Thurlow was one of thousands watching in awe as vibrant floats made their way across Charlottetown for the 57th annual Gold Cup parade on Friday.

Singers, dancers, athletes and more showcased their talents during this year’s parade, keeping in spirit with the theme of “P.E.I.’s Got Talent”.

Music filled the air as many of the floats had live bands or DJs.

“There was more live music than we’ve ever seen on floats,” said parade co-ordinator Charlotte Nicholson.

The floats displayed an array of spectacles.

It included Crime Stoppers pulling a jail cell with someone dressed as a prisoner in it, a model replica of Victoria Row being towed by the City of Charlottetown’s float, DME Brewing Solutions held a patio dance party on its float and the Parks Canada float donned people dressed in 1864 era clothing.

Winners from the 2018 Gold Cup parade were:

  • Most Memorable – P.E.I. Regiment.
  • Most Energetic – Mi'kmaq Confederacy of P.E.I.
  • Best Band – Clash Band.
  • First Time Entry – Love Me Fish and Lobster.
  • Best Use of Theme – DP Murphy.
  • Judges' Choice – Parks Canada.

Stacey MacKinnon was on the Spotlight School of Arts float where they showcased its group of young theatre actors, many of whom were dressed as Disney princesses.

She said the theme of this year’s parade was perfect for representing the Island.

“We have so much talent on this Island,” she said. “It comes as young as these guys and goes right up to senior citizens and everything in between.”

There were 105 parade entries.

A panel of judges watched as the floats passed the Confederation Centre of the Arts and awards were presented. The P.E.I. Regiment’s display of various military vehicles won for most memorable.

Also watching the floats was a possible 60,000 spectators.

“Our estimation is that 60,000 come out to watch it,” Nicholson said. “It’s a free outdoor event that takes up a lot of the downtown area so it’s hard to get an exact number but that’s what we estimate.”

Thurlow will continue to be one of those spectators for years to come.

The Gold Cup parade is now a family affair for her and her daughter, Cassady Yochoff.

This year they brought the newest addition to the family, Yochoff’s 11-month-old son Freddy.

“It’s hopefully a tradition I can continue on with him even though we don’t live here,” said Yochoff, who lives in Halifax.

Thurlow said she loves the Gold Cup parade because it shows how the community in P.E.I. comes together.

“I love the sense of community,” she said. “I love that there’s a big, free show and everybody comes to it.”

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