199th Royal St. John’s RegattaQuidi Vidi Lake
The Royal St. John’s Regatta is the oldest organized sporting event in North America. It has been a part of Newfoundland history for almost 200 years. The first record of an organized event was in 1816, but rowing matches were common among ships crews in St. John’s Harbour since at least the 1700’s. These days, the Regatta draws crowds of up to 50,000 people annually to the banks of Quidi Vidi Lake.
It is widely known as “The Largest Garden Party in the World” because it has been about socializing as much as amateur sport. Concession stands, wheels of fortune, games of chance, and food & drink are just as much part of the Regatta’s history as the races.
The Regatta has run the first Wednesday in August since 1825. Regatta Day is probably the only Municipal Holiday in Canada that is dependent on the weather. If it is raining or too windy, the holiday is simply postponed until the next suitable day.