Enjoying the day at the Royal St Johns Regatta

Yesterday, we were enjoying the day at the Royal St Johns Regatta and wanted to tell you about this age old tradition and give you a couple tips to help make your vacation here the best it can be.

In Tuesday’s blog post we mentioned how, in our opinion, that June, July or August was the best time frame for you to visit St. John’s, NL due to the weather being at it’s best those months…

View of St. Johns Newfoundland from Signal HillSt. John’s Newfoundland from Signal Hill

As we’re here right now in the flesh visiting, if you wanted us to get more specific of when you should visit, we’d say “right about now!”. :-)

We say that as not only is this time of year typically some of the best weather experienced during the summer (remember, we said typically :-)) but we recommend now as there are some pretty unique events happening in St. John’s around about now.

The first one (which we won’t get into too much detail on as it’s not for everyone as kid’s can’t be included) is what’s called the George Street Festival.

It takes place on St. John’s famous George Street (we also talked about in Tuesday’s blog post) from the last Thursday in July every year to the first Tuesday in August… a 6 night event.

It features some great live bands and is basically one of the biggest (and funnest) street parties you’ll ever attend! :-)

The other big event that happens this time of year and the one we’ll talk more about today (as it truly is for everyone, attracting around 50,000 people each year!) is the city’s famous “Royal St. John’s Regatta”…

…it happens the 1st Wednesday of every August… hence the George Street Festival being perfectly timed with it!

Now, we can definitely say with authority this is a great event as not only did we both attend it many times growing up but we spent most of our day there yesterday. :-)

Now, you’re probably asking at this point, “What’s a Royal Regatta?”

Good Question! :-)

Well, it’s basically a whole bunch of boat/rowing races (held on Quidi Vidi Lake… we’ll have to pronounce that lake’s name in person the next time we speak with you :-)) that take place throughout the day but more importantly it’s North America’s oldest annual sporting event having documented proof that the races started as early as 1816.

Regarding the races, crews row with six-member, fixed-seat racing shells… the Men’s crews row a 2.450 km course & women’s crews row a 1.225 km course.

The Boat/Rowing Races at the Royal St Johns Regatta

The Boat/Rowing Races at the Royal St Johns Regatta

Beyond the races though, many people go for the food and entertainment that takes place along the city’s popular lake. The Regatta hosts hundreds of booths operated by individuals and organizations, ranging from concession stands, wheels of fortune, games of chance and food & drink.

It really is a lot of fun to simply stroll around, check out the action, people watch and eat something different every 100 feet or so! :-)

Here though, is probably about the most unique part of the whole “Regatta” experience…

…when “Regatta Day” takes place a civic holiday is declared and many workers in the city get the day off.

There’s a catch though!!

The races are all dependent on the weather so the holiday literally gets decided by the weather… more particularly the wind.

If its too windy for the races to take place, the “Regatta” gets postponed till Thursday… no good Thursday, it goes Friday… no good weather Friday, it takes place Saturday which is the latest we’d ever heard it take place and that was only once.

That may sound like no big deal but for the locals that’s another story!

Remember we said the “George Street Festival” ends on Tuesday night… imagine being one of those late night partiers, planning to have the day off Wednesday for Regatta but ooops, too windy and you have to go to work…

…ouch!! :-)

So there you have it… a great event to experience in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada if you ever have the chance…

the famous “Royal St. John’s Regatta”!!

And when you do make it here for this event, make sure to drop us a comment below and tell us how much fun you had… as we say in our Free eBook, “To Have Fun!” is simply one of the best reasons to Travel… Now!! :-)

We appreciate You.

Nancy & Shawn

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