SUMMERSIDE – Another sponsor of the 2018 Summerside Lobster Carnival has been unveiled, with Red Shores at Summerside stepping up to the plate.
This year’s carnival will correspond with the 50th running of the Governor’s Plate on Saturday, July 14. And, like last year, the carnival will celebrate three of the Island’s passions: lobster, Standardbred harness racing and entertainment.
Harness racing has been connected with the Summerside Lobster Carnival since the inaugural year of 1956, with the exception of 2014 to 2016. In 2017, the week of racing and carnival joined back together with the carnival returning to its original site next to Red Shores at Summerside Raceway on the grounds of Credit Union Place.
The introduction of “Harness Racing 101” sessions at the 2017 event proved popular and will return this year. Participants are given a crash course in the basics of harness racing such as reading a race card, and placing a bet, and then they are given the opportunity to meet the stars of the sport – the drivers and horses. The 2018 carnival, Red Shores will also host a Friday night kitchen party with where local entertainers can perform for prizes. Performers over the age of nineteen can sign up for a performance spot on the Summerside Lobster Carnival website.
The sport of harness racing has deep roots in Prince Edward Island and has held an important place in city’s history. The first Summerside Driving Park opened in 1876, east of the town in the community of Travellers Rest. It moved to its current site in 1888, the first major race attracting about 6000 people.
Since those early days, the track, renamed the Summerside Raceway in 1953, has undergone many changes in ownership, racing ovals, and buildings. The current facility is the result of major renovations that began in 2006.
The 2018 Summerside Lobster Carnival is set for July 12 to 14, with racing kicking off on July 8 and wrapping up on July 14.