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The Royal St John's Regatta (Regatta Day) in Canada

The first Wednesday of August is Regatta Day, a local holiday in Newfoundland and Labrador, also known as “The Largest Garden Party in the World”.

Street with colorful houses near the ocean in St. Johns, Newfoundland, Canada
Street with colorful houses near the ocean in St. Johns, Newfoundland, Canada
The town of St. John's hosts the oldest organized sporting event in North America.
©bigstockphoto.com/elenathewise

What Do People Do?

Large crowds of up to 50,000 people gather on the first Wednesday of August, weather and wind conditions permitting, to watch the Royal St. John’s Regatta.

The rowing race by Quidi Vidi Lake in St. John’s in the easternmost Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador is the oldest organized sporting event in North America.

Long and Proud History

The regatta has been part of Newfoundland history for nearly 200 years. The oldest record of an organized race dates back to 1816, but rowing matches among ships' crews in St. John’s harbor were common even earlier, in the 1700’s.

Also known as “The Largest Garden Party in the World,” Regatta Day is just as much about the social events on the shores, as it is about the rowers on the water.

Close Royal Ties

The Royal St John's Regatta has close ties to the British monarchy. In 1860, Prince Albert Edward (later King Edward) visited the race. In 1978, the date of the regatta was moved to July in order to welcome Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip who were visiting the region.

Any year a coronation has taken place or a milestone–such as the Queens Diamond Jubilee–is celebrated, the regatta has been held in honor of the monarch. The Royal designation was incorporated in 1993, which prompted changes in the event and the development of a new crest.

The regatta has been canceled due to the death of a British monarch. It has also been canceled in sympathy, for instance during World War II from 1940 to 1945.

Businesses Open or Closed?

Regatta Day is a local holiday in Newfoundland and Labrador. Some businesses may be closed, while others may have unusual opening hours due to the regatta.

The Royal St John's Regatta (Regatta Day) Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday TypeWhere it is a statutory holiday
WedAug 42010The Royal St John's Regatta (Regatta Day)Local holidayNewfoundland and Labrador
WedAug 32011The Royal St John's Regatta (Regatta Day)Local holidayNewfoundland and Labrador
WedAug 12012The Royal St John's Regatta (Regatta Day)Local holidayNewfoundland and Labrador
WedAug 72013The Royal St John's Regatta (Regatta Day)Local holidayNewfoundland and Labrador
WedAug 62014The Royal St John's Regatta (Regatta Day)Local holidayNewfoundland and Labrador
WedAug 52015The Royal St John's Regatta (Regatta Day)Local holidayNewfoundland and Labrador
WedAug 32016The Royal St John's Regatta (Regatta Day)Local holidayNewfoundland and Labrador
WedAug 22017The Royal St John's Regatta (Regatta Day)Local holidayNewfoundland and Labrador
WedAug 12018The Royal St John's Regatta (Regatta Day)Local holidayNewfoundland and Labrador
WedAug 72019The Royal St John's Regatta (Regatta Day)Local holidayNewfoundland and Labrador
WedAug 52020The Royal St John's Regatta (Regatta Day)Local holidayNewfoundland and Labrador

Quick Facts

Regatta Day is on the first Wednesday of August and it is a local holiday in the Canadian province Newfoundland and Labrador.

The Royal St John's Regatta (Regatta Day) 2018

Wednesday, August 1, 2018 (local in Newfoundland and Labrador)

The Royal St John's Regatta (Regatta Day) 2019

Wednesday, August 7, 2019 (local in Newfoundland and Labrador)

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Name in other languages

NameLanguage
The Royal St John's Regatta (Regatta Day)English
Jour des Régates (Saint-Jean)French
The Royal St John's Regatta (St John's)German

List of dates for other years

Other holidays in August 2018 in Canada

Fun Holiday on August 1, 2018

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