While both Old Home Week and the Summerside Lobster Carnival have been cancelled due to physical distancing requirements imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, harness racing at both Red Shores tracks is slated to go ahead without fans in the stands.
The closures were part of an announcement from the PEI Association of Exhibitions that all of its 12 member celebrations would sit out the 2020 session. They join a long list of tourism related events cancelling for the summer, including the Charlottetown Festival and the Cavendish Beach Music Festival.
Red Shores at Charlottetown is slated to resume action in early June, with fans betting virtually. Lee Drake, who is the manager of marketing and brands for Red Shores in the both Island locations, said that will be the case for the major week of racing at both tracks.
The Summerside track will hold its major week of racing July 5th to July 11th highlighted by the running of the Governor's Plate. Similarly, the action will proceed August 13 to 22 at the capital oval featuring the 2020 version of the Gold Cup and Saucer.
Both major races generally attract horses from the Maritimes and beyond. However, Drake said there is a good possibility many of those competitors will be unable to come to the province since travel interprovincially is restricted for non-essential travellers.
"Red Shores, along with harness racing industry officials, continue to meet on the status of the 2020 harness racing calendar and will provide further updates going forward," Drake said.