The Atlanticade Motorcycle Festival is on the move once again. Festival chairman Dale Hicks announced that the popular gathering of motorcycle enthusiasts will be held for the next few years in Summerside, P.E.I.
Dates for the 2012 event are from June 28th to July 2nd which takes in Canada Day over the first long weekend of the summer.
Next summer's festival will mark the 6th year for Atlanticade and the first time it has been held outside of New Brunswick. After spending the initial three years in Moncton the event moved to St. Andrews for 2010 and 2011. That two year stay in the small historic seaside town attracted an estimated 16,000 motorcycle enthusiasts from 10 provinces and 9 US states.
Hicks is confident similar numbers will follow the festival to Canada's smallest province. “Prince Edward Island is really focused on tourism. We have been saying from day one that this is a tourism event, motorcycle tourism, and during our discussions with representatives from the various levels of gov't they connected with that concept right away”.
Hicks feels Summerside could be the right fit for the festival. “It has about 15,000 population, a good presence of corporate and commercial businesses, and with the location right on the water it provides a very scenic backdrop for this event. The City and community leaders also have a “can-do” attitude and have always put their best foot forward in hosting a wide variety of events in the past”.
In addition the fact the initial discussions took place at the provincial level was key in making the decision to move. “Our first meetings were with the Tourism department. We wanted to be assured they would be supportive of the event. That was very important to the organizing committee”.
The Atlanticade organizing committee also likes the fact the festival will now be held as part of Canada Day celebrations. “We feel the activities on Canada Day enhance our event and in turn we can provide some excitement around the celebrations as well. So it's a win-win for everyone” stated Hicks. “It also provides an extra day for travel purposes”.
Atlanticade officials are quick to point out this event will benefit the entire Island as participants will be touring all corners of the province.
“Prince Edward Island is a great place ride a motorcycle” expressed Hicks. “There is a postcard moment every two minutes. So the scenery is great, the roads are in good shape and the hospitality of the Island is legendary. We feel the 2012 event will be our best one ever”.