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Lack of financial and community support scuttles Atlanticade, Summerside’s biker festival, for now



SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. — Summerside’s Atlanticade Motorbike Pageant is formally on hiatus.

The Metropolis of Summerside owns and produces the occasion, which generally runs the final weekend in July.

The competition introduced by means of its social media accounts on March 6 that the 2023 version had been postponed indefinitely, with no indication as to when or if it would return.

The choice to not deliver the competition again this 12 months comes right down to the monetary realities it confronted, mentioned JP Desrosiers, Summerside’s director of neighborhood companies.

There are a couple of related components, he added.

Essentially the most important is that it has taken longer than anticipated to get a dedication from Ribfest as as to whether it deliberate to attend once more this summer season.

Ribfest is a travelling amalgamation of cell barbeque meals trailers that has been coming to P.E.I. yearly in a single capability or one other for near a decade. For the final two years, it has joined forces with Atlanticade; the 2 occasions ran concurrently and shared the Inexperienced’s Shore occasion grounds.

Ribfest’s assist introduced some huge cash and other people to the desk. With no stable dedication for it to return, the case was not there for Atlanticade to maneuver forward this 12 months with out it, mentioned Desrosiers.

“It made sense financially to host Atlanticade in partnership with Ribfest. It actually made no sense financially to host it with out Ribfest.”

One other issue within the choice was that the province of P.E.I. lowered its funding contribution to the occasion.

“What we’re … listening to from our provincial companions at Tourism P.E.I. is that, from a funding standpoint, they really need us to steer away from giant occasions in the summertime months,” mentioned Desrosiers.

The tourism business is dealing with lots of stress throughout the peak season due to staffing shortages, inflation and growing demand, so Desrosiers mentioned there’s a common want to maneuver away from including one other massive occasion to the Island’s summer season line-up. As an alternative, the business is emphasizing constructing the shoulder seasons in Could, June, September and October.

That’s what town is doing now, he added, contemplating the potential for transferring Atlanticade to a brand new date.

“Making an attempt to drag that off now, this late within the sport, simply wasn’t within the playing cards for this summer season. So moderately than attempting to drag one thing off final minute, with out the funding we’d like, we mentioned we’d put it on maintain and form of revisit it down the highway,” Desrosiers mentioned.

Gary Myers, a lifelong biker, mentioned he’s disillusioned to see the occasion placed on maintain, however added he wasn’t stunned to listen to that it was.

Myers is the president of the native Crimson Knights Motorbike membership, whose membership consists primarily of firefighters. The membership and its members volunteered their time over the previous few editions of Atlanticade, main guided excursions amongst different duties.

Biker occasions may be lots of enjoyable in addition to massive enterprise, mentioned Myers, so it was particular to have an area competition.

“It was superior. Nice,” mentioned Myers.

“Due to the comradery. Bikers like to collect in teams, go for rides, then you may have folks from off Island as effectively and so they need to see the countryside.”

However Myers additionally mentioned there had been criticism among the many native biking neighborhood on a couple of points of Atlanticade’s group. Its location, on the often-swampy Inexperienced’s Shore occasion grounds, for one, and the tour routes being designed by non-bikers, for an additional.

“A variety of my members in my chapter will not be very blissful, they might not even return,” he mentioned.

If the occasion does come again ultimately, Myers mentioned it might be supreme for extra native bikers to take duty for its group.

Desrosiers acknowledged that getting buy-in from the native biking neighborhood, aside from the numerous contributions by a couple of teams like The Crimson Knights, was one other problem town had.

“The buy-in from the native biking neighborhood, we simply didn’t see it,” he mentioned.

However no matter that challenge, this 12 months’s occasion nonetheless would have confronted important monetary challenges.

All that being mentioned, Desrosiers mentioned town nonetheless owns the rights to Atlanticade and is open to bringing the occasion again someday sooner or later.

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