'I feel lighter today': Old Home Week to go ahead in 2017

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'I feel lighter today': Old Home Week to go ahead in 2017

'I feel lighter today': Old Home Week to go ahead in 2017

Old Home Week will go ahead this year, according to the event's general manager.

Sandra Hodder-Acorn says the Old Home Week board voted Monday night to lift its suspension of the event, after reaching a deal with Red Shores Racetrack and Casino on the use of its parking lot. 

"I feel lighter today," Hodder-Acorn said.

"I'm tired, as I'm sure everyone is, but I'm excited to start planning for 2017, and I look forward to being able to work with the rest of the partners to put on a very successful Old Home Week."

The board voted last Wednesday to suspend this year's event, unless Red Shores offered a guarantee that its entire parking lot would be reserved for the Old Home Week midway next year and beyond.

Old Home Week won't have access to 15 per cent of the parking lot this year, as it's already being used for an event.

Hodder-Acorn said Red Shores presented the parking guarantee in writing on Friday, but the board didn't get a chance to vote on it until Monday.

"We operate by a board of directors, who are all volunteers," she said.

"Some of our board of directors were on the water fishing and the land farming. So in order to get everyone together in one spot can take a couple of days."

The general manager says the agreement with Red Shores is renewable for four years.

Agreement 'difficult' for Red Shores 

Red Shores' managing director Michael MacKinnon acknowledges his corporation was hesitant to make that big a commitment with its parking lot. 

"We always want the opportunity to use our assets as we see fit. So guaranteeing something for perpetual use was difficult for us," said MacKinnon. "But I can see all sides of this. So I think we finally got to a place we needed to get."

MacKinnon says the threat of Old Home Week not going ahead this year motivated Red Shores to agree to the board's terms. 

"It's the event in Charlottetown in the summer," said MacKinnon. "It's too important to sit back and let something negative happen. So we forged ahead, and got something completed in quick fashion."

Both sides says the focus now turns to organizing this year's exhibition. 

"I'm sure there will be some tension [following the disagreement], said Hodder-Acorn. "I'm hoping we can all work together collectively to put on this event. We all have important roles when it comes to putting on Old Home Week, so, hopefully we can pull together and work as a group."

Old Home Week runs August 10-19 in 2017.

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