From 1861 to 1870 there were no Regattas held due to political and religious strife within the country of Newfoundland. It was feared that such a gathering would instigate riot and unrest among the many peoples of the country leading to more turmoil and anger.
After the fire of 1892, there was no Regatta held because the shores of Quidi Vidi were used as temporary housing for those who lost their homes.
In 1914 the Regatta was held, but was blackened by the news that war had erupted in Europe, and that Newfoundlanders would be shipping overseas to aid in the war effort with Britain. Out of respect for those fighting in the war, no Regattas were held from 1915 to 1918. There was no event again in 1940, continuing with the theme of "No Regatta during War time". However, American, Canadian and Newfoundland military commanders believed that it would be an excellent distraction from the war and a perfect opportunity to keep their men in shape by continuing with the Regatta, and it was subsequently reinstated in 1941.
The Largest Garden Party in the World
The Regatta has been about socializing as much as it has been about amateur sport. It is widely known as "The Largest Garden Party in the World" and draws attention from all over. Concession stands, wheels of fortune, games of chance, food and fun - and sometimes too much "fun" - are just as much part of the history of the Regatta as the races. Indeed, many people hardly notice the races even taking place, as they are too involved in the merrymaking on the shores of the lake. An event of this size will cause people to create many forms of entertainment, such as the "Wheel of Chocolate", the "Greasy Pig" and the "Greasy Pole", and many, many others too numerous to mention.