08/01/2012 06:26 EDT | Updated 10/01/2012 05:12 EDT

Royal St. John's Regatta off to the races

The Royal St. John's Regatta was declared a go Wednesday, setting the stage for a day of rowing and a carnival atmosphere at Quidi Vidi Lake.

The regatta is also a civic holiday, and one of a kind in Canada, as it is the only known instance where a non-elected body can declare that city workers have the day off. The decision was made early Wednesday by the committee that governs the event.

Weather conditions are favourable for rowing. Cool temperatures and light winds from the northwest are forecast for the morning, with highs reaching about 18 degrees in the afternoon.

"The big thing is the weather," Bob Clarke, the captain of the course, told CBC News, adding that the committee had a "fairly easy" decision this year.

"Hopefully it's not a rainy day and people will come down to the pond," he said, noting there was a possibility of light drizzle in the early morning hours.

While the races attract many spectators, thousands of others travel to Quidi Vidi Lake for the sights, sounds, snacks and games of chance.