By ALEX MALM
Two years ago, Gaspee Days events were canceled because of the pandemic. Now, the Gaspee Days Committee is prepared for one of the crowning events of the 250th anniversary of …
By ALEX MALM
Two years ago, Gaspee Days events were canceled because of the pandemic. Now, the Gaspee Days Committee is prepared for one of the crowning events of the 250th anniversary of the burning of the Gaspee – the parade this Saturday stepping off from Narragansett Parkway and Spring Green Road in Warwick at 10 a.m. From there, the parade winds down the parkway and across the bridge in Pawtuxet to end at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet.
There’s more to come to this year’s celebration before the signature end of festivities with the burning of the Gaspee Sunday at 3 p.m. Also on Sunday is the blessing of the fleet at Rhode Island Yacht Club as well as the colonial encampment to be held Saturday and Sunday in the park. The burning in Pawtuxet Cove is best viewed from the park.
This year, parade chair Tina Bingham said the event will be “traditional” with a total of 17 drum and fife and militia groups. She’s excited for that.
But there’s a disappointment. One of the longest standing groups to participate in the parade, the Mummers that traditionally are the last group, won’t be able to attend this year.
Bingham said that the group was accepted in the beginning of February, however, in April they were told that due to the cost of gas and other issues they wouldn’t be able to come.
“What do you need to make this happen money wise,” Bingham said that the Gaspee Days Committee asked the group.
Bingham said that it was then determined that despite best efforts the group wouldn’t be able to attend this year because they didn’t have enough people in the group.
“It broke my heart and there's nothing we can do,” said Bingham.
Bingham said that the committee was able to find a new band to end the parade.
“I’m thrilled to have them,” said Bingham.
Bingham said that this year the parade is going to go back to its colonial roots.
“We’re going the more traditional route this year,” said Bingham.
Some of the groups that will be marching include the Sons of the American Revolution, the Daughters of the American Revolution, along with antique firetrucks to name a few.
The Hallamore Clydesdales that haven’t been in the parade for about a decade will be back.
Bingham said that she has heard from a number of candidates that have expressed interest in marching in the parade.
However, Bingham explained that politicians invited to march in the parade each year is limited to specific elected officials including the five general officers, both congressmen, the two senators, the mayor and city council from both Warwick and Cranston and the state representatives and senators who represent the Warwick and Cranston area.
Bingham said that if state office holders are running for other positions then they can’t control that. This year all general officers are running for either re-election or for different seats.
The first six divisions will be the politicians and all the colonial groups, seven are the Shriners, eight is Warwick, Nine is Cranston and the tenth division is the modern or Providence division. Warwick schools will be the only schools that have bands since Cranston is graduating the day of the parade.
Bingham was excited when she found out that the committee wanted her to run the parade.
“I was very honored to be asked to run the parade,” she said.
In terms of weather Bingham said on Wednesday that she is hopeful that any rain in the forecast will hold off until after the parade.
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