Gaspee Days rings in Memorial Day Weekend with a Block Party & an Arts & Crafts Festival


In Pawtuxet Village, Memorial Day Weekend hits a little bit different. Instead of the usual backyard barbecue, it’s the height of Gaspee Days, which celebrates the burning of the HMS Gaspee by Rhode Islanders in 1772. This historical event signaled what would eventually become the Revolutionary War and in turn, the subsequent formation of the United States of America. This commemoration goes for the next few weeks until the symbolic shipburning on June 9. With this being said, the highlight before that ceremony is definitely the Block Party that’s taking place on May 24 at 6pm and the Arts & Crafts Festival that’s happening from May 25-27 with each day beginning at 10am.

Happening right next to Pawtuxet Park in front of the Aspray Boathouse, the Block Party is going to be putting on quite the extravaganza with plenty of live music. Salter’s Groove, which is a cover band led by Sean P. Rogan, who is the owner of the You Rock School of Music on 1802 Broad Street in Cranston, are going to be opening up the evening. Then Neal & The Vipers, who have performed around Rhode Island and beyond for over 30 years, are going to be headlining the night with their blend of blues, rock & roll, rockabilly, and surf music. Both acts have substantial resumes with Rogan being a founding member of the Boston ska legends Big D & The Kids Table while having a stellar solo career. Neal & The Vipers are inductees of the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame and they’ve shared the stage with the likes of B.B King, John Lee Hooker, Bonnie Raitt, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Robert Plant to name a few.

The rest of the weekend is going to be rounded out by the Arts & Crafts Festival, which is going to be happening right in the middle of the Narragansett Parkway with parts of the street being blocked off for vendors and attendees. It’s a family-friendly experience that’s bound to bring a lot of people to shop, indulge in some food, catch up with friends and enjoy more live music with The Senders performing on Saturday, both Kidd Katey and Rob Davis performing on Sunday and Davis performing once again on Monday.

“Come enjoy three days outside where shopping, eating, music and friends are all brought together in one place!”, the Gaspee Days Committee collectively states about the event. “The Gaspee Days Arts & Crafts Festival is a free, fun, and family-friendly experience that showcases over 100 fine artisans, community groups, and nonprofits where you will find one-of-a-kind arts and delicious craft fair eats. Over the course of three days, Pawtuxet Park fills with live music by our hand-picked local bands while children enjoy the many amusements available. Over 60,000 people will walk up and down Narragansett Parkway on Memorial Day Weekend, enjoying the atmosphere of this long-time tradition. If you've never been, you're missing out so come join the fun!”

For more information about the Block Party, the Arts & Crafts Festival and everything else Gaspee Days has going on, log onto


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