Bristol Fourth of July

Organizers believe Bristol has the longest running, continuous 4th of July celebration in the country. It began as what are called "patriotic exercises" in 1785. The parade likely started in the 1800’s.

This year’s Chief Marshall, State Representative Raymond Gallison, Jr., has attended the event every year since 1974. In all those years, he missed the parade just once, in 1978, the year he got married.

"We went on our honeymoon during the 4th of July parade, and I said, 'never again. We’ll never miss another parade,' and we haven’t," Gallison said.

Manuel C. Correira

The flags and bunting adorn the handsome colonials and Greek Revivals along Hope Street, the hydrangeas are blooming and a fresh stripe of red, white and blue has been painted along the July 4th parade route downtown.

The parking lot at the Lobster Pot was clogged yesterday, the Celtic music session at Aidan’s was standing-room only and Independence Park was jammed with revelers listening to a Jimmy Buffet cover band.

Hike the streets of Bristol this week. It’s an exercise in history and Old Home Week. From the concerts in Independence Park, to the taverns, markets and a Hope Street adorned with the freshly painted  red, white and blue stripe down the middle.

This old  New England port, marinated in history, is the scene this week of handshakes and hugs, as people who haven’t seen each other recently - some in many years – greet and relive the old times.

Wikimedia Commons

Once again, Rhode Islanders are making national news for the low regard we have for our tiny state. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says it’s time to stop taking Rhode Island  for granted.

The Gallup poll discovered that Rhode Island is the state least appreciated by its own residents. Just 18 percent of Rhode Islanders said our small slice of southeastern New England was the best place or one of the best places to live.

John Bender / RIPR

This morning we continue our One Square Mile/Bristol series with an in depth look at the town's famous parade. It's many things, but it's not the oldest 4th of July parade in America:

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