Bristol Holds Its 228th Independence Day Celebration

Jul 4, 2013

People came from far and wide to see the Bristol Parade today, as part of the town’s 228th Fourth of July celebration, but the event holds a special place in the hearts of Bristol natives.

Thousands showed up to the Bristol parade, as part of the town's 228th annual Fourth of July Celebration.
Credit John Bender / RIPR

While walking through the crowd of thousands in downtown Bristol today, you could to run into people from across the country, and even across the globe.

One man had come all the way from Abu Dubai, to watch his son march in the parade.

But however international the crowd, there was no short supply of Bristol Natives.  And despite the fact that the celebration has been around for 228 years, they’re still excited said local Pearl Bettencourt.

“It’s just tradition, it’s like Christmas.  You know, everyone celebrates Christmas? In Bristol Fourth of July is Like Christmas," said Bettencourt.

One Bristol woman has been coming to the parade for the last 85 years, when asked what brought her back each year, she said simply because it’s home.

This Fourth of July was a scorcher, but  that didn’t stop most people from getting out to see the parade in Bristol, part of the nation’s oldest Independence Day Celebration.

As humidity levels rose, and temperatures hit the 90’s, tens of thousands gathered for Bristol for the Parade, as part of the town 228th consecutive July Fourth celebration.

People were cooling off with fans, Del’s Lemonades, and one man was spraying parade marchers down with a garden hose.

Even Jennifer Smith, who came from Arizona to watch the parade, was having a tough time with the weather.

“I don’t l like it because we have dry heat in Arizona.”  “There's someone hosing people off over there."
  "Good! Is he coming over here?" asked Smith.

And as hot as the crowds watching were, two people marching in the parade dressed in head to toe bear costumes may have had it the worst.