Um, hi! So, I've been M.I.A. for a while... but I'm back! I mentioned in my last post that wedding season is officially upon us here in the Smith household. It's been so fun so far, but I've had no time at all to work on my blog! I'm determined to stick to it though, and I'm trying to get back to posting every Sunday again. So, here we go!
This week I wanted to write a little bit about one of my absolute favorite Rhode Island pastimes - Gaspee Days! I live in Warwick, RI in the cute little neighborhood of Gaspee Plateau, down the street from Pawtuxet Village. Every year from May to June, our neighborhood hosts a number of fun events including a colonial encampment, fireworks, and a parade! It's great, family-friendly fun, and I'm just obsessed.
The first time I ever stepped foot in this neighborhood was to see my husband march in the parade. I parked my car on Narragansett Boulevard right along the water, and couldn't believe how gorgeous the area was. Every single house is unique and adorable (there are so many historic homes!) and Broad Street is packed with great little restaurants and businesses. I just knew right away I had to live here. A few years later when it came time for us to buy a house, we both knew this was the place to be!
There are about 12 different events that take place here between May and June to commemorate the burning of the HMS Gaspee, a British customs schooner that had been enforcing the Navigation Acts in and around Newport, RI.
According to the Gaspee Days website, "In June of 1772 brave colonists from Rhode Island burned the British revenue schooner, HMS Gaspee, during what has become recognized as the first bloodshed of the American Revolution." Our very own Rhode Islanders met and planned their attack on the British right here in Pawtuxet Village. How cool is that!
Here we are, over 200 years later, still celebrating this inspiring event. My favorite parts of this multi-part event are the Arts & Crafts Festival, the fireworks, and the parade!
This year we caught the Arts & Crafts Festival on a very rainy day, but it meant the crowds were light so it was awesome! Narragansett Parkway is closed off for three straight days, and the streets are lined by hundreds of local vendors selling one of a kind goods. You'll also find a wide variety of tasty food (we love the corn dogs!) and live music every day in the park.
The following weekend was the Symphony in the Park, featuring the Warwick Symphony Orchestra. This is a fun, family friendly event early in the evening. Grab an ice cream from Dear Hearts and a seat in the park and enjoy the show! Right after the symphony, the fireworks begin. The fireworks are launched over the water from Salter's Grove, and last about a half an hour. This year we had the luxury of viewing the fireworks from our very own front porch! They seemed like they were higher than usual!
This is the grand finale weekend of Gaspee Days, and yesterday morning we enjoyed the parade. People come from near and far to watch this parade, which stretches 2 miles down Narraganset Parkway and features all kinds of marching bands, fife & drum bands, police and fire departments, and more! We had spectacular weather this year, and it was just such a good-old-fashioned American weekend. I love this neighborhood!
The best part of all these events? They are FREE! There is plenty of parking on the streets of Warwick and Cranston, and so much for your whole family to do and see. If you live in the Rhode Island area and ever find yourself looking for something to do between May and June, I highly recommend you come on down to Warwick, RI to experience Gaspee Days for yourself!