Gaspee Days Parade marches through Warwick for the 54th year

By: Amanda Pitts 

alpitts@abc6.com

@APittsABC6

WARWICK, R.I. (WLNE) – For many, Saturday was the official kickoff to summer in Rhode Island, as hundreds watched the Gaspee Days Parade come through Warwick.

The two-mile parade on Narragansett Parkway began in 1965 to commemorate the burning of the British revenue schooner, HMS Gaspee, by Rhode Island patriots in 1772. It’s recognized as the first bloodshed of the American Revolution.

“The burning of the Gaspee, and how important this area is, for us to just celebrate how lucky we are,” said Gerri Lewis of Warwick.

Gerri Lewis of Warwick has been attending the parade for most of her life.

“I’ve lived in Warwick my whole life, I teach in Warwick, and I’ve been coming for… I won’t say how many years… let’s say over 50!”

She’s not alone. Locals started setting up their chairs on the route days in advance, and it’s no surprise. Hundreds attend because it’s not your average parade. It brings colonial time into present time.

“It was the start of our independence and all the freedoms we have today. We can’t forget that,” said Karen Forbes of North Kingstown.

For more information on the parade, click here.

© WLNE-TV 2019