Historic Pawtuxet Rangers returning to Bristol parade

The militia was chartered in 1774 to protect Pawtuxet Village from the British, and will be marching once again in Bristol after a year off during the pandemic.

By: Tim Studebaker

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PAWTUXET VILLAGE, R.I. (WLNE) – Tucked away on a quiet street corner in Pawtuxet Village stands a relic from the past where history lives on.  The Armory, on the corner of Remington Street and Bank Street in Warwick, is home to the Pawtuxet Rangers, a militia chartered in 1774 to protect Pawtuxet Village from the British.

Colonel Ron Barnes is the commanding officer for the Pawtuxet Rangers.  Barnes says, “The British were starting to make incursions up Narragansett Bay, so the village thought it needed to have its own military unit to keep the safety of the village.”

The Pawtuxet Rangers, as they exist today, were reorganized just before the nation’s bicentennial in the 1970s.  Now, they share their history with the community, participate in battle reenactments, and march in patriotic parades in full uniform.

Barnes says, “We have a color guard that performs ceremonial duties and carries the flags at the head of the parade.  We have a fife and drum corps that’s made up of really talented people that play instruments dating back to the colonial times of fife and a rope tension drum.  We have militia men that actually fire the muskets during the parades and reenactments.  And we have people that portray civilians from that time.”

And as the nation, and Bristol, get ready to celebrate Independence Day this year, the Pawtuxet Rangers will once again march in the parade, happy to return after a one year break during the pandemic.

Barnes says, “It’s great to see the military people in it.  It’s great to see the floats.  But, the colonial units are the basis of independence and that meaning of the parade.”

To learn more about the Pawtuxet Rangers, visit their website here: https://www.pawtuxetrangers.com/

And make sure to look for them at the Bristol 4th of July parade.  You can watch the parade live on ABC6 Monday, July 5th.  Coverage begins at 10am.

© WLNE-TV / ABC6 2021

Categories: Bristol 4th of July