Pawtuxet Village celebrates 50 years of Gaspee Days

Photo: WPRI / Brian Yocono

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — The streets of Pawtuxet Village were lined with American flags Saturday for an annual tradition that continues to bring families together.

The Gaspee Days Parade is the cornerstone of the local celebration — which commemorates the 1772 burning of a British ship, the H.M.S Gaspee, by Rhode Island colonists.

When asked by her grandfather if she could named the ships involved, Katie Bootle said, “I like the ships. The Gaspee and the Hannah.”

This year, residents are celebrating Gaspee Days’ 50th anniversary.

“I used to march in the parade, I’ve been around it for many, many years,” said Brian Perry. “I love bringing my kids here now. It’s going to go on forever and ever.”

Whether it’s boats or bands — the streets Saturday were filled with sound. For those fortunate enough to have a yard along the Narragansett Parkway parade route, it’s a gathering place for friends and family.

For others — it’s a place to remember loved ones who defended American soil.

Courtesy: Gaspee Days Committee
Courtesy: Gaspee Days Committee

“My father-in-law served with the Army and he was with the Rolling Thunder… and we like to pay a tribute to him every year, whether it’s Memorial Day or Veteran’s Day. It’s just a special day to us,” said William Dallarie.

The organizing committee says their mission is not only to commemorate the Gaspee affair — but also to honor it’s role leading up to the Revolutionary War.

“Gaspee is my tradition. It’s part of where I grew up, it’s part of my culture. It’s what we do here,” said Perry.

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