BRISTOL, R.I. (WPRI) — The Bristol Fourth of July Parade won’t kick off until Monday – but Friday, Bristolians were busy getting the route ready.
Perhaps the most anticipated part of Bristol’s Fourth of July celebrations is the parade, which begins at the corner of Chestnut and Hope Streets.
Anderson Charest and his family were up early Friday morning setting up flags.
“We’re putting the flags in because it helps the community and it just makes the parade look more patriotic,” he told Eyewitness News.
The parade route is traditionally marked by patriotic paint and American flags.
“I just love the Fourth of July Parade and the flags and the fireworks – and the flags,” said Tyler Scarborough of Bristol. “And I love seeing the flags out here on the stands.”
Frances O’Donnell, parade chairwoman, said the parade is the oldest in the country.
“It is definitely the oldest continuing celebration in the country,” she said. “We have staked a claim to that and no one has refuted it.”
On Monday, 19 bands and 17 floats will make their way through the streets. Chestnut Street, Naomi Street and Sherry Avenue will all be closed to traffic beginning at 7 a.m. Hope Street with close at 8 a.m.
Organizers say if you’re planning to watch the parade, you should find your spot early.
“We tell people they can’t put their blankets and chairs out before 5 a.m.,” O’Donnell said. “There’s a few surprises maybe but I think they should come and see them so I don’t want to give too much away.”