Spectators flock to Warwick for annual Gaspee Days Parade

The Gaspee Days parade commemorates the June 1772 burning of the British schooner H.M.S. Gaspee, which was the first act of the Revolutionary War.

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Saturday marked Pawtuxet Village’s 52nd Annual Gaspee Days Parade.

The parade marched two miles from Warwick to Cranston on the Narragansett Parkway.

It commemorates the June 1772 burning of the British schooner H.M.S. Gaspee, after the vessel ran aground in the Narragansett Bay.

This was the first overt act of the Revolutionary War.

Many people march in the parade to commemorate this day in history, and the victory it meant for Rhode Island patriots.

“I think it’s wonderful because it brings people together, the patriotism is wonderful and I think the education for the younger children so they can learn about it, I think that’s marvelous,” said Andrea Casimiro, of Cranston.

The parade has been a beloved tradition in the community for more than five decades — drawing spectators of all ages.

“It’s huge! You have all kinds of people like police, army, all of that,” said seven-year-old Jacob Beagan, of West Warwick.

Many spectators, like Graham Mann, make it a point to attend every year.

“50 years I’ve been watching this,” said Mann. “From the first days it’s like night and day. The folks really put a lot of work into it.”

Each year as part of the celebration, a replica H.M.S Gaspee schooner is burned in Pawtuxet Park.