Block Island Fourth of July celebrations back to “normal”
There’s excitement in the air as Block Island gets ready to celebrate the Fourth of July this year. Presented by the Double Ender Committee and supported by donations large and small, the island events were the brainchild of Edie Blane, years ago when she said to the Town Council: “We should do something fun” for the holiday. The Block Island parade was born in 1986.
And so it is that little Block Island has one of the most quirky, fun, and yet still traditional Fourth of July Celebrations.
Town has been decorated with most hotels and businesses flying flags and swags in red, white and blue, and almost each and every flagpole along the parade route (and more) has been adorned by the staff of the Block Island Power Company with a flag, for the second year in a row.
The annual fireworks display scheduled
for the evening of Friday, July 1 has been postponed to Labor Day Weekend. This year the fireworks were to be launched froma barge. Unfortunately, due to high winds being forecast the barge is not allowed to operate.
On Monday the annual parade will set off from the Boat Basin in New Harbor at 11:00 a.m. With the island fire trucks leading the way, the parade will turn from West Side Road onto Ocean Avenue and head up the hill towards the police and fire stations, then keep on going into town and ending near the Statue of Rebecca.
This year’s parade theme is “Celebrate Block Island,” and it’s always fun to see what participants come up with. Of course, there will be the traditional marching, and fife and drum bands, bag-pipers, and rock ‘n roll groups on floats. Everything from kilts to
There will be lots of costumes, clowns, rollerbladers, and perhaps someone on stilts or a unicycle.
There will be the traditional vintage and antique cars, decorated to fit the theme, and always a special 1950s or 1960s convertible sedan with the year’s grand marshal. This year, practicing her royal wave, the grand marshal will be Martha Ball.
One of the things that makes the parade so special is that anyone can participate. There’s no application or entry fee. Just show up at the Oar with your “float” around 10:30 a.m. on the morning of the parade and prepare to march. Or rollerblade.