BRISTOL, R.I. (WPRI) — Bristol is gearing up for its biggest weekend of the year as the 237th Fourth of July Parade quickly approaches.

Hundreds of people flocked to Independence Park on Wednesday for the the 2022 Fourth of July Concert Series with headliner World Premier Band.

“It’s one of our big fan bases,” Bristol Fourth of July Committee Vice Chair Camielle Teixeira said. “People were out here at about 8 a.m. this morning putting out chairs and stuff like that.”

This is the first year since the start of the pandemic that the Fourth of July Concert Series is back at Independence Park. In 2020, there were no concerts and in 2021, the concerts were held down the street and were scaled down.

“Last year they had it at [Roger Williams University] and it just didn’t feel the same around here. It needs to be here with the restaurants and the people and the crowd,” said Scott Brackett of Warren.

The town, home of America’s oldest continuous Fourth of July Celebration, has its American pride on display year-round, but especially in the weeks leading up to the parade.

“We are America’s hometown,” Teixeira said. “Just like your family has tradition, this is our family and this is our tradition. If you walk down any street you’ll see the flag for miles.”

Teixeira said seeing the joy on people’s faces is worth the year-round work of the committee, and the joy on display in Bristol makes the nation feel a little less divided.

“There’s just so much going on in the world today, and just to have a small part of joy and to celebrate is just wonderful,” she said.

The concert series wraps up on Saturday and the parade kicks off on Monday at 10:30 a.m.