BRISTOL, R.I. (WPRI) — Bristol’s Historic Fourth of July Parade stepped off Monday morning at the corner of Chestnut and Hope Streets.
The oldest continuous celebration in the country draws thousands of people to the town every year, some driving several hours for the event.
Nineteen bands and 17 floats made their way through the streets of Bristol, marked by patriotic paint and American flags.
“Just the overall organization of it – I like the one act after the other,” said Rob Tetreault. “I like the bands that come through, and then seeing the old-style military guys walking through. A lot to be proud of.”
For many, the parade is as much about the people as it is the entertainment.
“Meeting old friends again. Meeting new people who are traveling, visiting,” said Linda Aguiar. “It’s just a lot of fun.”
For others, the event is more than just a parade.
“I love my freedom,” said Renee Leford. “I love this country, and this is one of the greatest days of the year I think.”
Back in January, the parade committee quickly reversed a move to shorten the parade route after public outcry.