A celebration of the 1772 attack on the H.M.S. Gaspee in the waters just off the village of Pawtuxet — hailed as one of the first acts of resistance leading to the American Revolution in 1776 — the annual Gaspee Days parade is full of musketry and cannon fire: the former from the many militia groups that dominate the march, the latter from the Artillery Company of Newport, which fired at intervals from atop the Pawtuxet River bridge.
Shriners, mummers, fire trucks, bagpipers and marching bands also took part in the parade, which followed a 5K road race — a 50-year tradition itself — and precedes the ceremonial burning of the Gaspee, a British customs schooner hated by colonists for the practice of chasing down Rhode Island ships to collect taxes. After the Gaspee ran aground on June 9, 1772, locals boarded and burned her, and it’s been a party ever since.
Here are some more Gaspee Days parade photos to enjoy!