Bristol is decked out and making final preparations for the 227th Fourth of July Celebration, just two days away — are you ready for the fun?
The Bristol 4th of July Committee will welcome bands and drum corps from around the country. Chief Marshal Antonio (Tony) Teixeira will lead the marchers and floats throughout the route.
Parade-goers will also have the honor this year of , who is expected to participate in this year's ceremonies.
How to get there from Johnston:
Take Rt. 6 East into Providence, then I-95 South to I-195 East (the I-Way). Take Exit 7 to Rt. 114 (Wampanoag Trail), and continue for about 10 miles to reach Bristol.
Alternate Route: Take I-195 to Exit 2 (Rt. 136 South) and follow Rt. 136 for about 10 miles.
Where to park:
Various surrounding streets will be closed off beginning at 8 a.m., including Poppasquash Road. Chestnut Street, Naomi Street and Sherry Avenue will be closed to traffic at 7 a.m.
A parking ban along the parade route goes into effect the night before the parade.
Parking is basically anywhere you can find it. Large lots are open to the public at the corner of Hope and Gooding. Avoid Mt. Hope High School, as the parade forms there and participants will be parking there.
If you are parking on residential streets, be sure to avoid blocking driveways. Police will ticket.
When and where to watch:
The Fourth of July Parade is set to begin at 10:30 am on Wednesday, July 4. Marchers will step-off at the corner of Chestnut Street and Hope Street (Rt. 114) and conclude on High Street, between State Street and Bradford Street.
Hope Street (Rt. 114) will be closed off beginning at 8 a.m., including Poppasquash Road.
Can't make it to the parade in person? You can still watch the parade on TV — ABC-6 is scheduled to provide a live broadcast.
What to bring:
The committee recommends parade viewers bring cold drinks, hats and sunscreen. Try to sit in shady areas, which can be the best protection against sun and heat.
You have to get there early to get the best spots, so don't forget games and books to occupy the little ones before the parade begins.
You should also bring blankets or chairs to sit on. Blankets and chairs may not be set up along the parade route before 5 am, and any materials set up before 5 will be confiscated.
Overnight camping is prohibited. Areas along the parade route may not be roped off, taped off or blocked any way with any object.
A viewing section for people with disabilities will be set up at the corner of Hope and Court Streets, across from the Harriet Bradford Motor Inn. Handicap parking will be available across from the Town Hall on Court Street.
Bleacher seats across from the Reviewing Stand will be available to the public on a first-come, first-served basis.
First Aid will be available from emergency medical crews stationed along the parade route.
What not to bring
Organizers ask participants to leave the pets at home.
You should also keep the beer-filled cooler at home. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited.
Fireworks, Silly String, "Poppers," streamers, waterguns and projectiles of any kind are prohibited.
Bicycles, skateboards and in-line skates (roller blades) are prohibited along the parade route during the parade. Anyone using any such transportation must walk along the parade route with bicycles, skateboards and in-line skates at their side.
Soliciting along the parade route is also illegal unless a license has been obtained from the Fourth of July Committee.
Additional Fourth of July events
Many other patriotic events are happening this July 3 and 4 as part of the 227th celebration.
On July 3, a patriotic concert will take place at 6:30 pm at Indepence Park. At 9:30 pm, fireworks will light up the skies above Bristol Harbor.
The 2012 visiting U.S. Naval ship, the USS Carter Hall (LSD-50), will also arrive into the harbor on July 2. Families will be allowed to visit the ship from July 3 to 5.
For more information about these, Fourth of July contests and other events happening this holiday week, visit the Bristol Fourth of July Parade Web site here.
And don't forget to wear your red, white and blue on parade day!