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49th Annual
  Gaspee Days Parade

Ann Marie Mullen
, Chair
Collage by R. Joanne Johnson
Saturday, June 14th, 2014
Starting at 10:00 am
Narragansett Parkway, Warwick into Broad Street in Cranston and through Pawtuxet Village, RI
In June of 1772 brave colonists from Rhode Island burned the British revenue schooner, HMS Gaspee,
 in what has become recognized as the first overt action leading to the American Revolutionary War.
Since 1965 the village of Pawtuxet, RI has commemorated this act with our annual Gaspee Days Parade.
Our 2014 Gaspee Days Parade Marshal is: Earl Salisbury
Earl Salisbury
The Gaspee Days Committee is pleased to recognize Earl Salisbury of Indianapolis, Indiana, as the Grand Marshal of the 49th Gaspee Days Parade .

At a very young age Earl Salisbury had an interest in history piqued when he discovered family documents which included an application of his great aunt for the "Daughters of the American Revolution".  

Through Earl's discovery he came across information on his fourth great grandfather, Nathan Salisbury. who was cited in historical texts as a participant in the Gaspee Affair, and who was a  member of the American artillery forces stationed at Warwick Neck during the Revolutionary War.

Far out in Indiana, the Gaspee bug had bit Earl Salisbury hard.  He decorated his home with Gaspee decor and threw a party each year to commemorate. On weekends he scheduled speaking engagements portraying his ancestor Nathan Salisbury and retelling the Gaspee Affair for historical societies such as the Sons of the American Revolution, of which he was a proud member.

Before access to the Internet, Earl had been totally unaware of our celebrations taking place in Rhode Island.  We luckily connected with Earl in 1998, and he has been driving out to the Ocean State to participate in Gaspee Days ever since!

The Gaspee Days Committee is indebted to Earl Salisbury for his popularizing the story behind the Burning of the Gaspee throughout the Midwest United States.  His wit and storytelling are truly remarkable gifts.

Featured Parade Groups of 2013 included:
  • Rhode Island Highlanders Pipe Band
  • Pawtuxet Rangers
  • Boston Crusaders Drum & Bugle Corps
  • Deep River Junior Ancients Fife & Drum Corps
  • Cranston HS East Thunderbolts Marching Band
  • Uptown String Band (Mummers)
Suggestions for our Parade Viewing Audience
  • Since 1965, the Gaspee Days Committee has produced the very best community activities celebrating Rhode Island's revolutionary heritage. The Gaspee Days Parade is ALWAYS on the second Saturday of June between the hours of  10 am and 1 pm.  Parade staging/line-up considerations, however, dictate that we close to traffic certain sections of the Parade route by 9 am.  As you know, traffic jams are a nightmare at these times.  If you have guests coming to watch the Parade, or for any other reason, please have them arrive well ahead of time, say by 8 am. Of course, no one may leave until the Parade has fully passed.
  • The Gaspee Days Parade consists of 10 to 12 Divisions:
      • Division 1-State of Rhode Island
      • Division 2-Pawtuxet Village
      • Division 3-Colonial & Revolutionary War Groups 1
      • Division 4-Colonial & Revolutionary War Groups 2
      • Division 5-Colonial & Revolutionary War Groups 3
      • Division 6-Colonial, Revolutionary, 1812, & Civil War Groups
      • Division 7-Shriners & Associated Groups
      • Division 8-City of Warwick
      • Division 9-City of Cranston
      • Division 10-City of Providence
      • Division 11-Modern Groups
      • Division 12-Modern Groups, including the Mummers Groups
  • Of course, the Parade is a complex and dynamic event, so we don't know the exact order of march for all of these groups until just a few days beforehand.
  • The Gaspee Days 5K Road Race has grown into a big event that immediately precedes the Parade, starting at 9:45.  This requires the full closure of the Parade route after  9:30 am.  Please do not cross the Parkway or in any way interfere with our runners.
  • Please make the effort to control your children at all times.  We fear that children may run out into the Parkway and be injured by Parade vehicles.  Ensure that your kids understand that they must stay next to you at all times before, during, and after the Parade.  Lost children are always a potential problem in any crowded area.  If you have children with you, have a plan of what to do if you become separated from your child, and discuss this with them ahead of time. Uniformed policemen are stationed periodically along the Parade route for your assistance if necessary.
  • To ease boredom prior to the Parade bring coloring books, games, or some other such time filler.  Be aware that some adults carry coolers and cigarettes at head level to a child.  Young skin is very sensitive to the sun, so carry along sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses. If you are supervising a child, please don't drink alcohol.  Open containers of alcoholic beverages in public areas are illegal in both Warwick and Cranston.
  • Please be considerate of our environment and take the trash left around you, home with you.
  • Please do not throw objects at or into the path of our Parade participants.  Poppers can injure people if thrown into the face, and show disrespect to people who have traveled great distances to march in our Parade.  Silly string is outlawed by city ordinance, and can ruin expensive uniforms on marchers, and damage paint on vehicles. Firecrackers and sparklers are both dangerous and illegal.
  • Our biggest concern is the safety of our Parade audience. Please no not approach, or allow your children to approach, into the Parade Route any where near a moving vehicle, float, or Parade group. Drivers of these vehicles often cannot see people nearby their float or vehicle.  Musical groups need to focus on their music and march and cannot always see people around them. Military re-enactment groups often carry dangerous equipment with them.
  • Pets should be left at home.  Animals will get overexcited by the crowds and noise and may become a danger to others and themselves.
  • Please do not allow persons on bicycles, skateboards, or roller blades onto the Parade route.  They are dangerous for both our Parade participants and the audience along the sides of the Parade route.
  • If your house is situated along the Parade route, and it will be a hot and humid Parade day, we ask that you consider running a garden hose out to the Parkway for the use of overheated people.  Limit abuse of the hose by opening the tap so that only a slow stream of water comes out.  Even a small trickle of cold water can rapidly cool down an overheated person.
  • If you encounter persons suffering heat related illness, please offer the brief use of an air-conditioned car if you have one parked in your driveway.  This is one of the quickest ways to cool down a person with heat illness.  Of course, you may have to run the car with the A/C on for a few minutes before putting the person in to cool down.  This time can be used to assess the person, offer them cold water to drink, and have the hose water cool them off.  Further information on treating heat related illness can be found at:
  • Of course, it may be necessary to call 911 if there is a true medical emergency.  Inform the 911 dispatcher about the Parade and that it may be best for the rescue vehicle to approach via the side roads.
  • If your house in located along the Parade staging/line-up area on Narragansett Parkway between Warwick Avenue and Spring Green, you will of course not be able to drive your vehicle directly to or from your house between 9 am and 12 pm on the day of the Parade.  Please inform us ahead of time at 781-1772 if diesel fumes from some Parade vehicles parked outside your house would seriously affect any members of your household. For people that park nearby the Parade route, please understand that you will not be able to drive out of the area via Narragansett Parkway or Broad Street until well after the end of Parade has passed.
  • The Gaspee Days Arts & Crafts Festival has also grown over the years.  This will always be on Memorial Day Weekend, requiring the closure of Narragansett Parkway between Post Road and Canonchet Street between the hours of  9 am to 5 pm each day.  Please forewarn your visitors of the steep fines ($50) for parking illegally.  Again, help us keep a safe environment by preventing children from using bicycles, skateboard, or roller blades in the Festival area.
  • Be aware that attendance at any Gaspee Days event may involve incidental photography of  attendees, performers, and participants.
  • The Gaspee Days Committee sincerely appreciates your patience with the festivities throughout the years.  We will be celebrating our 49th year in 2014; and no Parade runs smoothly without the combination of a lot of planning, dedication, hard work, and luck.  So laugh with us, join in the fun, and help us relive America's 'First Blow for Freedom' TM
  • For further information on any Gaspee Days Event, please call us at 781-1772, or visit our website at Better yet, consider joining the Gaspee Days Committee and become a part of our great community activities.
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Parade Applications

If your group would like to consider joining us in the upcoming Parade, please submit an application or contact us for further information. Scroll down this page for Parade participation rules.  Application forms are available on-line by type of group, and both require you have the free Adobe Reader installed: Get
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2014 Gaspee Days Parade Participant Rules  (Revised 06/2013)



The Gaspee Day Committee presents the Parade on the second Saturday in June as part of its annual celebrations. The purpose of the Parade is to commemorate the burning of the HMS Gaspee in 1772, while at the same time, providing family-friendly entertainment to the public. The Parade is composed of the following groups and individuals, all of whom are invited to participate:
  I. Elected Officials
A. General Officers of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
1.  Governor
2.   Lieutenant Governor
3.   Secretary of State
4.   Attorney General
5.  General Treasurer
B. Rhode Island Senators in US Congress
C. Rhode Island Representatives in US Congress
D. City of Warwick Mayor and City Council
E. City of Cranston Mayor and City Council
F. City of Providence Mayor
G. Warwick RI State Senators and Representatives
H. Cranston RI State Senators and Representatives
II. Honored Guests (to include but not limited to):
A.  Grand Marshal
B.  Gaspee Day Committee Charter Members, Past Presidents, President, and Parade Chairman
C.  Carrier of the Rhode Island Mace
D.  Adjutant General of the Rhode Island National Guard and the 88th Army Band
E.  Rhode Island State Police, Warwick, Cranston, and Providence Color Guards
III. Colonial Fife and Drum and Militia
IV. Modern Drum and Bugle Corps and Bands
V. Floats and Fillers

The final composition of the Parade (participants and line-up) are left up to the discretion of the current Parade chairman. The Parade Chairman has the right to refuse anyone for inclusion in the Parade.

(Source: The Gaspee Daze 1998-1999 Edition, handbook of the Gaspee Days Committee, Karleen Wrath, President)


This is a rain or shine Parade. Only in extreme weather circumstances will the Parade be canceled.  In the event the Parade is canceled, an announcement will be placed on the Gaspee Phone Line:  (401) 781-1772 by 6:00 AM the morning of the Parade.  Efforts will be made to personally contact each group marching in the Parade.  Announcements will also be made on local TV channels.


Click here for Map & Directions to Gaspee Days Parade Staging/Line-Up Area (for Parade participants only)

We have parking available at several lots located convenient to the Parade staging area.  These lots are located at the John Brown Francis Elementary School, and the shopping center lot, both on Miantonomo Drive, parallel to the Parade staging area. Priority parking for cars will be at John Brown Francis Elementary School, and for buses at shopping center lot (East of Planet Fitness).  Alternate parking lots are available at Pilgrim High School, and the Pilgrim Senior Center, both on Pilgrim Parkway.  Note that there is a cut-through at the rear of the John Brown Francis Elementary School parking lot to allow easy pedestrian access directly onto the Narragansett Parkway Parade Staging Area.  Please see the accompanying map for directions and details. In general, simply follow the crowds, but you can ask specific directions from any of the Gaspee Days Committee members wearing red polo shirts.

Traffic congestion along the Parade route will be so intense just before the Parade that it becomes impossible to maneuver. Therefore, all Parade participants must park near and report to the beginning of the Parade route.  Note that the Parade Staging Area, accessed from the intersection of Warwick Avenue and Narragansett Parkway, will be closed by 830 am to all vehicles not actually appearing in the Parade. This is a safety issue which will NOT be compromised simply to let participants be dropped off nearer the start of the Parade.


We will have shuttle buses available at the Parade end to return Parade participants back to parking lots near the Parade Staging/Line-Up area. Participants will board these shuttle buses (past the end of the Parade review stand at Rhodes Place) which will depart when full.  Because of traffic, we cannot allow drivers to bring their own buses to the Parade end area until the Parade has ended sometime after 1:00 PM.


The Parade check-in and staging area is along Narragansett Parkway east of Warwick Avenue, Warwick, RI on the Saturday of the Parade. Your group is expected to be in place along the Parade route at 9:00 A.M. All floats and other vehicles must be in position no later than 9:00 AM. It is likely that units arriving late will not be able to be placed in the Parade.

In general, marching groups line up on the South side of Narragansett Parkway (even house numbers), while floats and tow vehicles line up on the North side (odd house numbers).  Support vehicles are not allowed into the Parade unless towing a float or cannon, etc.  This will be enforced.

The leader of each participating group must check in directly with the assigned Division Coordinator along the Parade staging/line-up area.  If your group is under contract, get an acknowledgment receipt from your Division Coordinator. Please bear in mind that your previously assigned division number may change.

We strive to give musical groups enough separation to play their music free from interference by other musical groups. We accomplish this by carefully planning each group's position in the Parade, and by using various non-musical filler groups or floats to provide adequate spacing.  The Parade is, however, a dynamic event that requires much last minute adjustment.


The Gaspee Days Committee is licensed by both the Cities of Warwick and Cranston to conduct the annual Gaspee Days Parade under its supervision. Upon discovery of any rule violations, the appropriate police department will be contacted to rectify the situation. The following Gaspee Days Parade Participant Rules apply to all persons or groups (including politicians) applying to participate or participating in the Gaspee Days Parade.  These rules are general, and are subject to revision by the Gaspee Days Committee and by the Parade Chairperson prior to the event.

  1. Current and future participation of any person or group in the Parade is a decision made solely by the Gaspee Days Committee, which reserves the right to exclude any such person or group not conforming to these guidelines and other considerations. 
  2. Only those individuals and groups that have been invited and accepted by the Gaspee Days Committee will be allowed to march in the Parade. 
  3. Acceptance will be based on theme, logistics, spacing, and other needs of the Gaspee Days Committee. 
  4. The position in the Parade line of march of each and every participant will be at the sole and complete discretion of the Gaspee Days Committee.
  5. All float applicants must submit the theme of their float as part of their application. 
  6. No one may use a public address system, loudspeaker, or bullhorn without specific authorization from the Gaspee Days Committee as this interferes with the Parade enjoyment by our audience.
  7. No overtly commercial, sexual, political, or religious themes are allowed during the Parade.  We will remove from the Parade any float, person, or group that violates this rule. 
  8. No signage may be displayed that is not in accordance with the patriotic theme and celebration of the Parade. Sponsors and tow vehicles may display only minimal signs on truck doors, etc., so as to not detract from the aesthetic value of the float or group. 
  9. Support vehicles other than those towing a float are not allowed to be in the Parade unless specifically authorized by the Parade Chair.
  10. No one may interfere with the progress of the Parade anywhere along the Parade route. There should never be more than 100 feet between groups (the distance between two telephone poles). Groups should perform as they are marching.  A group may not stop to perform unless the entire Parade has stopped ahead.
  11.  No Parade participant may in any way solicit funds or donations from the Parade audience.

The Safety of our Parade audience and participants are our utmost concern. Violations of Parade Safety Rules may
result in immediate expulsion from the Parade. 
  1. Each Parade participating group or person must be responsible not only for their own safety, but also for the safety of the public audience around them. Please immediately bring any unsafe or troublesome conditions to the attention of a police officer or Division Coordinator.
  2. Vehicle drivers are solely responsible for the safe operation of their vehicle.
  3. No scooters, bicycles, Segways, skateboards, wagons, or shopping carts, etc. are allowed in or along the Parade route unless specifically allowed by the Gaspee Days Committee.           
  4. No one may carry or wear stiff or firm signs as these both obstruct views and can injure members of the crowded Parade audience.
  5. No objects of any kind may be handed, thrown, sprayed or otherwise distributed from any vehicle or float or by any Parade participant.  No items are allowed to be given away to spectators, including but not limited to balloons, toys, candy, trinkets, literature, pamphlets, and buttons.
  6. Parade vehicles and floats may not be approached by persons along the Parade route, whether by a spectator or Parade participant, and whether or not the vehicle or float has stopped. The vehicle or float may not be used as a base of operations for groups or persons accompanying such vehicle or float.
  7. No dangerous acrobatic stunts, including but not limited to, gymnastic and cheerleading acrobatics, are allowed.
  8. No alcoholic beverages may be consumed by Parade participants until after they have finished their Parade route. All Parade participants are responsible for observing state and municipal laws and regulations pertaining to alcohol possession and consumption.
  9. Military reenactment groups must not fire in the immediate vicinity of horses in the Parade. All firearms must be aimed away from people, and fired only under the command of a uniformed officer. Musket charges are limited to 100 grains of black powder. Cannons may not be fired along the Parade route except by the special contingent stationed at Pawtuxet Bridge.
  10. Parade groups with animals of any kind must each provide people to perform immediate pooper-scooper duties.   This is, of course, in fairness to those who march behind you as well as for the well-being of our Parade audience.  If you do not provide this very important duty, we will be unable to allow your animals to participate in the Parade.
  11. Due to crowd safety concerns, we do not allow privately owned horses in our Parade.  Corporate or municipal horses must be insured.
  12. Participants must obey uniformed police officers and red-shirt Gaspee Coordinators at all times, including respect to spacing. 


  • Members of Colonial Units are invited to stop by the Encampment of Colonial Troops in Pawtuxet Park where impromptu jam sessions and various skirmishes may occur immediately after the Parade.   If your members still have the stamina, we also invite you to attend in Colonial the Providence WaterFire festivities at 8 pm at night following the Parade.
  • If you have not already done so, please set up a website and e-mail account for your organization so that we can contact you in the future.
  • Please e-mail all comments about your Parade experience, good or bad, to
  • Mark your calendar for next year now:  The next Gaspee Days Parade (after the upcoming one) will take place on Saturday, June 13, 2015.  We hope to see you then as well!  For further information please visit our web site at or call (401) 781-1772  
We hope to see you there!
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