The Block Island Times

Costumes, floats and a sea of red, white and blue

This year’s 4th of July parade was memorable
By Olivia Simon | Jul 15, 2013
Photo by: Malcolm Greenaway Grand Marshal Connie LaRue.

On the morning of July 4, my family and I arrived at Froozies around 9:30 a.m. to order breakfast and grab seats on the deck before the chaos of the parade began. However, as we looked around, people were already starting to gather on the streets, even an hour and a half before the scheduled start time of the parade. Inching closer and closer to 11 a.m., the streets were soon packed with people — locals, summer residents, and tourists — waiting impatiently for the celebrated Block Island Fourth of July parade to begin. Ferries rolled in to the harbor, unloading crowds of people onto the shore. Everyone found a spot on the sidewalks, people lining the streets, as the familiar sound of the fire truck siren sounded, signaling the commencement of the parade.

All of the people who had taken over Main Street were dressed in red, white, and blue. Many also wore accessories, such as extravagant hats, sunglasses, and necklaces, representing the excitement that had wrapped itself around the island. The energy that buzzed through the streets, as both children and adults awaited the arrival of the first float, was an unforgettable feeling.

The beginning of the parade was a very patriotic and moving moment of the day. Veterans and soldiers marched down the streets, halting in front of the Surf Hotel, where the American flag was raised and the marching band played the National Anthem. As the soldiers walked on, cheers erupted from the crowd.

The theme this year was ‘The Wonderful World of Disney,’ a perfect theme for a lively parade, which offered many choices for those who created floats. Every year, various organizations on the island, as well as families and friends, create their own floats to fit the theme of the parade. As the parade continued, the crowd observed the many great ideas for the floats, based on well-loved Disney movies, such as “Peter Pan.” “The Little Mermaid,” “Brave,” and “The Lion King.” One family made their own float based on the TV show, “The Mickey Mouse Club,” which turned out to be the Grand Prize winner for the day.

The Skowronski family, which created the float, wore T-shirts with original cast names printed on them, and sang the theme song to the show while walking behind their float: a car sporting Mickey Mouse ears and a banner with the title of the show. There were a few Peter Pan floats, people dressed up as Peter, Wendy, the pirates, and even the Indians. Every single float that took part in the parade was designed with an enormous amount of creativity and hard work from all who participated, and though many of the ideas were very ambitious, they were all executed well and were turned into a reality on the day of the parade.

The fireworks, scheduled for July 3, were postponed until July 5, which was clear and bright until later in the day when the sky began to darken and the fog began to roll in again. From certain angles, the fireworks were fighting through the fog, while other areas had a clear view. The spectacle ended in a finale of red, white, and blue — America’s colors bursting in the air.

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