Word on the Block: Celebrating Block Island, USA
As the sidewalks lined with revelers celebrating our nations’ birthday and marchers took to the parade celebrating their “favorite Block Island pastime,” The Block Island Times was walking along the sidelines asking spectators what their favorite Block Island pastime is.
As fire trucks sound, marking the beginning of the parade, Wendy McGee talks over them, and describes the island in one word: “fun.” Hailing from Cheshire, Mass., she says she has been coming here for 18 years with family and friends, and one of her favorite things to do is dress up for the parade. Certainly, her festive costume screams “fun.” She adds that she also likes to jump off bridges. “[Block Island’s] a very unique, special place,” she said. “And a big part of who we are.”
Five friends have been celebrating the patriotic feeling of the parade on island for 27 years. Kristin Denice says she loves the sunsets at night and boating. “Oh, and not getting caught in the rain,” she adds laughing. Kaela Hurd said she likes seeing friends. All five, including Kris Slocum, Susan Denice and Louisa Lee, agree their favorite is “the obvious:” the beach.
In front of the National Hotel, Jenn Alarie of North Attleboro Mass., raves about the banana ice cream at Aldo’s. “I just couldn’t stop eating it when I had my kids,” she said. She also has been coming to the parade regularly, for 12 years, and enjoys the fun with family and friends.
Just across the street by the taxis, two friends, Alex Rosario of Warwick and Will Dawson of Narragansett, said they both love the beach. Alex particularly recollects a tale of a beach fire at night, remembering how much fun he had staying in a beach house rental for the weekend. Will said he also loves parasailing.
Clapping as the American Legion walks by, Meg O’Brien can’t help but rave about the island. It’s all about “family, friends, relaxation, complete peace and beauty,” she said. “It’s a great place to take a load off… and enjoy margaritas.” She adds that she loves lobster rolls.
And as the parade wraps up, Bob Tomkiewicz of Newington, Conn. sums it all up. His favorite Block Island pastime is: “Sharing these moments with my kids, seeing the smiles on their faces, the beach, island life, the parade and biking.”