The Fourth of July Parade
Bristol’s annual parade on the 4th is one of its oldest celebrations. Since its start in 1785, the parade has grown both in scope and popularity. The parade route takes place on Hope Street, the only street in the United States where the traffic lines are painted red, white and blue--year round.
The parade takes place on the morning of July 4th at 10:30 A.M., though you might arrive a few hours before and you can leave at any time. The parade takes place downtown on Hope Street, beginning at the corner of Chestnut Street and Hope Street and eventually ending on High Street.
As early as the night before, a parking ban goes into effect, and some three hours before the parade begins surrounding streets are closed off from traffic.
It is beneficial to have friends or relatives in town, and neither are hard to find in Bristol. Parking spaces can be difficult to come by unless one has a friendly driveway. There are parking lots available downtown, however they fill up rapidly and it may be walk before you find a place to sit down.
Be sure to bring your own chairs, or a towel to lie down on. Arriving early insures having somewhere to sit. Spaces on either side of Hope Street are quickly populated. You can choose to set up your seats in the morning some hours before the parade. Bristol’s Fourth of July committee sees to it that materials placed on the parade route before 5 A.M. are confiscated, but any time after that hour is fine.
Along the parade route food and non-alcoholic refreshments are available from various venues, Dells Lemonade being a crowd favorite. Although, there is nothing against you bringing your own food and drink (but alcohol is absolutely prohibited). There are also venues to by souvenirs, balloons and other festive treats. These venues can be found set up along the sidelines of the parade route, though they can be some distance from your seat.
Many of the parade’s divisions are devoted to patriotic displays and reverences both past and present, but it doesn’t pass by like a longwinded history lesson. You can expect a colorful and lively experience for both the eyes and ears. Several groups, organizations and bands from all over the country perform among the towering floats based on the various themes of the year’s parade. A blend of drum and bugle corps from all over the country march and play in this historical celebration as well as Bristol’s very own Mt. Hope high School Marching Band. Political figures as well as Elmo have been spotted walking in the parade.
Haffenraffer Museum (here I will include the Museum’s actual website, the link on the original Wiki goes to a website written completely in Japanese and has nothing to do with the museum)
The Haffenraffer Museum has been known for its historical, cultural and anthropological exhibitions of artifacts from all over the globe including the Americas and Africa.
The museum, as initially built by Rudolph F. Haffenraffer and later expanded, in Bristol has unfortunately been closed to the public. The building inadequately met fire standards as well as suffering from an outbreak of mold. The site of the museum in Bristol is being converted for storage purposes solely.
However, an exhibition from the museum’s collection can be viewed at Manning Hall on Brown University’s campus located in Providence (link to Providence).
(many present items in the article have websites, I will endeavor to provide the links editing the original post. I include initial material in parentheses)
(DeWolf Tavern, 259 Thames St., Phone: +1 401-254-2005. Reservations suggested.) [I’ll add:] Esquire Magazine lists the DeWolf Tavern as “One of the 20 New Restaurants in the US”. Offers high-end seafood dishes and presents an extensive wine list.
(Papa Joe's Wrap Shack, 567 Hope St., Phone +1 401-253-9911. Pizza and wraps. Inexpensive.) [I’ll add:] Small and limited seating arrangement.
Tentative listings (I’ll need to do some homework to give some accurate price ranges):
Bristol House of Pizza (link to their website), 55 State St., Phone: 401-253-2550. Pizza, pasta, salads, grinders, club sandwiches.
Classic Pizza, 390 Metacom Ave., Phone: 401-253-1871
Pizzawave (link to their website), 400 Metacom Ave., Phone: 401-253-8811. Pizza, pasta, steak, seafood. Located behind a Blockbuster, not necessarily visible from the road at a glance.
The Daily Scoop (link to their website), 446 Thames St., Phone: 401-253-2223. Ice cream, smoothies, desserts.
Beehive Café (link to their website), 10 Franklin St., Phone: 401-396-9994. Pastry, smoothies, coffee, tea, all food freshly baked in-house. Limited seating; balcony views.
Ricotti’s, 11 Gooding Ave., Phone: 401-253-1614. Sandwiches, pizza, broccoli pies. $5-$10
Zelia’s Diner, 20 Gooding Ave., Phone: 401-253-4041. Breakfast and lunch. $5-$10