(Photo by Rob Thorn)
What better way to celebrate the Fourth of July than by partaking in a day full of events in Newport.
On Wednesday morning at 9:30 a.m., there will be a gravesite tribute to William Ellery at the Common Burial Ground on Farewell St. Ellery was a signer of the Declaration of Independence as a representative to Rhode Island.
Following the tribute, walkers and bikers are welcome to attend a festive parade from Long Wharf to Washington Square at 9:45 a.m. (To decorate your bicycle, meet at Storer Park at 9 a.m., courtesy of Bike Newport)
At 10 a.m., sing along to patriotic music performed by the Newport Community Band in Washington Square while the little ones participate in a blueberry pie eating contest near the Oliver Hazard Perry Statue.
The Declaration of Independence will be read from the steps of the Old Colony House at 11 a.m.
As the clock hits noon, the Artillery Company of Newport, the oldest military organization in the US, will fire off a cannon salute in Washington Square. (Tell the youngsters to plug their ears – it’s a loud boom!)
At 12:30 p.m. the community is encouraged to stay in the Square to picnic. After you’ve had lunch, there will be a city-wide ringing of the Bells of Independence at 2 p.m.
The festivities will move a few blocks down the road to Queen Anne Square for a patriotic concert at 5 p.m.
From there, you’ll have a few hours to find the perfect spot to watch fireworks over Newport Harbor, which are set to go off after sundown at approximately 9 p.m. In case of rain, the firework celebration will be moved to Thursday, July 5.
Firework displays will also occur at Escobar's Farm, 133 Middle Rd., in Portsmouth at approximately 9:30 p.m. on July 4. A few days later, on Saturday, July 7, Jamestown's display will be set off at sunset from East Ferry Beach.