Until I moved to Rhode Island, I had never heard of Gaspee. I didn’t know who or what it was, and I love learning about history. This must have been included in our American History book somewhere, but probably only about a chapter or two. After living in Rhode Island for three years, I definitely now know what the Gaspee is and why it was important in American history. The Gaspee was a Bristish customs ship (schooner) that had been enforcing unpopular trade regulations in 1772. It ran aground in Warwick, Rhode Island (area now known as Gaspee Point) as it was chasing the packet boat Hannah. A group of Providence members of the Sons of Liberty, boarded, attacked, looted, and torched the ship. This was the first significant event that lead up to the American Revolution.
Rhode Islanders celebrate this event every year, and it is a weekend long celebration! They have fireworks, 5-K runs, dinners, a parade, and of course the annual burning of a ship representing the Gaspee at the end of each Gaspee Days celebration weekend. The Gaspee incident happened June 9, 1772, so the events are always held around the June 9th weekend. This past weekend (even in the rain), we decided to attend the Gaspee Days Parade since we had never been. It was a fabulous event, and even with the cold, rainy weather, many people came out to see it and participate in it! I think going to this parade will become a yearly event for my family! My son is excited to go back next year to see the burning of the Gaspee (since we missed that event this year)! Here are some pictures of the parade, and you can see many people came from Connecticut and Massachusetts to celebrate the event as well. We even got to see Governor Lincoln Chafee and Miss Rhode Island in the parade!
My kids and I had a fun and educational time at the Gaspee Days Parade! I love learning about local historical events! Check out what fun and historical/educational events you have close to you! It’s always great to give kids the opportunity to learn, especially while they are having fun. Please post ideas here! Our family loves to travel and see new things. Let us know what your area has to offer!