6 Reasons Why RI Fourth of July is the Best

In honor of the long weekend, here are six reasons why Rhode Island should declare its own independence, separate from the union, and take over Massachusetts.

Just kidding. But here are six reasons why Independence Day in the Ocean State is “wicked awesome”.

1. We celebrated it first…

Fun fact: Rhode Island was the first state to renounce its allegiance to Britain. By an act of the legislative assembly, Rhode Island declared its independence on May 4th, 1776, a full two months before the national holiday. So, not to be the “we were doing it before it was cool” state, but we totally were.

2. …maybe because we started the problem.

Many people argue that the Boston Massacre or Lexington and Concord kicked off the Revolutionary War, but Rhode Islanders know better. The Gaspee Affair – the burning of a British ship on June 10th, 1772 – is the real starting point for some historians. It was the burning of the Gaspee that led to the first Committees of Correspondence being formed, which led to the Continental Congress, which led to the Declaration of Independence. Which was two months behind Rhode Island. Some people!

“The Destruction of the Gaspee” by W.C. Jackson, 1888

3. The Bristol Parade

If our history isn’t enough, we’ve also got the oldest continuous July 4th parade to show for our pride in independence. For the last 232 years, Bristol has been partying it up, Rhode Island style.

4. Fireworks everywhere.

But if you can’t make it all the way down to Bristol, the odds are pretty good that you’ll be able to find some fireworks within 15 minutes of your house. You can find the Providence Journal’s list of fireworks celebrations for 2017 at the bottom of this article.


5. The Cumberland Road Race

Being a Cumberland native, I had to throw this one in. And honestly, it’s not watching the race that is exciting for me. Most years, it’s just comforting to know that it’s a tradition, and that while you’ve woken up 8:00 to leave your house for 10:00 to get seats near the fire station at 10:30 for the parade, there’s someone who did that whole routine 2 hours before you, and ran 4 miles.

(This year, I’m personally excited because I’ll be running it for the first time!)

And, last but not least…

6. Del’s Lemonade.

How can you beat it!


So, that’s it! Six reasons why Rhode Island takes the cake when it comes to July 4th. Did we leave something out? Leave a comment below with your favorite RI Fourth of July tradition!

Here’s the Providence Journal’s list of 2017 fireworks events: http://www.providencejournal.com/news/20170629/fireworks-displays-in-ri-and-nearby-mass