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A Fourth of July Celebration, Bristol Rhode Island Style!

Article by Eric H.

Bristol, R.I. not only has the longest continuously-running Fourth of July celebration in the country -- since 1785 -- but also one of the best-regarded in New England.

This year, Bristol will be celebrating its 230th Fourth of July Celebration birthday, making it a remarkably durable, and ultimately, fun local tradition. Bursting with spirit that does full justice to a patriotic observance and our national heritage, the Bristol Annual Fourth of July Celebration features a dazzling array of parade floats. But wait, that's not all: the parade also offers a visiting ship, Miss and Little Miss Fourth of July winners, Drum and Bugle Corps Competition, concerts and a fireworks display. A Grand Marshall and patriot speaker add a strong community element to the event, while souvenirs are available for purchase.

Of course,  just being in the Town of Bristol makes the parade all that much better. One of coastal New England's most beautiful towns, Bristol is a worthy vacation destination on its own. The tree-lined downtown is full of restaurants, independently-own
ed stores, and historic residential homes and municipal buildings.
Surrounded by Mount Hope Bay to the east and Narragansett Bay to the south and west, Bristol features seemingly endless water views. Nowhere is this more evident than the 464-acre 
Colt State Park which has  amazing views of the Narragansett Bay and is a terrific place to walk or bike (the great 14-mile East Bay Bike Path that spans to Providence). The National Trust for Historic Preservation chose Bristol, in 2009, as one of 12 2009 Distinctive Destinations offering "an authentic visitor experience by combining dynamic downtown, cultural diversity, attractive architecture, cultural landscapes and a strong commitment to historic preservation and revitalization."
To no surprise, this patriotic town features a red, white and blue median strip in the downtown district!

About a half-hour from Providence and Newport, R.I., 45 minutes to Cape Cod and a little more than an hour to Boston, Mass., Bristol makes for a perfect foundation for a New England vacation. What better time to stay here than at the Fourth of July celebration?

Editor's Note: We stongly recommend checking out the Official Bristol 4th of July Celebration Web Site for specific information on the 2015 parade (not all events fall on July 4th)

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