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Gaspee Days 2018

May 2018 | A Special Supplement from Beacon Communications

View this section online @ www.rhodybeat.com


Gaspee Days • May 2018 • 

Celebrate

Gaspee Days

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Arts & Crafts Festival May 26, 27 & 28

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Narragansett Parkway, Warwick

Gaspee Block Party

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6:00 – 11:00 PM Aspray Boat House, Pawtuxet Park, Warwick Entry Fee: $5.00 (Proof of Age Required)

Fireworks

Saturday, June 2nd with the

53

rd

Gaspee Days

CELEBRATIONS

53rd Annual Parade JUNE 9 • 10 AM

2018 Calendar of Events SATURDAY, JUNE 2, 2018 FIREWORKS & CONCERT Start the evening with “Junkfood Buffet” playing some favorites from 5-6:30PM 7PM - Warwick Symphoney Orchestra Bring a chair and picnic to Pawtuxet Park Fireworks at Dusk at Salters Grove Park. Sponsored by Warwick Tourism, Culture & Development Rain Date: June 3

SATURDAY & SUNDAY, JUNE 9-10, 2018 COLONIAL ENCAMPMENT Pawtuxet Village gives visitors the opportunity to get a feel for colonial military life. Hosted by Pawtuxet Rangers, R.I.M. SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2018

PAWTUXET PARK

Courtesy of

Gaspee 5K Foot Race

Register at Gaspee.com

 • May 2018 • Gaspee Days

FEATURING

ECUMENICAL SERVICE 8 am at Trinity Episcopal Church 139 Ocean Ave., Cranston A non-denominational service, Music by the West Bay Chorus. 5K FOOT RACE Starts at 9:30 am on Broad St. Cranston to Narragansett Parkway To register go to www.gaspee.com Hosted in memory of Allan & Edna Brown

SUNDAY, JUNE 10, 2018 SUNDAY IN THE PARK 12:30pm to 4:00pm Pawtuxet Park Live Music by The Hit Men – 12:30 to 3:30pm GASPEE DAYS RAFFLE Take a chance on some great prizes while helping to defray the cost of the Gaspee Days celebrations. BURNING OF THE HMS GASPEE 4:00 pm on the waters of Pawtuxet Cove. Closing the Gaspee Days celebration with the symbolic burning of the H.M.S. Gaspee Get your Gaspee Days gear and souvenirs at most Gaspee Days events!

53rd ANNUAL GASPEE DAYS PARADE 10:00 am at Narragansett Parkway & Spring Green Rd., Warwick. Colonial fife & drum corps., drum & bugle corps & the Mummers.

(((((((((((((((((( For more information on any Gaspee Days event, visit Gaspee.com


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Patrice H Wood By Tim Forsberg

Patrice Wood, the Grand Marshal of the 53rd Annual Gaspee Days Parade, has the experience and historical background necessary to guide this year’s festivities. “I want you to know, I come with some pretty impressive credentials for this. Although I played trombone in my school marching band initially, I eventually was chosen as head majorette and participated in countless parades in Ohio leading the marching band, and I never made a wrong turn,” she said. “So, we’re not going to end up in West Warwick or anything.” But there’s more than her marching credentials. Patrice is the fourth great-granddaughter of infantryman James Wood of Middleborough in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, who fought for America’s freedom. She said the event couldn’t have come at a better time for her and her family. “Our family, right now, is in the middle of researching our family history and genealogy, it all seems to have come together at one time. My sister just got into the Daughters of the American Revolution and each time within the last year that we’ve gotten together we’ve been comparing notes,” she said. “My whole family just did our DNA test too, as our family has a direct connection to the American Revolution. Because of that, it brings more meaning to this, there’s really a connection.” Patrice went on to say that she’s proud of the efforts of the community to recognize the sacrifices our ancestors made to secure our freedom and liberty. She hopes more people will become more interested in history and genealogy, and hopes that the Gaspee’s history becomes more widely known. “Because of them, we have a say in how our country is run, and we have freedom,” she said. To prepare for the event, Patrice joked that

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she’s contemplating which wave she’ll use on the route, whether it will be a “beauty pageant wave or the Queen Elizabeth wave.” And while she’s not sure what attire she’ll wear, she’s contemplating a red, white and blue theme. She’s excited for her ride in a convertible and can’t wait to see and greet the crowd that’s gathered. In her official role as Grand Marshal, Patrice will participate in a dinner with the Gaspee committee, and attend the Warwick Philharmonic Concert and the fireworks where she may be asked to say a few words. The following week on June 9, she will be in Pawtuxet Village bright and early for the ecumenical service, and from there she will lead the parade. Her one serious concern in her role as marshal, however, is judging the most patriotic unit or float. “How am I going to do that? That’s a difficult choice, how do you compare a fife and drum corps and all of their uniforms, to someone who has handmade a beautiful float,” she said. “Oh my gosh, that’s going to be a tough one.” Patrice recognized that these events would not be possible without the Gaspee Days committee’s dedication. She said she was so impressed with all of the volunteers and all of the planning that goes into the celebration, such as lining up all of the units of the parade, from the floats to those that will be marching. “For them, it is 365 days a year of planning. For them, I’m sure once this year’s parade is over, they’ll probably be talking and planning next year’s parade and celebration. Especially Tracy and Steve Miller, the Parade Chairs, they work so hard to line everything up to be sure it goes smoothly for everybody,” said Patrice. “The more people that can come out and enjoy the day and honor them, their work, and all of our ancestors, I think the better.”

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 • May 2018 • Gaspee Days

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Gaspee Days • May 2018 • 

Giviens looks to promote the Gaspee ‘brand’

HH

By PEDER S. SCHAEFER

Ryan Giviens, a Pawtuxet Village native, grew up surrounded by Gaspee Days. It was a time to enjoy with friends, connect with the neighborhood, and learn more about Rhode Island history. Now, as president of the Gaspee Days Committee, he wants to spread the message of Gaspee Days further, while strengthening the bond between Gaspee Days and Pawtuxet Village. “Gaspee Days is something that brings people together and is a hallmark of the community,” said Giviens on Monday night. “It represents the pride that we have in the Village and where we come from as a history.” Giviens, 27, has been involved in Gaspee Days ever since he was little. His mother, Terri, has been on the Gaspee Days Committee board for years, and now she runs the Sunday in the Park event that concludes with the burning of the Gaspee in Pawtuxet Cove. Ryan tagged along to meetings and helped with planning, and once he was 18, he became a board member. “I grew up in the committee,” said Giviens. He started his duties as president last fall, and he’ll presumably hold office for two years, until after next year’s Gaspee Days celebration is over. Giviens works for hotels as a sales manager. He wants to bring his experience in branding and marketing hotels to Gaspee Days by strengthening the Gaspee brand and the celebration’s connection to the local area. “I’m really trying to strengthen our brand and identity,” said Giviens. “Gaspee Days isn’t just something you see on the street signs, it’s also a part of our community. We want to make people aware that we’re not just putting on events, and that without the community we wouldn’t have anything.” One way that Giviens is trying to strength-


said Giviens. They’ve watched me grow and learn over the years. And as much as I’d like to think that I bring my own strengths to the table, I have people to watch over me and mentor me as well. We’re like a family.” The biggest obstacle for Giviens’ organizing efforts has been dealing with administrative costs and insurance fees. “We have to insure everything,” said Giviens. “As beautiful as a community we live in and a society we’ve blossomed into, there’s still a lot of risk out there. Our primary focus at every

“Gaspee Days is something that brings people together ...” single one of our events is security and safety, so there’s a lot of things you have to do, precautions you have to take, to ensure that everyone is our community is safe so that they can keep having fun.”

While the Gaspee Days Planning Committee has made smart financial decisions in the past, it still takes a lot of effort to keep a balanced ledger. The total budget is between $160,000 and $180,000 every year, but all the events are free and open to the public. The pay optional events, such as the 5K Road Race and the Arts and Crafts Festival, act as fundraisers for next year’s Gaspee Days festivities. When asked about whether he thought departing Mayor Scott Avedisian would walk in the parade this year, Giviens pointed out that he’s a former president of the planning committee, and so he has the right to march in the parade regardless of whether he’s mayor. In fact, Avedisian was the youngest Gaspee Days Committee president until Giviens beat him out as youngest this year. “I believe and hope he will march in the parade,” said Giviens. “If not as an incumbent [mayor] than probably as a past president. We would be proud to see him march as a past president.” Giviens said he is very thankful for all the help he’s gotten from volunteers, friends, and family. Erin Flynn, Carol Demings, Jerrold Peshka, are all past presidents who’ve offered advice and guidance, while Tina Bingham has become one of Giviens close friends. Tina has run the arts and crafts festival for years, and, coincidentally, is also Giviens’ neighbor in Pawtuxet. “Volunteers carry the load,” said Giviens. “It’s a lot of work to do. Money is important, the time is important, the community is important, but without volunteers to do it, it’s not going to happen. You need a harmonious balance of all those things.”

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 • May 2018 • Gaspee Days

en the bond between Pawtuxet Village and Gaspee Days is through new vanity plates that the Gaspee Days Committee hopes to sell at the arts and crafts festival. The design of the plates is still pending approval by the Department of Motor Vehicles. “Our hope is that when those plates roll out and are put on people’s cars Rhode Islanders will very apprehensively cross state borders,” said Giviens. “I know we don’t like to do that, but for those Rhode Islanders who do [travel], they will carry our logo elsewhere and people will see it. They’ll see the word Gaspee Days and maybe learn more, not just about Gaspee Days, but also about the history and the town of Pawtuxet.” Other than new license plates Giviens has also been involved in improving Gaspee Days facilities. Working with the Warwick Department of Parks and Recreation he was able to get the Pawtuxet Park gazebo re-shingled, and now he’s trying to get lampposts in the park repainted. “I just want to improve the aesthetic, because so many people go down there for Gaspee Days to enjoy it,” said Giviens. Ties to other community organizations are also important to Giviens. He mentioned the Pawtuxet Rangers, Friends of Pawtuxet Village, and the Pawtuxet Village Association. He said “We try and meet on a fairly regular basis. We can advocate for the village better as a team.” Giviens was well prepared for his time as president through his prior work on the committee. He’s also solicited the advice and help of others who have been involved in the process, be they former committee presidents, department heads, or even his own mom. “I’ve grown up with most of the people in my committee,”


Gaspee Days • May 2018 • 

Historic Walking Tour

MONUMENT BOYS: Set up at the Gaspee Monument site (which will again be used this year) in the park last year were Aidan Ferolito, Max Brooks, and Zachary Young.

Cast of 60 kids ready to take on colonial roles By THOMAS GREENBERG

FAMOUS FAMILY: Playing the roles of Christopher, Betsey, and Eliza Rhodes at last year’s Walking Tour were Alex Ferolito, Avery Marques, and Sophia Polichetti.

Now in its 18th consecutive year of production, the Historic Walking Tour of Pawtuxet Village has become a yearly community event that showcases the vibrant colonial history of the village that shares Warwick and Cranston, while at the same time showcasing the acting chops of students at Wyman Elementary and St. Peter Schools. Toni Anderson, along with Kim Harrison, Bobby Greene, and Kristine Desmaris, is co-chairing this year’s tour, as she has done for the past three years. Despite the group’s efforts to get as many students as possible involved in the tour, Anderson said that numbers have been dwindling since 2012, when there were 125 kids acting in the tour. This year, there are 60 kids, which are split “about 5050” between Wyman and St. Peter, Anderson said. “We couldn’t do the tour without them,” she said about St. Peter. “The support of both of the communities is just great.” She called this year a “bare-bones” tour, with the most popular 13 sites having been chosen to make up the walk through the village. She added that the best tours have 65-80 kids participating because all of the potential sites and roles to play. Anderson said that the main challenge to increasing involvement is sports- whether it be baseball, softball, or dance - interfering with the students’ schedules. Because kids can’t commit to the whole process, which includes eight weeks of preparation, they can’t join. Another challenge, she said, is finding the right roles for students to play, since girl involvement always outnumbers boys and

they won’t force girls to play boy parts. The eight-week process before the on-day tour initially involves an educational history for the students. Historic New England, an organization dedicated to preserving the history of the area, comes into Wyman, where the kids meet once a week after school during the preparation process, and teaches the kids about colonial school-time, the “roles” men and women played in this era, and how they would fit into that society, Anderson said. The students also meet with the local group the Pawtuxet Rangers to learn about the militia during the prerevolutionary war era in the community, when they can see the weapons, including cannonballs and muskets, used in the revolutionary war. The last four weeks of the process are dedicated to script reading and rehearsals for the student’s roles in the tour. Those roles can include fishermen, bankers, farmers, gravediggers, minutemen, tavern-workers, or homemakers, among other professions from that time period. Despite the comparatively low numbers this year, the two schools have come together to have 13 sites along the Pawtuxet Village tour ready to educate the community on the village’s history in a light-hearted way. This year’s tour begins with a stop at a Native American scene at the edge of the Aspray Park, and ends with a visit to the Pawtuxet Rangers Armory after a tour through a variety of historic houses and buildings on Narragansett Parkway and Post Road. This year’s Walking Tour is on Saturday, May 19, with continued 20-minutes tours from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. The festivities begin with a pre-tour celebration at noon. The rain date is May 20.


 • May 2018 • Gaspee Days

The price for the tour is $5 for adults and $3 for children, with proceeds going towards the cost of advertising (brochures, flyers), $500 for a police detail, and maintaining the various costumes and furniture needed for the tour, which are housed at Wyman during the year. Going forward, Anderson said that the biggest challenge will be maintaining involvement despite losing sixth graders at Wyman to middle school in lieu of the school consolidation. The show will still go on this year, but the Walking Tour’s leaders hope to soon build the event back up to what it was in year’s past. PROTECTING THE TOUR: Last year at the Pawtuxet Armory site, which is the final stop on the Historic Walking Tour, were Raymond Green, Liam Jarvis, and Elias Laporte playing the roles of rangers, while Noelle Patenaude and Winter Corbin sit nearby. The five actors were flanked by Pawtuxet Rangers.

Photos courtesy of J Burden Photography

SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK: Playing the role of the teacher at the Schoolhouse site last year as Kenyatta Richards, while the schoolchildren were played by Adrianna Wagner, Ariely Savinon, Emily Patenaude, Georgia Moreira, Jemely Francisco.

NATIVITY SCENE: The roles for the Native American site, which will be used again at this year’s Tour and is in the park, were played by Amelia Savinon, Emily Latorella, and Gianna Ramos.

The cast of kids

The following is the sites and cast members for this year’s Historic Walking Tour:

RUNNING THE TAVERN: Playing the roles of servers at the Carder Tavern site (which will be renewed this year) in last year’s Walking Tour were Emilia Koopman, Fiona Boisse, Kiara Scanlon, Layla Camacho, and Shannon Weaver.

HERE, FISHY, FISHY: The fishermen at last year’s Walking Tour, set up right next to Pawtuxet Cove, were Ben Leclaire, Egan Dufresne, and Giovanni DeMelo. All three boys are in this year’s tour, playing different roles than last year.

H

Armory: Giovanni Demelo, Aidan Ferolito, Liam Jarvis, Kaylee Lowe, Niveyah Colantuono, Madeline Godbout Carder Tavern: Emma Finkelstein, Ella Fitzgerald, Sophie Henner, Isabella Pujols, Adriana Wagner, Anita Waterhouse, Aria Chabot-Mendes Cemetery: Lauren Birmingham, Raymond Green, Aaliyah Pestana, Ariely Savinon, Olivia Gardner, Sophia Alpaio Christopher Rhode House: Avery Marques, Shannon Weaver, Zach Young HL Johnson House: Ian Drew, Egan Dufresne, Mina Meehan Jailhouse: Liam Meehan, Michael Moreira, Josh Pacheco, Ben LeClaire, Josh Mahoney, Beth Vitale James and Malachi: Avery Adams, Caitlyn Trainor, Grace Moreira Monument: Finn Meehan, Marcus Walsh, Alex Mihalos Native American: Emilia Koopman, Josh Mihalos, Ava Rivera, Olivia Weidele Schoolhouse: Addison Eddy, Adriana Green, Alexandra Howlett, Karina Koopman, Eliza Lowe, Nicole Patnaude, Aliyah Pujols Sheldon House: Max Brooks, Ryan Garvey, Olivia Sturtevant Shipbuilder: Etienne Degos, Logan Risho, Ashley Young WM Rhodes House: Kiera Wagner, Kylie Colado, Massimo Papa, Noelle Patnaude, Adriana Toolin

H


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11 • May 2018 • Gaspee Days

Closing in a

blaze As the tradition, this year’s Gaspee Days celebration will come to a close with the burning of the Gaspee that can be witnessed from Pawtuxet Park. Apart from the burning that sometimes seems to be more spray from fireboats than smoke, the afternoon includes an colonial encampment with displays and, appropriately, the firing of cannons to signal the moment of the burning - the Warwick mayor usually gets to light the match. The torch will be passed this year, or will it? This year’s burning will take place Sunday, June 10 at 4 p.m. Peeling Away Pain by Treating The Whole Person! We are a Physical Therapy private practice specializing in the John F. Barnes’ Myofascial Release Approach, serving the New England Area. At Arancia Physical Therapy, we help people in New England with nagging aches & pains get back to their favorite activities or sports while avoiding surgery, painkillers, and multiple trips to the Doctor’s office. We specialize in treating patients with Back Pain, Neck and Shoulder Pain, Postpartum Pain, and Sports Injuries. Our passion is to always continue to grow as therapists utilizing MFR as the innovative, comprehensive, and whole - body approach to evaluate and treat dysfunction and pain. We believe in the importance of an integrative and holistic approach to achieve optimal health.

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Lost but not forgotten Elusive time capsule has yet to be found By ETHAN HARTLEY In a village where the modern pulse of life resonates from a drum of its own rich history, the Pawtuxet Rangers Armory Hall harbors some of the most important artifacts that drill right to the core of that past - preserving it for all to enjoy both today and generations from now. On the upper floor is a new museum, which dedicates one entire room to portraying the history of the burning of the Gaspee, complete with artifacts from the period and paintings displaying the ship ablaze, signifying the light of what would eventually become our American Revolution. Directly below an unassuming door sits propped against the stone walls of the lower level main meeting space. This door once led into the Sabin Tavern, where those aforementioned patriots met to formulate the plan for overtaking and burning the Gaspee. It is a gateway to an important chapter of our past as Rhode Islanders and Americans. Through their historical preservation, historical advocacy and passionate portrayal of historic drum and fifing, the Pawtuxet Rangers are as entwined into the fabric of Gaspee Days as any other singular aspect of the celebration. Their very continued existence is a callback to our humble beginnings as a country, and our appreciation of what once was. The history of the Rangers is one that should live on, and thanks in large part to the efforts of its commander, Colonel Ron Barnes that is exactly what will happen. The story began about a year ago, when Barnes got word from a friend that a history-centric television show might be interested in doing an epi-

sode on the Pawtuxet Rangers opening up a time capsule which had been placed in the cornerstone of the basement of the armory hall when they were first bestowed it in 1843. It was a no brainer to Barnes to find the capsule and open it, despite the TV show never materializing. The hunt was on, and excitement was high. Barnes, with some assistance from fellow Rangers, excavated the cornerstone and, with the help of a metal detector, was receiving pings. Something was there alright! Alas, as with so many artifacts of history, the armory archaeologists found their prize was missing. “We found pitch, which was used to waterproof, and in the cornerstone itself was a trough with pitch in it,” Barnes recalled. “By the time we scraped it away, we had a metal detector still detecting metal and it turned out to be a steel rod stuck in the cornerstone.” Barnes surmises that the time capsule was either removed by the Masons, who occupied the building after the Rangers were disbanded in 1847, or by the private resident who bought the building from the Masons in 1907 and remodeled it. While it would have certainly been a supremely special moment to open and unveil the contents of the 175-year-old time capsule at the 175th anniversary celebration of the Armory Hall, which was held in April, Barnes instead took the opportunity to replace their missing relic with one of their own - a new time capsule, which they hope will be opened in 50 years. Inside went the Rangers charter, their bylaws, roster, Challenge coins, Commanders’ medal and a USB thumb drive containing a letter from

HISTORY RESTORED: Colonel Ron Barnes holds the new time capsule which was placed in the cornerstone of the Pawtuxet Ranger Armory Hall, along with Private Kailie Rayner and Corporal Richard Soucy. (Submitted photo)


13 • May 2018 • Gaspee Days

Barnes explaining how the Rangers were prospering in the time the capsule was placed, having just started a museum and how they were approaching their goal to establish a preservation fund for the armory hall. The drive also contains a copy of the Travel Channel show “Booze Traveler,” which filmed an episode with the Rangers exploring their fish house punch. The capsule was sealed back into the cornerstone, and the two youngest members of the Rangers were given instructions to be present when the capsule next sees the light of day, hopefully 50 years in the future. “It was really moving and thought provoking to write a letter to someone hopefully reading this in 50 years,” Barnes said. “It was fascinating wondering if someone will find it and read it or if it will be lost to history too.”

ON THE HUNT: Patrick Donovan excavates the cornerstone on the hunt for the 175-year-old Pawtuxet Ranger time capsule. (Submitted photo)


Gaspee Days • May 2018 • 14

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