2010-07-01 / Front Page

Fireworks and parade kick off island Fourth

By Dara Chadwick

Summer kicks into full swing this weekend with a few of the island’s annual don’t-miss Fourth of July events.

At 9 p.m. on Saturday, July 3, the skies over Mackerel Cove will light up with color during the Rocket ‘hogs 15th annual fireworks display. Plan to arrive early for a good spot.

Funded by corporate sponsors and individual donations, the Rocket ‘hogs show has become a Jamestown tradition. If you’d like to help fund this tradition, there’s still time: Send your donations to the Rocket Hogs at P.O. Box 195, Jamestown, RI 02835.

Another island Fourth tradition is the annual North End parade – which will step off on Sunday, July 4, for the 21st time in front of Jean Poirier-Green’s house at 933 East Shore Rd.

It’s a happy tradition that grew from a seed of sadness, according to Poirier-Green.

Her late husband, David Poirier, died more than 20 years ago, when her daughters, Allie and Jen, were four and one. David’s birthday was July 11 and the family would always have a celebration with birthday cake.

That first year, she said, they were just so sad, so she gave the girls pots and pans and spoons and had them march around the neighborhood. Soon, she said, a few neighbors joined in and a tradition was born.

Now, Poirier-Green’s little parade has grown into a full-scale happening that includes the Jamestown Community Band, kids on bikes, rollerbladers, skateboarders, wagons, golf carts, antique cars and fire trucks.

“We give prizes for the best float, best bike and best baby carriage,” Poirier-Green said. “You get a genuine cardboard star. It’s truly an honor.”

This year, the parade will form at 9:30 a.m. in front of 933 East Shore Rd. and will begin at 10 a.m. Poirier- Green will select a “grand marshal” and each year, she dedicates the parade to a Jamestown resident who has passed away during the year.

“It finishes at about 11:30,” she said. “It’s the only parade where it completely turns around in a circular driveway and you get to see the whole thing again.”

As for who can take part, Poirier- Green said all are welcome – that’s what makes it such a special island tradition.

Also on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. at East Ferry Memorial Square, musical duo Atwater-Donnelly will perform.

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