2018-08-16 / Editorial

Community day is worth another shot

Jamestowners are known for banding together to support various events and groups in town, yet the three previous attempts at having a “Jamestown Day” all have been fairly short-lived.

That’s too bad because such a gathering would be great for civic pride and a boon to our economy. There is talk among some town officials about resurrecting a similar-type celebration, which we wholeheartedly support.

Our preference would be to make it the same day as the Fools’ Rules Regatta in mid-August. Piggybacking on the wacky boat races would allow the town to take advantage of many inherent structural benefits — a regional reputation with built-in publicity that draws close to 1,000 people to the island that morning, an established parking system and police and other town employees already on duty.

The races end about noon so the frivolity could begin around then and continue through the early evening.

Narragansett Avenue can be turned into a street fair with artisans, outdoor dining (free permits should be granted to restaurants wishing to serve food off-site), music and a themed parade to kick off the event. These activities would bring the festival full circle to its original intent when it first debuted in 1898.

Ideas from the other two incarnations — from the 1970s and earlier this decade — also could be incorporated into the day.

Town organizations could set up information booths or sponsor events. The recreation center and Veterans Memorial Square could host games and children’s activities (face painting, corn hole, tugs-of-war, a bouncy house, etc.) for a family-friendly atmosphere. A late afternoon/ early-evening concert could cap the event thus allowing people to have dinner in town before heading home for the night.

Traffic concerns could be alleviated if Conanicut Marine Services and the town allowed their parking lots to be used and shuttles transported folks from those locations to downtown. Perhaps, there also could be additional ferry services offered to allow off-islanders to get here without crossing the bridges.

It’s the type of small-town, homey event Jamestown should have, and who knows, perhaps the fourth time will be the charm.

Return to top