GLOCESTER – For years they marched with protest signs, and put together floats with symbols like dinosaurs to represent their disapproval of an outdated fossil fuel industry.
But this year’s Ancients and Horribles Parade will mark a celebration for members of the Burrillville-based activist group No New Power Plant.
The organization will be among more than a dozen local organizations that will participate in the annual parade, a tradition in Chepachet since 1926.
The parade, which will step off once again from Main Street at 4 p.m. on Thursday, July 4, makes an ideal venue for such sentiments. The event, enjoyed by hundreds of parade-goers each year, has a theme custom-made for activist displays, as participants spoof local and national politics.
Tanya Srabian will serve as parade chairperson for the first time in 2019.
“Some is going to be the same, some is going to be a little different, and you never know what’s going to show up,” said Srabian of this year’s parade lineup. “We have a few basic rules – certain things that are required by law. After that it is almost anything goes.”
Srabian noted that the march starts off with the more traditional Fourth of July parade participants: patriotic groups including veterans and the Color Guard.
Grand Marshal Ralph Palmieri, a World War II and Korean War veteran, will pass by, sitting on top of a blue convertible
Srabian said she received 14 entries for floats, walking groups and classic car enthusiasts this year, and participants will include Miss Rhode island and Miss Rhode Island Outstanding Teen.
Bristol County Fifes and Drums will march in the 93rd annual event, as will
bagpipers from Worcester Kiltie.
“They’re always a crowd favorite,” said Srabian.
Volunteers will also be collecting food for the town’s food pantry.
The group that will march in celebration of the town of Burrillville’s victory over proposed power plant developer Invenergy is expected to have a float.
Srabian said the parade typically takes around two hours to pass before ending at Acotes Ball Field across from Dino’s Park and Shop.
Food trucks will be set up in advance of the event, and will also line the streets of Glocester for a second event celebrating Independence Day scheduled for Saturday.
Starting at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 6, local musicians including Leo’s High-Lowsome Trio, Sun Gun, Lighthouse and Parkin Lot Lovin will play at Glocester Memorial Park, behind the town’s Senior Center, followed by a fireworks display starting just after dark.
On Thursday, festivities will also include a 9 a.m. road race.
The parade committee has struggled to find volunteers and financing in recent years, and is always looking for more help.
Srabian, who moved to Glocester two years ago, said she volunteered for the parade committee last year as a way to meet people, and it has certainly worked. At just her second town parade, she’s in charge.
The chairperson recommended that parade and fireworks guests arrive early, enjoy food from the trucks, and check out the town’s antique stores.
“Make an afternoon of it,” she said.