NORTH SMITHFIELD – It will be a full day featuring more than 12 hours of various community events celebrating the town’s history and culture.
The latest events in the ongoing “North Smithfield Days,” series will take place on Saturday, July 9 dubbed, “Heritage Day,” or “Slatersville Saturday,” – in a collaboration between the North Smithfield Heritage Association, the North Smithfield Arts Committee, and the North Smithfield Parks and Recreation Commission
The day will begin at 9 a.m., when the National Parks Service will offer a walking tour of Slatersville village. The tour will begin at the Memorial Town Building – a former town hall now maintained by the North Smithfield Heritage Association – which will be opened up for business, with merchandise on sale, and paintings by local artists on display.
“It’s kind of like an open house,” explained event organizer and NSHA President Richard Keene.
At 10 a.m., the activity will move to Town Hall and Heritage Hall on Greene Street, as well as the Slatersville Common. A car show with the Road Angels Car Club will take place in the parking lot of 83 Greene St., and at the NSHA-operated Heritage Hall next door, relics and antiques related to North Smithfield history will be out for viewing.
The North Smithfield Arts Committee is working on a photography exhibit to accompany the event for the inside of the Town Hall building.
The community fun will also extend just down the road to the Slatersville Congregational Church Common, with vendor and organization booths set up along the lawn. Local businesses and organizations are invited to sponsor tables and demonstrations, and peddler their wares. Those who would like to participate are asked to contact the association at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In fact, residents are invited to participate all elements of that Saturday morning event, and can contact the NSHA if they have a vehicle they’d like to showcase, or an antique or relic they’d like to lend to the organization for the Heritage Hall attraction. Emails to NSHA from all interested parties are welcome, according to Keene.
Also starting at 10 a.m., the North Smithfield Parks & Recreation Department will hold “Kids Day,” with games and activities for the town’s younger residents at Pacheco Park. The family event is set to include a bounce house, a water slide, face painting, touch-a-truck and more, with North Smithfield Fire & Rescue scheduled to drop by at 1 p.m. to spray down the kids.
Kids Day will wrap up around 1 p.m. while the other activities including food, vendors and displays throughout Slatersville will continue until 4 p.m.
Meanwhile, starting at 1 p.m., NSHA member Gail Berlinghof will lead a walking tour of Slatersville Cemetery. Berlinghof is looking for volunteers to act the parts of notable residents buried there. Those interested should contact her at email@example.com.
A walking tour of the Blunders begins at 4 p.m., with participants to meet in the middle school parking lot on Providence Pike.
“It’s a history day, so we’re kind of remembering our local history, and the indigenous history is something that’s been ignored for quite a long time, so we want to include it,” Keene said, noting that the anniversaries of two major battles in the King Philip’s War that took place in North Smithfield occur in July and August. “It’s about all of our history.”
The last event of the day takes place at North Smithfield High School starting at 6:30 p.m., with food trucks, live music by local artist Stefan Couture as wells as a DJ, and a grand finale fireworks display. Organizers note that the high school, with its wide open fields and hills where visitors can set up blankets and chairs, makes an ideal venue for visibility.
Town Council President John Beauregard has raised funds through private donors, supplemented by a contribution from the town, for the past four years, and noted that this fireworks this year, set to begin just after dark, will cost $14,000.
Keene noted that the, “N.S. Days,” moniker, created several years ago, applies to not just the July 9 festivities, but rather various gatherings throughout the year, including a road race put on by NSHS senior Calla Puccetti as part of her senior project in April. Organizers are tentatively planning another one of last year’s N.S. Days activities, Dinner Under the Stars, in the fall this year when the weather is cooler.
“It’s an umbrella for year-round events that are meant to bring the community together,” Keene said.
All events are open to the public, with a rain date scheduled for Sunday, July 10.
Editor’s note: Additional details were added to the original version of this article after publication.