The Bristol 4th Of July Parade Is One Day That Takes Nearly 365 To Make Happen.

A day filled with honor and tradition

Camille Teixeira just may pick up the pace and have a little extra pep in her step as she walks through the streets of Bristol this week. On her daily walk, she will see a freshly painted wide stripe of red, white and blue that covers a 2.5 mile stretch in Bristol – the route of the 237th Bristol Fourth of July Parade.

“That’s when I get really excited…when I see the red, white and blue paint on the streets,” said Teixeira.

Bristol 4th of July Parade
Fresh stripes on the route

The 47 year-old Bristol native is the vice chair of the Bristol Fourth of July Parade. She assists Chairman Chuck MacDonough and has the enormous task of overseeing the entire parade, which will step-off at the corner of Chestnut and Hope Street in less than three weeks.

“I’m excited about the stripe going down. That signifies the parade,” said Teixeira. “I will walk on the stripe. It’s just an honor. As a kid I loved the parade. I loved the excitement. I love the applause when the military and the veterans come by. I love the pride.”

Bristol 4th logo
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Teixeira’s favorite part of the parade isn’t the bands for the floats…it’s the moments before it begins. The parade coordinator gives the order to the Militia Division to fire the cannon at exactly 10:30 a.m. The muskets will then fire at Hope and Chestnut Streets. Next, the 2022 Chief Marshalls Joe and Rosa DaPonte will lead the Pledge of Allegiance. The National Anthem will follow, the ribbon will be cut and the 237th Bristol Fourth of July Parade will begin.

“It’s breathtaking. Adrenaline is going. It’s awesome. Hearing the National anthem …that ceremony. It’s just an emotional moment. You just have so much pride and honor when this is going on,” she said.

A sea of red white and blue will fill the town. Parties will be held on the lawns of those who are lucky enough to live on the parade route. Spectators – on foot, bikes, skateboards and strollers – will line the streets to be part of the oldest celebration of patriotic exercise in the nation.

Bristol 4th of July Parade
Photo: Nat Squatrito

The 2022 Fourth of July Parade will feature celebrities and dignitaries, entertainers and more than a dozen bands – from the 88th RI National Guard Army Band and the Navy Band Northeast – to Mt. Hope High’s Marching Band. There’ll be big giant bubbles floating through the air that will awe the children in attendance and the newly crowned Miss Fourth of July Gwyneth Tucker and Little Miss Fourth of July Alana Crowell and their courts will wave as their floats pass through the route.

Watch the 237th Bristol 4th of July Parade – Monday, July 4th at 10:30 am ET on YurView NE (Cox channel 4) and a free live stream on watch.yurview.com.

And while there will be plenty of fun festivities, Teixeria wants the 200,000 plus spectators and those who will watch online or on television, to remember the true meaning of the parade – honoring those who serve and have served.

“I’m keeping to tradition with the music and honoring the military, police and firemen and the veterans because that is the true history of our parade,” said Teixeira. “It’s honoring all these folks and those active and those who have laid down for us. Sure, there are a lot of fun things going on in the parade, But what I want everyone to remember when they are watching is that we’re here to honor the military and the veterans. That’s what this is all about.”

Bristol 4th of July Parade
Photo: Nat Squatrito

Among those who will be honored are the Marshals of each division- three very special people, according to Teixeira

Senior Chief Paul Salesi, US Navy (retired) will have the honor of leading the Military Division. During his 23 years of active duty, he served as a photojournalist and air crewman. Among his many honors, he was recognized as the Photographer of the Year by the National Press Photographers Association.

Lieutenant Colonel Sheri Boucher, US Airforce (retired) will serve as the Veteran Division Marshall. As a flight nurse and assistant Chief Nurse, she served for 31 years. The mother of four daughters, Boucher currently is an assistant professor at Rhode Island College and is a nurse at Woman & Infants Hospital. She is co-founder and Nurse Researcher for the Hunter Seven Foundation which assists post 9/11 veterans battling Cancer.

The Independence Division Marshall is Sarah Caizzi, a lifelong Bristol resident and active community member.  A member of the Bristol Hall of Fame, her career at the Bristol Parks and Recreation Department spanned more than two decades.

The Bristol Fourth of July Parade is a day filled with honor and tradition…. It’s also one day that takes nearly 365 to make happen.

Bristol 4th of July Parade
Photo: Nat Squatrito

While the thousands of spectators will be entertained by floats, bands, performers and more, what they won’t see is the hard work put forth by the parade committee and its team of volunteers, who return year after year after year to help put on the incredible celebration. The volunteers form 50 plus subcommittees and give their time and energy throughout the entire year to put on countless fundraising events that all lead up to the final celebration on July 4.

The parade is the culmination of their hard work.

“Some of these folks have 20, 30, 35 years in as volunteers,” said Teixeira…”There’s so much volunteerism and so much hard work that goes into this. People don’t understand the efforts that these people put in year after year.

Bristol 4th of July Parade
Photo: Nat Squatrito

“There’s so many events run by volunteers leading up to the parade from the Spring Breakfast, Little Miss & Miss Fourth of July to spaghetti dinners…from the card party to the carnival to the Freedom raffle to the macaroni supper…This is what we work for the whole year to put on the parade.We have so much going behind the scenes to pull off this parade. The volunteers are amazing,” said Teixera.

She also emphasized the enormous support received from the town.

“Town of Bristol, the Department of Public Works, the police…. It takes a community to kick this off. The credit is due there, also,” said Teixeira. The entire town embraces the celebration. It’s a team effort. The town of Bristol is small, but it has a big heart.”

Tune in for live coverage of the 237th Bristol 4th of July Parade, part of America’s oldest Independence Day celebration – Monday, July 4th at 10:30 am ET on YurView NE (Cox channel 4) and a free live stream on watch.yurview.com.