One of the biggest and oldest traditions in the state of Rhode Island is shrinking by a little bit.

According to WPRI 12, the Bristol Fourth of July Committee voted Wednesday to shorten the town’s yearly Fourth of July Parade. The parade route will be cut down from 2.4 miles to just under two miles for the 231st annual parade in July.

Parade Committee chairman, Fran O’Donnell, stated that “we are trying to bring it back to the traditional parade route, which allows opportunity for exciting changes. It’s not positive with everybody, but I anticipated that. People typically change.”

The vote was 46 to 9 in favor of the route change.

The parade will step off at Washington, Hope and Thames Streets at 10:30am and the remainder of the route will remain the same, continuing along Hope Street, turning left onto High Street at the Lobster Pot, and ending in front of Reynolds School.

Those that support the change include the town administrator, town council, and police and fire chiefs. In a news release, Chief Josue Canario stated that “a shorter parade will be easier for law enforcement personnel to patrol and monitor and for first responders to react should an emergency arise.”

However, some in Bristol are questioning why the committee would vote to shorten the route.

A Facebook group titled Save the Bristol 4th Parade Route was created yesterday and currently has more than 3,800 likes.

wlneABC6 via YouTube
wlneABC6 via YouTube

Here's a picture above of our WBSM 1420 AM Morning Show Intern, Sal "Paco" Lopez playing the marching snare drum with his percussion group EDGE Drumline during last year's 2015 Bristol 4th of July Parade.

With additional reporting by Sal Lopez

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