North Kingstown is back, and it’s back with a bang
On July 5, over 1,000 spectators packed the town beach, the bandstand lawn and side streets, while even more parked their cabin cruisers, sailboats and kayaks in the cove, to enjoy a beautiful evening of music —provided by the Lafayette Community Band — and a spectacular fireworks display in North Kingstown.
Originally scheduled for July 3, but washed out by inclement weather, July 5 turned out to be the perfect dry and cloudy day for the festivities.
“We’re happy to be back and I hope people enjoyed it as much as we did,” said Chelsey Dumas, recreation department director.
“It’s like we’re getting back to normal,” a local resident said.
In addition to the fireworks, the Lafayette Community Band provided patriotic music and show tunes along with some old favorites. North Kingstown’s VFW Post 152 provided an honor guard to salute America during the National Anthem.
There were also a number of food trucks providing cold drinks, hot food and ice cream — which was a big hit with the kids.
It’s been a long year for North Kingstown residents with the pandemic, but Dumas said the recreation department and town volunteers were ready to welcome residents back.
Besides the fireworks, the highlight of the evening was the Lafayette Community Band, which has been entertaining folks since its inception long ago.
It’s one of the oldest bands in Rhode Island. The band was formed in the mill village of Lafayette in 1884 and served as the focus of village social life by performing at lawn parties, socials and band fairs, which were three-day entertainment extravaganzas, according to the band’s website.
The band’s popularity really took off in 1946 when it opened admission to women and high school students.
These days, the band boasts members from towns across the state.
And entertain they did at the July 5 celebration, playing a host of show tunes, which had youngsters and adults alike up and dancing and singing along.
As well as patriotic songs from the likes of John Phillip Sousa, which had many of the smaller kids marching in front of the stage.
For music lovers that want to see more of the band, they will be the featured attraction at this year’s summer beach concerts.
A full list of beach concert dates, along with the bands other performances, can be found at their website lafayettebandri.org.
The pavilion where the band played is named after Joseph Pelosi, who was a North Kingstown high school music teacher for 39 years and director of the North Kingstown Lafayette Band for 50 years.
In addition to the music and fireworks, there were the food trucks. People seem to love the food dispensed by these four-wheeled restaurants, and Monday night was no exception as many in the crowd lined up for kettle corn, lemon ice, tasty Greek food and ice cream.
For attendees who opted out of the food truck lines, they brought picnic meals, grilling hamburgers and hotdogs and made use of the few picnic tables at the beach.