Community set for Gaspee Days 5k

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Warwick and Cranston will be celebrating the 53rd annual Gaspee Days 5k road race right in downtown Cranston this Saturday.

The annual event celebrates and honors those who serve in the military, and recognizes the historical and cultural impact of the infamous Gaspee Affair between the colonies and British which led to the Revolutionary War and took place in Warwick.

This will be chairman Matthew Tsimikas’ 13th year organizing the event, and has been pleased with the steady progress he has seen since he began heading the race.

“It’s grown tremendously over the past 12 years. We’ve grown steadily about 100-125 runners each year. Our goal is to finally hit 1,722 runners and I think this is the year that we’ll finally do it. It’s a homegrown following and we continue to grow,” said Tsimikas, who along with co-chair Roger Farren appreciates the support of the local volunteers. “We rely on over 100 volunteers, it’s a big sacrifice for people. We have a lot of dedicated people that sacrifice their time for a very important moment in history and for their community. It’s very special.”

The event will begin at 9:30 a.m. and the starting line will be on the corner of Broad Street and Chiswick Street right in Cranston.

There will be numerous events and activities leading up to the race, including appearances from Cranston Mayor Allan Fung and Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian. Avedisian will be recognized for his 18 years of service during the ceremony. There will also be refreshments, and an appearance from The School of Rock band.

Tsimikas expects this year’s race to be the largest one yet … in terms of both participants and sponsorship.

“The runners should expect a record-setting participation crowd,” said Tsimikas. “We have a record 26 sponsors for the road race. We have seven new sponsors that have stepped up since last year.”

Registration will take place at 2115 Broad Street, and runners can pre-register at gaspee.com/events/5k. All proceeds will go directly toward the Gaspee Days Parade.

Tsimikas also hopes the race will continue to gain traction and shed light on the Gaspee Affair, not just in the Cranston-Warwick area, but across the country and overseas.

“It’s the celebration of a true American occurrence and we want to spread awareness for it,” said Tsimikas. “We’re looking to bring more notoriety on a national level and a global level. We want people to discover our little treasure hear. I’ve traveled to a lot of places, have met many worldly people, and many of the British people are more familiar with the Gaspee Affair than we are. We want to continue to teach and educate our community.”

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