By EMMA BARTLETT The Gaspee Days Committee has canceled their Feb. 24 kick-off gala at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet due to lagging ticket sales and Covid concerns. After reaching the difficult decision, the committee is looking into either a smaller event or
The Gaspee Days Committee has canceled their Feb. 24 kick-off gala at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet due to lagging ticket sales and Covid concerns. After reaching the difficult decision, the committee is looking into either a smaller event or having an event later in the year.
“We are very disappointed that we weren't able to get everything together because of Covid,” said Steve Miller, Gaspee Days President. “We continue to work on getting the celebration’s other programs up and running.”
The Gaspee Days committee hosts a series of family-friendly events staring in May and concluding this year with the mock burning in Pawtuxet Cove on June 12. A centerpiece to the celebration is the parade that will be held June 11.
Other events include the proclamation and walking tour, arts and crafts festival on Memorial Day weekend, block party, symphony in the park, fireworks and more.
The gala was to have kicked off the 250th anniversary celebration of the burning of the British schooner Gaspee, which is locally considered the country’s “first blow for freedom.”
Miller said the committee hoped to sell 200 to 300 tickets.
When ticket sales failed to meet expectations, the committee heard that because of Covid, people were hesitant to be a part of large gatherings.
The event would have included dinner, a silent auction, 50/50 raffle and cash bar. Funds raised would have supported special events that the committee has planned for the 250th celebration.
The committee is offering ticket refunds and is still trying to determine how to proceed with the silent auction. Miller said there is a possibility of setting up a virtual silent auction or holding the auction at a later event.
Miller said Rhodes on the Pawtuxet and the band they had lined up have been kind enough to return the committee's deposit; the loss is minimum for the committee.
For questions regarding the Gaspee Days Gala, individuals can email email@example.com.
The Gaspee Days committee also suggests people mark their calendars for museum weekend in partnership with the Pawtuxet Rangers. The event will take place at Pawtuxet Park in Warwick on April 29, April 30 and May 1. Museum weekend will highlight the history of the Gaspee incident along with life as a colonial in Rhode Island.
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