This year's celebration, including a bigger parade with more classic cars and historic boat tours narrated by City Planner Jeanne Boyle, is set for Oct. 19, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
In the three years since the first Watchemoket Square Day, the once-overlooked district has enjoyed a revitalized sense of community and image, culminating in proposals to recast the one-time City center as an arts and entertainment district, said Laura McNamara of the East Providence Area Chamber of Commerce, an organizer for the event.
The event, got its start when Wendy Wood of Woods Heating & Oil spoke to the City Council and suggested an event to promote the district's history and encourage a new sense of community for the area's homes and businesses. Watchemoket Square Day was born, and has been successful in proving that the district's future can be as bright as its past. "So now it's being looked at as an arts and entertainment district," McNamara said.
The free tours are scheduled for 11 a.m., 11:45 p.m. and
12:30 p.m. and leave from East Providence Yacht Club at 9 Pier Road.
Boyle will tell patrons about the City’s history, and the plans and projects for
developing the City’s waterfront. Seating is very limited and reservations
in advance are strongly suggested by contacting the East Providence
Historical Society at 401-438-1750.
More changes are in store for fans of the Watchmoket Day Parade, which will extend down Waterfront Drive to give the residents of Tockwotton, a retirement/assisted living home, a look at the spectacles.
Those spectacles include a zombie march by students from Martin Middle School and a bigger classic car parade this year, McNamara said.
Ken Andrade, owner of Hot Rides, said he expects a big jump over last year's 25-30 cars. Though he can't be certain since many classic car owners make the decision to participate depending on weather, there could be as many as 50 cars this year. Those cars will definitely include a few antique fire engines, too, he said.
Andrade said he thinks the event has helped out his business. He said it's nice to see the Watchemoket section of the City enjoy renewed positive attention, noting its relative obscurity since the highway broke it up. (McNamara said the area saw the height of its prominence in the late 1800s/early 1900s.)
Also, "It's just a great day to relax and stop work and enjoy the cars and the company of neighbors," Andrade said.
The tours and parade aren't the only attractions offered Saturday:
- Throughout the day, an exhibit about the history of Watchemoket Square will be on display at Tockwotton on the Waterfront, 500 Waterfront Dr., hosted by the East Providence Historical Society.
- Afternoon boat ride tours will be conducted between 1:15 and 3 p.m. There is a nominal fee of $10 per person for the 30-minute rides. Seating is available on a first come, first serve basis. The boats will depart from
- An exhibit about the vacant Odd Fellows Hall on Warren Avenue will be on display at the building. Last year, the City acquired ownership of the Hall, built in 1889, and they are considering a restoration of the property.
- The East Providence Area Chamber of Commerce will be hosting the Watchemoket Square Day Information Booth on the lawn of St. Mary’s Church.
- Souvenir T-shirts and sweatshirts will be available for sale; along with complimentary street maps and giveaways from area businesses.
- Self-guided walking tours of the area, mapped out from previous Watchemoket Square Day tours, can be downloaded at www.ephs.org, or picked up at the Information Booth on the day of the event.
- There will be lots of fun activities for kids at Hot Rides, Inc., 30 Veterans Memorial Parkway. Breakfast and/or lunch specials will be offered at local establishments: Bridge Side Diner, The Watchemoket Tavern, 133 Club and East Providence Yacht Club.
- The popular annual church bazaar at St. Mary's Episcopal Church, 81 Warren Avenue will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- New this year - One Foot In Band will be performing inside St. Mary’s Episcopal Church from Noon – 3 p.m. They are bringing a wide variety of tunes from classic rock, country, folk and more.
- Look for Gilmore’s Flower Shop delivery truck and get a free flower between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Visit the Information Booth for the truck’s location.