East Providence businesses host third annual Watchemoket Square Day

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EAST PROVIDENCE — The third annual Watchemoket Square Day festival, sponsored by the East Providence business community, takes place Saturday, Oct. 19, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Businesses and organizations located or associated with “The Square” have planned a fun and informative day for young and old. The event is a celebration of Watchemoket Square’s past, present and future. Indoor and outdoor activities will take place on or near Warren Avenue (Rt. 6). The event is free and open to the public with plenty of free parking also available.

The celebration opens with what has become the traditional parade, stepping off from East Providence City Hall,145 Taunton Ave., and traveling on Taunton Avenue to South Broadway. It will turn right onto South Broadway until it reaches Warren Avenue. It will turn right again and travel on Warren Avenue down to Waterfront Drive and Tockwotton on the Waterfront. The parade ends at Hot Rides, Inc., located at 30 Veterans Memorial Parkway.

Local schools, sports teams, organizations and businesses are invited to participate in the parade, which will also feature classic cars traveling to the classic car show at Hot Rides at the end of the parade route. For more information about the parade, contact Ken Andrade at 435-4444.

New features

In addition, several new features have been added to this year’s schedule of events. Free, boat ride tours along the waterfront are scheduled for the morning, and tours in the afternoon will be offered for a nominal charge. The tours are co-sponsored by East Providence Yacht Club, Providence River Boats, East Providence Historical Society and Village on the Waterfront.

The free tours are scheduled for 11 a.m., 11:45 p.m. and 12:30 p.m. and will leave from the East Providence Yacht Club at 9 Pier Road. The tours will be narrated by East Providence city planner, Jeanne Boyle, with information 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 438-1750.

Afternoon boat ride tours will be conducted between 1:15 p.m. and 3 p.m. and include a nominal fee of $10 per person for 30 minutes. Seating is available on a first come, first serve basis. The boats will depart from the East Providence Yacht Club.

Informational aspects

Throughout the day, an exhibit about the history of Watchemoket Square will be on display at Tockwotton on the Waterfront, 500 Waterfront Drive. It is hosted by the East Providence Historical Society.

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, 81 Warren Ave. 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.

Food, Music and Fun

There will be lots of fun activities for kids at Hot Rides, Inc.. 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 will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

New this year is the inclusion of the “One Foot In Band” will be performing inside St. Mary’s from noon to 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.

Square history

Watchemoket Square (pronounced Watch-uh-Mocket or Watch-Moe-ket) began near Bold Point and was used by the Wampanoag Indians to cross the Seekonk River to what is now Providence. Watchemoket is an Indian word meaning the proximity of the river and the tidal marsh with the feel and smell of the area.

In the early years of East Providence, which was then known as Rehoboth, the site was the best place to cross the river. In 1793, John Brown of Providence built a bridge from Fox Point to Bold Point. In 1885, an iron bridge was built which led to development in the area; including an inn followed by over one hundred businesses. By 1906, Watchemoket Square became the central business district of East Providence and covered approximately nine acres of land in the central section of the town.

For more information about the day visit the Watchemoket Square page on Facebook, the website watchemoketsquareday.com, contact the East Providence Area Chamber of Commerce 438-1212 or visit www.eastprovchamber.com.

Third Annual Watchemoket Square Day

Schedule of Events

9 a.m. – 10 a.m.: Watchemoket Square Day Parade, steps off from East Providence City Hall, 145 Taunton Ave.
9 a.m. – 3 p.m.: Annual Church Bazaar at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, 81 Warren Ave.
9 a.m. – 3 p.m.: Event Information Booth on the lawn of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church
9 a.m. – 3 p.m.: Pick-up a free flower from Gilmore’s Flower Shop deliver truck
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.: Classic Car Show, music, food and more for kids and adults at Hot Rides, Inc., 30 Veterans Memorial Parkway
11 a.m., 11:45 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.: Free boat tours of the East Providence waterfront, narrated by East Providence city planner, Jeanne Boyle. Limited seating. Reservations required. Contact East Providence Historical Society at 438-1750
Noon – 3 p.m.: Live entertainment by One Foot In Band at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church
1:15 p.m. – 3 p.m.: Thirty-minute boat rides along the East Providence waterfront. First come, first serve at East Providence Yacht Club, 9 Pier Road. $10 per person

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