In EG, Parades Can Just Happen

by | Apr 17, 2019

By Elizabeth F. McNamara

There’s really nothing like a seemingly spontaneous parade to make a person sit up and take notice. Especially when said person is trying to drive down the street where the parade happens to be marching. I was late, of course, but it was hard to get mad. After all, it was the Kentish Guards, along with members of the Varnum Continentals – East Greenwich’s two Revolutionary War militias. (Actually, the Kentish Guards were founded in 1774 and the Varnum Continentals broke off and formed their own militia much later, in 1907.)

But, the fact is, with two historic militias in East Greenwich, sometimes like parades just happen.

This parade was a brief march from Main Street to the Kentish Guard Armory on Peirce Street Wednesday evening, April 17. According to Kentish Guard Major Theodore Aschman, every year, the militia marks anniversary of the Battle of Lexington and Concord, which took place on April 19. By the time, the Kentish Guard was alerted and headed to Massachusetts to help their brother militias, it was April 20. Because of the upcoming Easter weekend, this year they marked the occasion a little early.

You can learn more about the Kentish Guards here, and more about the Varnum Continentals here. We are lucky to have them both!



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Mark Thompson
Mark Thompson
April 18, 2019 10:31 am


Richard Sheryka
April 18, 2019 4:42 pm

The Kentish Guards were & are a local militia, which means that they served IN Rhode Island. For the Siege of Boston later in 1775, many Kentish Guardsmen joined the three regiments raised by the RI government at aid the Patriots. The Commander of the Kentish Guards, COL James Varnum became the Commander of one of these three regiments, which later turned into Continental Army regiments; this is whaat the Varnum Continentals represent. So this moment in history is shared by both the Kentish Guards and the Varnum Continentals, two rival groups in the same town with guns…

Sara Gagan (formerly Sara Dumas)
Sara Gagan (formerly Sara Dumas)
April 20, 2019 1:55 pm

I lived on ‘the hill’ for several years and I always loved the parades! I’m glad they are still going on.


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