Recalling the Magical Tercentenary Summer of 1977

by | Jul 22, 2020

Photo Credit: Mark Thompson

Friend of EG News Mark Thompson has uncovered a treasure trove of photographs and artifacts from the celebration to end all celebrations: the two-week party honoring the 300th anniversary of East Greenwich’s founding in 1977. 

The bumper sticker sold that year to promote the Tercentenary.

It was an extravaganza that leaves those of us who came to East Greenwich in later years breathless. And, of course, for all of you who were in East Greenwich that summer, you have the marvelous memories. Mark Thompson was editor of the Rhode Island Pendulum that year (before he left our fair town for the fame that awaited him in the wider world). He has been sharing photos and other items during the past few days on the EG News Facebook page and will continue through July 31, which was the final day of the 1977 Tercentenary celebration. We invite you to take a trip down memory lane or learn about the festivities for the first time by clicking HERE. Check back to the Facebook page daily for new posts!

If you’re up for some more reading, check out the three-part series we ran in 2014 about the Tercentenary:

1977: The Summer EG Partied 2 Weeks Straight – Tercentenary, Part 1
1977: A Ball, A Pageant and a Parade – Tercentenary, Part 2
1977: The End of East Greenwich, Small Town U.S.A. – Tercentenary, Part 3

And, remember, the town’s 350th anniversary is just a few short years away (2027)!

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Value the news you get here on East Greenwich News? As a 501-c3, we depend on reader support. Become a sustaining (monthly) donor or make a one-time donation! Click on the Donate button below or send a check to EG News, 18 Prospect St., East Greenwich, RI 02818. Thanks.

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Bruce Mastracchio
Bruce Mastracchio
July 23, 2020 6:55 am

Mark never really left East Greenwich despite going on from the Pendulum to great success in Texas and Washington,DC.
Thanks for sharing !

July 23, 2020 9:06 am

Such fun to relive this celebration again! LIke we’re having now, we had a prolonged heat wave over those two weeks of the Tercentenary, but the party went on. I remember seeing one of the marchers from a visiting band, brandishing a large drum, collapse from the heat. Conveniently, he crumpled to the pavement right in front of the Fire Station on Main Street.

Amazing that this was pulled off without all of today’s technology. Everyone was tuned in to what was happening, and when, largely thanks to the RI Pendulum, which probably had a record number of subscribers and readers that year.

Only seven years till our 350th, so get ready!

Thank you, Mark, and thank you, Elizabeth!

Chris Riker
May 14, 2023 1:03 pm

My friend Phil and I worked crew for the pageant. We helped build the giant, three-staged scaffold. I was inside the structure, trying down what we called “sails” when the fronting sheets lived up to their names. I rode that sucker down to a crashing finished. Fortunately, no one got hurt. The show went on, and Phil and I operated one of the arc spotlights… which proceeded to explode shortly before the finale. Fun times!

I have wonderful memories of EG and Warwick in a fictionalize account set during the summer of 1969, coming out later this year. Goody Celeste. Enjoy!


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