Plan to shorten parade at oldest July 4th fest draws fire

AP News
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Posted: Jan 13, 2016 3:25 PM
Plan to shorten parade at oldest July 4th fest draws fire

The town that boasts the nation's oldest Fourth of July celebration is in turmoil over a plan to shorten its 2.5-mile parade route.

The community group that runs the celebration in Bristol, Rhode Island, voted last week to cut about half a mile off of the route because of security concerns and feedback from bands that the parade is too long.

A celebration of Independence Day has taken place in Bristol since 1785 and now attracts around 100,000 people.

Opponents of the plan say it's an unwelcome change that was done without consulting enough people in the community. More than 2,500 people have signed an online petition opposing the change.

The committee will take a revote Thursday night, and opponents say they plan to attend to fight the change.