Block Island to host Fourth of July festivities amid increased vacation interest

BLOCK ISLAND will be hosting its 2021 Fourth of July festivities, including fireworks and a parade. / COURTESY THE DOUBLE ENDER COMMITTEE

NEW SHOREHAM For the past month, the phones at The Block Island Chamber of Commerce have been ringing consistently with people calling for lodging recommendations and other information.

The calls are an indication that the island could be experiencing a departure from last year when tourism was down and businesses felt that it was going to be a challenging year. Last year, New Shoreham officials were intent on sealing off the island to protect against an influx of visitors as the pandemic was spiking all over the country.

Lars Trodson, executive director of the Block Island Chamber of Commerce, said things are different this year.

“I think it’s safe to say there is such a different feeling in March of 2021 than there was in March of 2020,” said Trodson. “People are fully expecting to be able to have their Block Island vacation experience this year, and they’re planning for it.”

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Trodson noted that “the calls came almost like clockwork in February. It was people calling to say they were unable to vacation last year, and that they really missed Block Island. There has been a lot of that.”

Trodson said he believes that “people are optimistic with the vaccines being rolled out, and with the weather getting warmer. People are planning with a great deal of optimism their vacations, and weddings, and get-togethers.”

Another indication that things are returning to state of normalcy is that the July 4th fireworks and parade, which were cancelled last year, are scheduled for the 2021 summer season. That decision, said Trodson, was based on the Town of Bristol declaring that it would be hosting its 4th of July parade.

Trodson said the Double Ender Committee, of which he is also a member, took Bristol’s lead and decided to host Block Island’s parade.

“We consulted with the New Shoreham Police Department and Dr. [Thomas] Warcup, at the Medical Center, who were very enthusiastic about us hosting the parade, and the fireworks,” said Trodson. “They were completely supportive. That was the mechanism that allowed us, with comfort, to go forward with it.”

Trodson said in the weeks and days leading up to the Fourth of July weekend the committee will be working with the police department regarding safety guidelines for gatherings. “We will be getting the word out loudly and consistently before the [weekend] so everybody follows the rules so we can safely hold these events,” he said.

The fireworks are scheduled for Friday, July 2, and the parade will be held on Monday, July 5. Trodson said the members of the committee did not want the parade to conflict with church and family events that may be scheduled for Sunday, July 4.

Cassius Shuman is a PBN staff writer. You may contact him at

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