Pekin, Indiana claims the oldest continuous July Fourth celebration (dating back to 1830)
Folks in Bristol, Rhode Island beg to disagree.
Here is the story out of that New England community.
The Annual Bristol 4th of July Celebration began, the say, in 1785 when Rev. Henry Wight of the First Congregational Church and a Veteran of the Revolutionary War conducted the first Patriotic Exercises.It is not known exactly when the Parade started but it is thought that it evolved from the procession of community members walking to Patriotic Exercises. The Parade, the Military, Civic and Firemen’s Parade, is believed to have begun in the early 1800’s.The Celebration officially starts on June 14th, Flag Day and concludes with the 2.5 mile Military, Civic and Firemen’s Parade on July 4th. Throughout the period following the Flag Day Ceremony numerous events are scheduled. They include a concert series at Independence Park, Fireworks, a Drum Corps Show, a Firefighters muster and a 4th of July Ball as well as many other events.