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By Bob Krekorian, Naval Station Newport Public Affairs
June 29, 2012

NEWPORT, R.I. -- Rear Adm. John Christenson, president of the U.S. Naval War College, will serve as the Navy division marshal and lead the Navy in Newport contingent in the 227th annual Bristol Fourth of July Parade next Wednesday at 10:30 a.m.

The parade is the highlight of the oldest continuous Independence Day celebration in the country. Historically, the Civic, Military, and Firemen’s parade attracts 40,000 to 50,000 spectators along the 2.5 mile route.

USS Carter Hall (LSD 50) is the scheduled visiting ship for the Bristol Fourth of July Parade.The amphibious dock landing ship USS Carter Hall (LSD 50) is the scheduled visiting Navy ship and will moor outside Bristol Harbor on July 2. The ship’s commanding officer, Cmdr. Damon Amaral, is a native of Coventry and some crew and officers will march in the parade.

The 610-foot ship, homeported at Naval Amphibious Base, Little Creek, Va., will host public tours July 3 to 5 from 1 to 5 p.m. Visitors should anticipate a 30 to 40 minute launch ride to reach the ship at anchor. The first boat each day will leave from the Coast Guard Station at the foot of Constitution Street at 12:30 p.m. and then approximately every half hour for the remainder of the day.

There are no handicap access points and the tour includes climbing several flights of stairs throughout the ship. Children in strollers will have to be carried, as strollers cannot be pushed about the ship.  Visitors are reminded to wear comfortable footwear (no heels/platform shoes). Parking on the Coast Guard pier is not authorized. Limited street parking is available nearby.

The Navy in Newport will be well represented. Officer Training Command and Navy Operational Support Center, Newport, will provide marching units. Surface Warfare Officers School will provide a marching unit that will accompany a float carrying a replica of the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp. Naval Health Clinic New England and Marine Corps Detachment Newport will each provide a color guard.

Spectators are advised to arrive early because of parking restrictions along the parade route, limited access into Bristol, traffic congestion, and road closures.  Large parking lots are open to the public at the corner of Hope Street and Gooding Avenue.

For more parade information, visit

Posted by Cmdr. Carla M. McCarthy