A Piece of Home for Everyone: Making the RWU Fourth of July Float

Orientation Advisors take a ‘Hometown Hero’ approach to this year’s Fourth of July Parade float

Students pose in front of the float.
Each year the Orientation Advisors build a patriotic float for Bristol's Fourth of July Parade.
Courtney Dell'Agnese '19

BRISTOL, R.I. – For the 2018 Roger Williams University Orientation Advisors, celebrating Independence Day serves up scenes of baseball games and barbeques, and means paying homage to the people who not only serve our country, but also to the hometown heroes of the Bristol community.

Each year the Orientation Advisors (OAs) continue the tradition of creating a patriotic float for our hometown’s annual Fourth of July Parade, the oldest continually running celebration of our nation’s birthday. It’s a way of building community among the 40 OAs who stay on campus to welcome the incoming freshmen class, while also connecting with our local community in a spirit of celebration.

Their creativity and hard work earned them the "Most Original" award in the Bristol Fourth of July Parade.

Student team leaders pose in front of float

When float committee co-chairs Kayla Devin (right) and Kevin Griffin (left) were tasked to manage the creation of this year’s Fourth of July parade float, they knew they wanted to honor the tradition of what the Fourth of July celebration means to the Bristol community.

Student working on float

While it’s always worthwhile to pay respect to the men and women fighting for our country, the orientation team wanted to also honor Bristol’s own police and firefighters for protecting and serving our community everyday.

Student working on float

These detail-specific paintings of distinguished locations in the community take the painters days to finish; making sure every last facet is a perfect representation of Bristol.

Student working on float

“When everyone sees the float, I hope they can all see a little piece of the reasons that they love not only Bristol but our country,” said Devin.

Students working on float

“This float is homemade, just like when you go back to your mother’s cooking at home – everything’s made from scratch,” Griffin said. “We did our best to compliment everyone here, as well as compliment everyone in Bristol and all the things they do for the Roger Williams community.”