Watchemoket Square Day on September 30, 2017
Celebrating the Past, Present & Future
The Seventh Annual Watchemoket Square Day will be held from 11:00am - 4:00pm on Saturday, September 30, 2017. Indoor and outdoor activities will take place on or near Warren Avenue (Rt. 6) and Waterfront Drive in East Providence. The event is open to the public with plenty of free street parking and no admission fee. A Shuttle Bus will travel around the rain or shine event at 15 minute intervals.
Watchemoket Square Day is presented by the East Providence Area Chamber of Commerce and was created seven years ago by local businesses, churches and organizations to bring awareness to Watchemoket Square: an area which once served as East Providence’s business district with over 100 businesses and hotels.
New! Watchemoket Square Day will kick-off on Premiere Night, Friday, September 29, with a live, 7:00pm performance of Reflections featuring an entertaining, multi-media, oral history of people born in the East Providence/East Bay area in 1913 and after. If you want to learn about life first-hand in the early 1900’s, during the World Wars and more, plan to see this performance written and directed by Susan Collyer and co-hosted by de Perla Theatre.
New! Free raffle drawings for boy’s and girl’s bicycles donated by Clarion Providence/Seekonk, and gift baskets filled with items donated by local businesses.
New! Watchemoket Square Winter Wear Clothing Drive. Bring your gently-used winter clothing and drop them off in the donation boxes at the event. (Drop-off locations to be announced)
The full event opens at 11:00am on Saturday, September 30 with a presentation at the new Watchemoket Square Sculpture Park, located at the corner of Warren Avenue and Valley Street. The Park is part of the Watchemoket Square Arts and Entertainment District and continues to expand with landscaping and new installations.
The popular “Kids Korner” returns inside the auditorium of St. Mary’s Episcoal Church. It is a family-friendly activity site featuring face painting, balloon animals, musical entertainment and more presented by Lighthouse Baptist Church. Free pumpkins, donated by Gilmore’s Flower Shop, will be available for the kids while supplies last.
Throughout the day, an exhibit about the history of the Civil War effort and Rumford Baking Powder Company will be on display at Tockwotton on the Waterfront. It is hosted by the East Providence Historical Society. They will also be hosting history walking tours of Watchemoket Square off Warren Avenue. This year’s tour theme is: “It’s All in the Porches-Fourth through Sixth Streets.”
Tockwotton on the Waterfront’s theater will feature presentations about East Providence’s waterfront, Bold Point Park and more. Bill Fazioli, chairman of the East Providence Waterfront District Commission, will be the presenter.
URI Marine Scientist, David Robinson, returns to continue the discussion about his research on the “Ship Graveyard” in East Providence. The presention will begin in the Tockwotton on the Waterfront theater, and weather-permitting, it will continue at Bold Point Park so attendees can see and learn about the site in-person. It’s a short walk down the road. Bring a camera and appropriate footwear for walking on dirt and grass.
Food will be available for sale at local establishments in or near Watchemoket Square; including Al’s Waterfront Restaurant with a 10% off food coupon for Friday night 9/29 and Saturday, 9/30; St. Mary’s Church and their “world’s greatest” grilled cheese sandwiches and chicken soup; and Tockwotton on the Waterfront will have red or white chowder and dessert bars on their menu.
Visit www.watchemoketsquareday.com and the Watchemoket Square Facebook page for schedule of events, more information and updates since 8/28/17, or contact East Providence Area Chamber of Commerce at 401.438.1212 or firstname.lastname@example.org
History of Watchemoket Square
Watchemoket Square (pronounced watch-uh-mocket or watch-moe-ket) began near Bold Point and was used by the Wampanoag Indians to cross the Seekonk River to what is now Providence. Watchemoket is an Indian word meaning the proximity of the river and the tidal marsh… with the feel and smell of the area.
In the early years of East Providence, which was then known as Rehoboth, Massachusetts, the site was the best place to cross the river. In 1793, John Brown of Providence built a bridge from Fox Point (Providence) to Bold Point. In 1885, an iron bridge was built which led to development in the area; including an inn followed by over one hundred businesses. By 1906, Watchemoket Square became the central business district of East Providence and covered approximately nine acres of land in the central section of the town.