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Bristol holds oldest continuous July Fourth celebration

July 4, 2019

BRISTOL, R.I. (AP) — The nation’s oldest continuous Fourth of July celebration is taking place in a Rhode Island town.

Events traditionally begin on Flag Day in Bristol and culminate with a parade on July Fourth that typically draws 100,000 people. It begins at 10:30 a.m. Thursday under tight security.

Organizers say they’re preparing for hot weather and a festive celebration of the nation’s independence. There will be water stations along the roughly 2.5-mile route. Medical personnel will watch the marchers for signs of heat illnesses.

The temperature in Bristol is expected to climb into the 80s.

Last year, more than 60 people were treated for heat-related issues. Marchers in warm uniforms suffered heat exhaustion and were taken off the route.

The annual celebration began in the seaside town in 1785.

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