- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 12, 2016

BRISTOL, R.I. (AP) - The Bristol Fourth of July Parade committee is backtracking after opponents lashed out against their recent decision to shorten the town’s historic Independence Day parade.

Parade chairwoman Fran O’Donnell announced Monday that a special meeting is scheduled for Thursday night to vote again on a proposal to cut the parade’s route by nearly a half-mile.

The town’s July 4 parade was first established in 1785 and is billed as the oldest continuous celebration of independence in the country.

The parade’s route had remained unaltered since 1975 before the committee’s Jan. 6 decision to cut its length in an attempt to appease groups refusing to participate.

O’Donnell says the 150-member committee will vote on the issue again because of a complaint alleging the committee violated open meeting laws.



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