Unleash Your Inner Mermaid at Wickford Sea Creature Parade

The annual event is hosted by the New England Quahog Festival.
mermaid
PHOTOGRAPH: CHRIS VACCARO.

Pull on a mermaid’s tail, wear a lobster costume or swim like a shark for the New England Quahog Festival’s third annual Wickford Sea Creature Parade on Sunday, August 26, at noon. The less-than-a-mile procession begins at the town parking lot at the end of Main Street and ends at the town beach. The King and Queen of the Sea lead the way, followed by the Extraordinary Rendition Band, Shriners mini cars, the Marching Milkman Band from Munroe Dairy, and a steady stream of mermaids and mermen, pirates and sea creatures. “People are incredibly creative,” says Nancy Rafi, who heads up the volunteer committee that organizes the Quahog Festival, which is sponsored by Centerville Bank. Last year, the staff from Different Drummer won the group costume award for constructing an interactive manta ray powered by six people, and the best costume went to a giant Orca whale. The parade convenes at the beach where there are food trucks, a raw bar sponsored by the Rhode Island Shellfisherman’s Association, a beer garden stocked with Whalers beers, live bands and more until 6 p.m. There are also kayak and paddleboard races, crab races and games for kids, a mermaid dunk tank and professional mermaid photos on the beach. It’s a free event, but the funds raised through activities will help renovate the town beach playground. “We all love to dress up in costumes, and I think we can all use a little distraction,” Rafi says. “This is a nice way to end the summer.” On Saturday, August 18, there will also be a free costume making day at the North Kingstown Community Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. newenglandquahogfestival.com