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Mayor, Gaspee Days Celebrate 50th Birthdays

Warwick, RI – Friends of Mayor Scott Avedisian, who helped celebrate his 50th birthday and Gaspee Days’ 50th anniversary at One Rhodes Plaza, Cranston Tuesday night, are eager to tell you the relationship between man and event date back at least 36 years.

Avedisian and Gaspee Days were both 14 years old when many of the roughly 70 people at the Shriner’s Imperial Room first met the young man who would become Warwick’s current mayor. Attendees paid $50 a piece, with the proceeds going to the 50th Annual Gaspee Days Parade in June.

“Strange, that kid is 50,” said one reveller entering the room.

Those helping the event and the mayor celebrate their respective half-century marks included Dr. John and Patrice Concannon, each former presidents of the Gaspee Days Celebration. Avedisian himself served as president for the event in the 1990s.

Rep. Joseph Shekarchi attended, as did Cranston Mayor Alan Fung, there as both a friend of Avedisian’s and representing the city hosting half of Gaspee Days.

Fung presented two citations during the event, one to Gaspee Days President Erin Flynn in honor of Gaspee Day’s birthday, the second to Avedisian in honor of his birthday.

“I did not want a surprise party,” Avedisian said he told his friends and colleagues. So the compromise was a combined celebration.

“Which was much better for me,” the mayor said.

The deal also worked out for the volunteer Gaspee Day organizers, who enjoyed the popular mayor’s ability to draw a crowd for the fundraiser.

In fact, said Flynn, they were also happy to have the mayor in his own right, since Gaspee Days is very much a family of friends and volunteers, and Avedisian’s been part of that family since he was a teenager.

But, she said, if the mayor’s popularity can generate more support for the fundraiser, that’s not bad either. The parade costs about $45,000 to put on each year, so they can use all the help they can get.

After Fung presented the citations to Flynn and Avedisian, the mayor had a gift of his own to present to Flynn – an example of the new banners that will decorate the Warwick side of the Gaspee Days celebration along Narragansett Parkway this year.

From there, Mayor and Gaspee Days officials went to the cakes, one for each, and started cutting up slices.

Rob Borkowski
Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of Contact him at [email protected] with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.

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