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Moon Walking: Conimicut Celebrates Apollo 11 Annivesary

[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] From left, Astronaut Woody Spring speaks with Lynn Antonelli and her nephew, Christian Tanguay, 17, after the Conimicut Apollo 11 anniversary parade.

[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] From left, Astronaut Woody Spring speaks with Lynn Antonelli and her nephew, Christian Tanguay, 17, after the Conimicut Apollo 11 anniversary parade.
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] From left, Astronaut Woody Spring speaks with Lynn Antonelli and her nephew, Christian Tanguay, 17, after the Conimicut Apollo 11 anniversary parade.
[CREDIT Jeremy Rix] A model of the Apollo 11 capsule, driven in the July 20, 2019 Conimicut Apollo 11 Parade.
[CREDIT Jeremy Rix] A model of the Apollo 11 capsule, driven in the July 20, 2019 Conimicut Apollo 11 Parade.
[CREDIT Jeremy Rix] Grand Marshal Astronaut Woody Spring in the July 20, 2019 Conimicut Apollo 11 Parade.
[CREDIT Jeremy Rix] Grand Marshal Astronaut Woody Spring in the July 20, 2019 Conimicut Apollo 11 Parade.
WARWICK, RI —Conimicut celebrated the Apollo 11 astronauts’ landing on and safe return from the moon with a parade Saturday, braving the hottest day of the year to recall spaceflight’s past and dream of its future.

The event drew spectators who remembered the launch of Apollo first hand and those who read about it in school or watched recordings. Local politicians, including Mayor Joseph J. Solomon, Dist. 21 rep. Camille Vella Wilkinson, Councilman Jeremy Rix, School Committee Chairman Karen Bachus, School Committee woman Judy Cobden, and Councilwoman Donna Travis also marched in the parade and attended the after-parade activities.

Among those activities was a brief speech by Ret. US Army Col., and Space Shuttle Atlantis astronaut Woody Spring, the parade’s grand marshal.

Spring spoke about the world-view-shift that the space program represented for him and the rest of the world. Before then, he said, people had dreams about space travel and visting other planets.

“But everybody knew they were fantasy. Science fiction. You can’t go to space.”

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[CREDIT: Mary Carlos] Mayor Joseph Solomon and 2019 Mrs. Rhode Island America, Ewa Mann, at the July 20 Apollo 11 parade in Conimicut.
[CREDIT: Mary Carlos] Mayor Joseph Solomon and 2019 Mrs. Rhode Island America, Ewa Mann, at the July 20 Apollo 11 parade in Conimicut.
Then, he said, the Apollo mission changed that.

“All of a sudden, space is real. You can go there,” Spring said.

Spring told the crowd about his own trip into orbit aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis, and the experience of liftoff, at the start with only 2Gs pushing at your back.

“And you know you’re leaving planet Earth, one way or another,” Spring said.

Once in orbit, he experienced micro-gravity, watching as a pen floated next to him in the shuttle.

After the parade, before Spring’s speech, he spoke with people lined up for a look at the models of the Saturn V rocket that carried the Apollo 11, created by Troop 1 Conimincut, and the Apollo 11 module, created by the Warwick Area Career & Technical Center.

A cutout of an astronaut suit provided a fun photo opportunity for several people as Spring, Solomon and 2019 Mrs. Rhode Island America, Ewa Mann chatted with the crowd and posed for pictures.

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Inside American Legion Post 43, 662 West Shore Road, a documentary of the Apollo program was shown for the public, who were also treated to complimentary moon pies. At the back of the room, NASA Solar System Ambassador volunteer Frank Puglia, also an engineer and contractor for the Mars rovers and landers for NASA, showed moon rock samples as well as meteorites and answered questions about terrestrial and moon geology.

[CREDIT: Mary Carlos] Lori Masse poses for a photo in an astronaut cutout after the Conimicut Apollo 11 parade July 20, 2019.
[CREDIT: Mary Carlos] Lori Masse poses for a photo in an astronaut cutout after the Conimicut Apollo 11 parade July 20, 2019.
[CREDIT: Mary Carlos] Eagle Scout William Conklin poses with the Troop 1 Conimicut model of the Saturn V rocket after the Conimicut Apollo 11 parade July 20, 2019.
[CREDIT: Mary Carlos] Eagle Scout William Conklin poses with the Troop 1 Conimicut model of the Saturn V rocket after the Conimicut Apollo 11 parade July 20, 2019.
[CREDIT: Mary Carlos] The Munroe Dairy Milkman Band during the Conimicut Apollo 11 parade July 20, 2019.
[CREDIT: Mary Carlos] The Munroe Dairy Milkman Band during the Conimicut Apollo 11 parade July 20, 2019.
[CREDIT: Mary Carlos] Organizers of the Conimicut Apollo 11 parade carried signs thanking sponsors and contributors to the parade July 20, 2019.
[CREDIT: Mary Carlos] Organizers of the Conimicut Apollo 11 parade carried signs thanking sponsors and contributors to the parade July 20, 2019.
[CREDIT: Mary Carlos] Organizers of the Conimicut Apollo 11 parade carried signs thanking sponsors and contributors to the parade July 20, 2019.
[CREDIT: Mary Carlos] Organizers of the Conimicut Apollo 11 parade carried signs thanking sponsors and contributors to the parade July 20, 2019.
[CREDIT: Mary Carlos] The Carolyn Dutra dancers during the parade July 20, 2019.
[CREDIT: Mary Carlos] The Carolyn Dutra dancers during the parade July 20, 2019.
[CREDIT: Mary Carlos] William Shields Post brought their train engine to the parade July 20, 2019.
[CREDIT: Mary Carlos] William Shields Post brought their train engine truck  to the parade July 20, 2019.

[CREDIT: Mary Carlos] The Pawtuxet Rangers were dressed down for the intense heat during the parade July 20, 2019.
[CREDIT: Mary Carlos] The Pawtuxet Rangers were dressed down for the intense heat during the parade July 20, 2019.
[CREDIT: Mary Carlos]
[CREDIT: Mary Carlos]