With Col. Ron Barnes, commander of the Pawtuxet Rangers giving directions, Mayors Scott Avedisian and Allan Fung will be told Thursday morning to pick up their weapons, take eight paces, face each other and start dueling.
It’s a duel, but rather than pistols the mayors will be armed with 4-inch paint rollers.
As Barnes drops his sword, the mayors will start re-painting the stripe on Narragansett Parkway in a race to the mid-point and Barnes.
Now, don’t mistake it; the mayors won’t be painting all two miles of the Gaspee Day parade route. The purpose of the duel is to bring awareness of the Gaspee Days Committee campaign to raise $5,000 to paint the patriotic road stripe.
According to committee member Mark Russell, the stripe hasn’t been painted for at least two years and is in shabby shape. There was a time when the state painted the line, but no longer.
Also, the duel is symbolic of the challenge being asked of Warwick and Cranston citizens. Residents can go on the Gaspee Days website – gaspee.com – and make stripe contributions in the name of the community they choose. Both mayors are confident their city will be the winner.
As for the mayors’ painting duel, that will take place in the middle of Narragansett Parkway in front of O’Rourke’s at 9 a.m. Thursday.