Photo: Greg Kantra

10 Things You Grew Up Doing in Rhode Island

Rhode Island
by Jenna McCrory Sep 22, 2017

1. You dug for quahogs.

At least once a summer, you and the family went to your favorite salt pond with your clam digging tools looking for dinner. For some, your digging tool of choice was the clam rake, and others, your bare hands. Either way, you got dirty, had lots of laughs, and ate a delicious dinner.

2. You grabbed for brass rings on a carousel.

You tried so hard to get that lucky brass-colored ring for a free ride. If you’re from the north, you grew up going to the Crescent Park Looff Carousel at Carousel Park in East Providence, and if you’re from the south, you visited the Flying Horse Carousel at Watch Hill Park in Westerly.

3. You drank your bodyweight in Del’s Frozen Lemonade.

What’s your flavor–Original, Watermelon, or one of the other crazy ones? There is nothing better than Del’s Frozen Lemonade after a hot summer day.

4. You spent the entire summer at the beach.

Whether you lived right by the beach, or your family took day trips, childhood memories will flood your mind when you catch a whiff of salty air. A big shout-out to Rhode Island Public Transportation Authority or RIPTA for having routes to Narragansett Beach. Thanks to you, many Warwick, East Greenwich, and North Kingstown tweens had fantastic tans, and summers filled with flirting, bodysurfing and walks down to Narrow River to play mud football at low tide.

5. You learned to ski or snowboard at Yawgoo Valley Ski Area.

With less than 300-ft of vertical drop, trails are not exactly long or fast (trails “T.N.T.” and “Lower Ledges” are arguably fast) but growing up we made it work. The famous “Yawgoons,” a group of Rhode Island snowboarders, are the perfect example of this. With little snow, they’ve impressed the snowboard community with their skill, creativity, and style. The New York Times even wrote an article about them.

6. You rode the roller coasters at Rocky Point.

Since the park has been closed since 1995, you might not be old enough to remember Rocky Point. If you are, you remember the Flume, the Corkscrew, the Cyclone, the Musik Express, and eating clam cakes and chowder at the World’s Largest Shore Dinner Hall.

7. You day tripped to Block Island Ferry.

At least once a summer you sailed with your family or friends over to Block Island on the ferry (singing the Block Island Ferry jingle the whole journey). You spent the day biking around the island, checking out Mohegan Bluffs, and stopping at Ballard’s with the rest of the Rhode Island day-trippers to eat and enjoy a frozen drink.

8. You went night clubbing in Providence.

Thanks to Providence’s slew of 18+ night clubs, you didn’t have to wait until you were twenty-one to go out and dance or see live music. There’s a good chance you got your start at 79 Washington St., the current location of Lupos Heartbreak Hotel, but once home to former venues, The Strand and Diesel. Or if you grew up in the 1970’s (when the drinking age was eighteen for a bit) the Engine Company on S. Main St. might have been your favorite.

9. You went to a Pawsox game.

You proudly wear that “P” on your hat! Since 1973, the minor-league baseball Triple-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox has made baseball games affordable, convenient and fun for your family.

10. You watched tractor pulls at the Washington County Fair.

Tractor pulls, horse pulls, ox pulls, and lots of pigs and goats, the annual Washington County Fair is good ole country fun, and you grew up having a blast going to it. You may even have participated in a potato sack race, or jumped on a Ferris wheel ride, or danced your boots off to live country music.

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