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Misquamicut Guy Fawkes Bonfire Play and Event
October 14 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
GUY FAWKES BONFIRE NIGHT
26th Annual Guy Fawkes Bonfire Night
When: Saturday October 14, 7pm, pre show events at 6:30pm
Where: The Windjammer, 321 Atlantic Ave. Misquamicut Beach RI
Contact: Caswell Cooke, Jr. 401-932-3519
The Annual Guy Fawkes Bonfire Night featuring “The Misquamicut Players”, a group of local actors (The Misquamicut Players) and “Caswell & THe Peel N. Eats” an ensemble of local musicians will be held at The Windjammer on Atlantic Ave, Misquamicut Beach on Saturday October 14 at the Windjammer at 7:00pm. Pre-Show starts 6:30. Event is inside with Bonfoire to follow out on the beach.
The event will feature a large bonfire, live music, the Westerly Morris Men, Kentish Guards Fife and Drum as well as a reenactment of Guy Fawkes’s trial. This year will feature a number of classic compositions from The Moody Blues, Warren Zevon and Jimmy Buffett. Pre-Show festivities at 6:30 feature the musical stylings of Meaghan Quaratella, Wayne Holmes and also The Westerly Morris Men. All are welcome and the event is free of charge. Special reserved seating is available in advance by purchasing a ticket.
Just who is Guy Fawkes? The story begins in 1605, when Guy Fawkes (also known as Guido-yes, really) and a group of coconspirators attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament.
The conspirators were angered because King James had been exiling Jesuits from England. The plotters wanted to wrest power away from the king. Today, they would be known as extremists. However, in an attempt to protect a friend in the House of Lords, one of the group members sent an anonymous letter warning his friend to stay away from the parliament on the evening in question.
The warning letter reached the King, and the conspirators were caught, tortured and executed. Guy Fawkes and his friends had rolled 36 barrels of gunpowder under the Houses of Parliament.
These days, Guy Fawkes Day is also known as Bonfire Night. The event is commemorated every year with fireworks and burning an effigy of Fawkes on a bonfire. The effigies are simply known as “Guys”.
Some of the English have been known to wonder whether they are celebrating Fawkes’ execution or honoring his attempt to do away with the government.
A common question asked is; “was there really a gunpowder plot, or were the “conspirators” framed by the king?” There was no doubt an attempt to blow up parliament. Guy Fawkes and his associates may have been caught in a Jacobean sting operation. Many of the plotters were known traitors. It would have been almost impossible for them to get hold of 36 barrels of gunpowder without the government finding out.
As for the secret warning letter, many historians believe the King’s officials fabricated it. The letter made it easy to explain how the king found out about the plot and stopped it just in time. The letter was in fact very vague. It said nothing about the details of the attack. Still, the King and his men knew exactly where and when to catch the conspirators and stop the plot.
The English have been burning effigies to mark Guy Fawkes Day for over 400 years. The practice of burning the effigies, (which today are called “guys”) on the night of November 5th was started in 1606, just a year after the failed Gunpowder plot.
In these first bonfires, called “bone fires” at the time, it was not the bones or effigies of Guy Fawkes which were burned. Not until 1806, two centuries later, did the people start burning effigies of Guy Fawkes himself. Still today, communities throw dummies of Guy Fawkes, politicians and people in the news on the bonfire.
The Misquamicut Players have made an annual tradition of reenacting this night of inquisition and execution. Written and Directed by Caswell Cooke, and presented by the Misquamicut Business Association, this evening brings together local actors, dancers and musicians for a comedic look at this English holiday. 2023 celebrates the 418th anniversary (and Misquamicut’s 26th!) of this event!
The event is in memory of Chris DiPaola.
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