Topic: Rhode Island

Top 20 Rhode Island Events for 2011

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May 7: South Kingston, East Farm Spring Festival. Make your garden a little greener. University of Rhode Island Master Gardeners host a plant sale and day of workshops on environmentally friendly gardening practices. 401-874-4453; uri.edu/cels/ceoc/east-farm-spring-festival.html

May 13-15: Westerly, Misquamicut Spring Festival. Soak up the sun at Misquamicut State Beach. Along with the surf you’ll enjoy a carnival, concerts, fireworks, good food, and a classic car show. 401-322-1026; misquamicutspringfest.com

May 21: Bristol, Rhode Island Wool & Fiber Festival. Textile enthusiasts gather at Coggeshall Farm Museum for demonstrations of traditional and contemporary fiber arts. See the hand-shearing of sheep, help with 18th-century textile work, and stock up on your own crafting supplies. 401-253-9062; coggeshallfarm.org

May 28-29: Westerly, Virtu Arts Festival. More than 18 professional artists and talented craftspeople will display their works in Wilcox Park while performing artists entertain the crowd. 401-596-7761; westerlychamber.org

June 4: Newport, Great Chowder Cook-Off. Restaurants battle for the coveted “Best Chowder” title and all the bragging rights that go with it. Sample their submissions and see who you think is best. 401-846-1600; newportwaterfrontevents.com

June 4: Providence, Providence Art Festival. The downtown area turns into a sprawling market. Enjoy street performances and browse locally made crafts and fine artworks. providenceartfestival.com

June 10-12: Warwick, Gaspee Days. Billed as the original “WaterFire,” this festival commemorates the burning of a British revenue schooner in 1772. Military encampment and fireworks Friday night, road race and parade Saturday, and the symbolic burning of the Gaspee in Pawtuxet Park Cove on Sunday. 401-781-1772; gaspee.com

June 11: Richmond, Rhode Island Highland Festival. Scotland comes to the Ocean State: Enjoy traditional music and dance, Scottish food, sheepdog demonstrations, and highland sports contests, all at Washington County Fairgrounds. riscot.org

June 19-24: NEW SHOREHAM, Block Island Race Week. The waters around Block Island host a week of sailboat races. Register your vessel or just come out and watch. 401-466-2474; blockislandraceweek.com

June 25: Westerly, Chorus of Westerly Summer Pops. For the 31st year, the Chorus of Westerly will team up with the Boston Festival Orchestra for a pops concert in Wilcox Park. Accompanying the music this year will be fireworks, cannons from the Newport Artillery, and the bells of Christ Church during the 1812 Overture. 401-596-8663; chorusofwesterly.org

July 4-10: Newport, Hall of Fame Tennis Championship. Featuring both veterans and up-and-comers. On Saturday, the Hall of Fame will induct its 2011 class, including Andre Agassi. 401-849-6053; tennisfame.com

July 8-10: Newport, Newport Regatta. Three days of sailboat races (anyone is welcome to register his or her vessel), plus a beer-and-chowder social on Sunday. 401-846-1983; sailnewport.org

July 9-10: Wickford, Wickford Art Festival. The narrow streets of this picturesque village fill with vendors. Shop the work of local craftspeople and put your name into the raffle. 401-294-6840; wickfordart.org

July 22-24: Kingston, South County Hot Air Balloon Festival. Colorful balloons take to the skies as terrestrial attendees enjoy music, fireworks, pony rides, a petting zoo, and a catch-and-release pond, all at URI’s athletic fields. 401-783-1770; southcountyballoonfest.com

July 23: Newport, Save the Bay Swim. Professional and amateur athletes navigate 1.7 miles across Narragansett Bay, from Newport to Jamestown, raising money and awareness; proceeds go toward keeping the bay clean and healthy. Participant preregistration required. 401-272-3540; www.savebay.org/swim

July 29-31: Newport, Newport Folk Festival. Continuing a historic run at Fort Adams State Park. Listen to folk legends and get acquainted with the new artists who are defining what folk means for the next generation. 401-848-5055; newportfolkfest.net

August 5-7: Charlestown, Charlestown Chamber of Commerce Seafood Festival. All the fish you can eat: Sample lobster, chowder, clam cakes, steamers, and more at Ninigret Park. There’ll be amusement rides and children’s shows for the little ones, plus rock-wall climbing and a “Hot Rod & Harley” car show for the adults. 401-364-4031; charlestownrichamber.com

August 5-7, 12-14: Cranston, One-Act Play Festival. You don’t always need a lot of words to make a strong statement. Artists’ Exchange hosts performances of a selection of new one-act plays by regional writers in its Black Box Theatre. 401-490-9475; artists-exchange.org

August 20: Jamestown, Fools’ Rules Regatta. Contestants are given two hours to build a boat out of “non-marine materials,” then attempt to race it down a 500-yard course at the town beach at East Ferry. Even if your vessel sinks just off the beach, you can still compete for the “Worst Example of Naval Architecture” award. 401-423-1492; jyc.org

August 20-21: Newport, Wet Paint. A unique fundraiser for the Newport Art Museum. Saturday morning, more than 300 artists set up their easels around town and produce original works. Those paintings are hung in the museum that afternoon and then auctioned off in the evening and Sunday morning. 401-848-8200; newportartmuseum.org


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