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Topic: Rhode Island

Top 20 Rhode Island Events for 2009

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See Yankee‘s travel bargains in Rhode Island

Yankee recommends that you call ahead to confirm dates and times.

MAY-OCTOBER: PROVIDENCE, WaterFire Providence. For a dozen or more Saturday evenings throughout the season, 100 bonfires will float along the darkened rivers of downtown Providence. Watch and enjoy special events–including jazz concerts and dance performances–at WaterPlace Park as it reflects the city’s shadows and highlights from sunset until after midnight. Call or visit the Web site for updated schedule. 401-272-3111; waterfire.org

MAY 2: CRANSTON, May Breakfast. Celebrate spring with this New England tradition at Phillips Memorial Baptist Church. Eggs, ham, johnnycakes, and baked beans served, with juice, coffee, and tea. May baskets, filled with sweet goodies, will also be on sale. 401-467-3300; phillipschurch.org

JUNE 6: NEWPORT, Schweppes Great Chowder Cook-Off. The first of Newport’s summer festivals, with 3,000 gallons served up by more than 30 of the nation’s best restaurants and chefs. All are vying for $10,000 in prizes awarded to the restaurants with the best chowders and the best clam cakes. Sample them all at Newport Yachting Center. 401-846-1600 x214; newportfestivals.com

JUNE 9: PROVIDENCE, Federal Hill Stroll. Walk the streets of the city’s Little Italy and sample a variety of the area’s finest offerings in the culinary and visual arts. More than 30 restaurants, galleries, and shops participate. Call to reserve tickets early. 800-233-1636, 401-456-0200; federalhillstroll.com

JUNE 13: WARWICK/CRANSTON, Gaspee Days Parade. Taking place along Narragansett Parkway to Broad Street, this annual event celebrates the first overt revolutionary action taken by Rhode Island’s colonists: the burning of the British revenue schooner HMS Gaspee. 401-781-1772; gaspee.com

JUNE 21-26: BLOCK ISLAND, Race Week. Watch as more than 200 sailboats cross Block Island Sound in one of New England’s most famous boat races. 800-383-2474, 401-466-2474; blockislandraceweek.com

JUNE 27: JAMESTOWN, Quononoquott Garden Club Island Treasures. A tour of diverse gardens on the island of Conanicut in Narragansett Bay, boasting natural beauty and historical interest. 401-423-1776; gardencentral.org/rigardenclubs/quononoquott

JULY 5-11: PROVIDENCE, Sound Session. More than 45 performances on five outdoor stages and 11 indoor stages downtown. Featuring legendary jazz and soul performers, new and underground talent, and a mix of musical styles. 401-351-0353; providencesoundsession.com

JULY 10-12: NEWPORT, “Coastal Living” Magazine Newport Regatta. The waters of Narragansett Bay become a raceway for some 300 sailboats and 1,500 crew members during New England’s premier annual one-design regatta. Watch from Fort Adams State Park (Harrison Avenue), stake a spot along Ocean Drive, or cross the bridge to Goat Island for a great view. 401-846-1983; sailnewport.org

JULY 16-AUG. 2: WESTERLY, Shakespeare in the Park. Performances of Macbeth Tuesday through Sunday evenings at 8 p.m. in Wilcox Park. Bring lawn chairs, blankets, and picnic dinners. 401-596-7909; thecolonialtheater.org

JULY 17-19: KINGSTON, South County Hot-Air Balloon Festival. Friday night enjoy the “balloon glow,” with entertainment, crafts, foods, artists, and more throughout the weekend. Balloon rides, model aircraft, antique autos, carnival rides, and more, all at the University of Rhode Island’s athletic fields. 401-783-1770; southcountyballoonfest.com

JULY 24-26: NARRAGANSETT, Blessing of the Fleet. This annual event includes a 10-mile road race and seafood festival, plus Saturday’s Blessing of the Fleet–a lively parade of large and small commercial and recreational vessels–at Galilee. 401-413-9801; narragansettri.com/lions

JULY 26: BRISTOL, Summertime Jazz at Cove Cabin. Spectacular views overlooking Mount Hope and Narragansett bays, a steak and lobster feast, and the smooth sound of jazz all join together to make a relaxing summer afternoon at Mount Hope Farm. Reservations required. 401-254-1745; MountHopeFarm.com

AUG. 4-9: PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island International Film Festival. View some of the best international independent films alongside world-class celebrities and award-winning filmmakers at Columbus Theatre Arts Center. Ranked one of the top 12 such festivals in the country, it’s also a qualifier for the “short film” Academy Awards. 401-861-4445; rifilmfest.org

AUG. 7-9: CHARLESTOWN, Chamber of Commerce Seafood Festival. You’ll find the Ocean State’s best seafood, lobsters, steamers, chowder, fish and chips, clam cakes, and raw bar at Ninigret Park. Arts and crafts, amusement rides, rock-wall climbing, a hot-rod and Harley show, kite exhibition, and more. 401-364-4031; charlestownrichamber.com

AUG. 7-9: MIDDLETOWN, Newport Antiques Show. Forty-two dealers from across the country will participate at St. George’s School to benefit the Newport Historical Society and Boys and Girls Clubs of Newport County. 401-846-2669; newportantiquesshow.com

AUG. 12-16: RICHMOND, Washington County Fair. Rhode Island’s largest agricultural event boasts daily concerts, rides, exhibits, entertainment, arts and crafts, games, and more for the whole family. 401-782-8139; washingtoncountyfair-ri.com

AUG. 14-16: PAWTUCKET, Grecian Festival. A gastronomic event at Assumption of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church. Authentic Greek cuisine, pastries, a kafenio (cafe) offering Greek coffee and baklava cheesecake, ouzo, mavrodaphne, and metaxa. Learn the baking secrets of working with phyllo dough, shop the Greek marketplace, and enjoy a colorful dance troupe in full ethnic costume. 401-725-3127; greekfestivalri.com

AUG. 15: ROSE ISLAND, Clambake at Rose Island Lighthouse. Start out with a bowl of New England clam chowder and homemade cornbread, then move on to the main course: steamers, mussels, littlenecks, Portuguese and Italian sausages, lobster, and a variety of sides. Finish up with dessert, visit the cash bar, and listen to live entertainment, too. 401-847-4242; roseislandlighthouse.org

AUG. 20: WESTERLY, Wine Tasting by the Sea. Showcasing more than 100 vintages from around the world, plus an assortment of cheeses, crackers, fruits, and appetizers, all at the Windjammer Lounge on Misquamicut Beach. 800-732-7636, 401-596-7761; westerlychamber.org

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