The squid is quite the creature: hundreds of species, millions of years old, glides through the water like a slimy dandelion – and man, does it taste great deep-fried with a little sauce. Calamari is the dark horse of the Rhode Island seafood scene, but the people of Narragansett make plenty of room at the table, thanks to the annual Calamari Festival, a one-afternoon tribute to savoring cephalopods.
Like a blast of defensive ink, the festival comes at you fast. You’ll have four hours on a Saturday afternoon to pay your $10 admission, fill a plate (or plastic cup) with crunchy goodness, and stock up on beer at the cash bar before the festival packs up for another 12 months. While you’re there, you can hear live music and chat with the diverse culinary talents of Back 40, Mariner Grille, Parma Ristorante, and a half-dozen other beloved local restaurants. For the guest who’s on the fence about rubbery tendrils, there are plenty of other food vendors as well, from Haven Brothers’ food truck to Swirls & Scoops ice cream.
If you’ve ever doubted the quality of Rhode Island calamari, this is your chance to find out why the dish was officially named our “state appetizer” four years ago. September 8, Narragansett