Rhody Summer Festival Guide 2024

From art to music to food and more, Ocean State events you won’t want to miss


It’s summer, which means outdoor festival season has officially arrived in southern New England. One-of-a-kind spectacles featuring food, film, music, art, and more can be found all summer long around Rhode Island. Of course, the beauty of the festival is that there’s usually something for everyone. For example, if you’re not into the band playing on stage, wait 20 minutes or try a different stage. If you don’t dig oysters, there’s bound to be delicious pizza somewhere nearby. Not a fan of someone’s artwork? Head to the next tent. So get out and enjoy the season with our guide to the best summer festivals in Rhode Island.


Providence Porchfest

June 8

Enjoy an afternoon of free music at the second annual Providence Porchfest, happening on the East Side of the capital city. Porchfest means just that – live music at over two dozen homes and businesses hosting over 60 musicians on porches, in driveways, and on front lawns. The festival includes local and regional singer-songwriters, duos, and full bands performing in a variety of genres, including Mark Cutler, Allysen Callery, Beth Barron, Ike Dee, High Plains, Funkademic, and Scruffy Aristocrats. ProvidencePorchFest.com


Newport Classical

July 4-21

The Newport Classical Music Festival returns to historic locations around the City by the Sea, including The Breakers, The Elms, and Castle Hill Inn. With 27 concerts, the festival has something for everyone, with renowned players, world premieres, and family programs. Highlights include the opening night Fourth of July Patriotic Pops concert; Opera Night with a performance of Bizet’s Carmen; Italian Strings in Nature, an outdoor concert at the Norman Bird Sanctuary, and Brazilian-American composer-in-residence Clarice Assad, who will be premiering a piece commissioned for the festival. NewportClassical.org


Kingston Chamber Music Festival

July 24-August 4

Under artistic director Natalie Zhu, this classical music festival of six concerts over more than 10 days  brings veteran players and emerging artists together for specially curated concerts at the University of Rhode Island’s Edwards Hall. Highlights include festival founder’s David Kim and Friends, the Dover Quartet, the jazz-influenced Shades of Blue, and Mediterranean Plectrum and Strings, an enchanting program with Israeli mandolin player Jacob Reuven and American guitarist Adam Levin. The festival closes with picks by Zhu: Natalie’s Favorites, an evening of Mozart, Mendelssohn, and Schubert. KingstonChamberMusic.org


Newport Folk Festival

July 26-28

The annual music festival at Fort Adams State Park, which sold out seconds after tickets went on sale, returns with a star-studded lineup of established stars and up-and-coming artists, many who go on to remarkable solo careers. In recent years, top artists like Dolly Parton, James Taylor, Paul Simon, and Joni Mitchell have arrived unannounced, thrilling festival fans. This year’s roster includes award-winning performers Black Pumas, Molly Tuttle, Orville Peck, Rhiannon Giddens, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, Adrianne Lenker, and Killer Mike.  NewportFolk.org


Newport Jazz Festival

August 2-4

Popular music festivals first appeared in the US in the City by the Sea, making the Newport Jazz Festival the granddaddy of them all. Celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, Newport Jazz still serves as a model for how to run a music festival. This year’s edition continues to push the boundaries of jazz, something the festival has always been known for. Headliners include Andre 3000, Elvis Costello, Laufey, Nile Rodgers & Chic, Samara Joy, Kamasi Washington, and artistic director Christian McBride. Get your tickets soon as a sell-out is expected. NewportJazz.org


Folks Fest VIII

August 17

Experience the eclectic vibe of Warren at Folks Fest, a free day-into-night event with music, food, and art, including nine musical acts between two stages along with art and wares from over 30 Rhode Island artists and makers. There will also be a free kids’ crafts tent, recycle-a-bike, and great eats from local restaurants Chomp Kitchen & Drinks, La Piñata, Mac’s Screaming Street Corn, and Mumsy’s Ice Cream. The festival is a benefit for The Collaborative, an arts organization based in town. Warren, TheCollaborative02885.org


Rhode Island Folk Festival

August 25

Formerly the Providence Folk Festival, this free music festival features three stages of the best local and regional talent at Rose Larisa Memorial Park in Riverside, across the street from the Crescent Park Carousel. Headliners include regional all-stars Tom Rush, Dan Lilley, Tai & Moon, Michelle Malone, Dan Blakeslee, Divey, and more. Craft vendors and food trucks will be there. Bring the family and well-behaved pups. Riverside, RhodeIslandFolkFestival.com


Rhythm & Roots Festival

August 30-September 1

Rhode Island’s homegrown Rhythm & Roots Festival is back Labor Day Weekend with an outstanding lineup for 2024. Headliners for the three-day festival include Emmylou Harris, Old Crow Medicine Show, Larkin Poe, Drive-By Truckers, and Shemekia Copeland, alongside traditional music from a slew of Louisiana bands who bring authentic Cajun and zydeco music to the Northeast. Come for three stages of music, stay for the food trucks, vendors, parades, and more. Camping at Ninigret State Park is available. Charlestown, RhythmAndRoots.com


Narragansett Art Festival

June 22-23

The Narragansett Art Festival, sponsored by The Rotary Club of Wakefield, is celebrating its 41st year in Veterans’ Park near the Towers at Narragansett Beach. Strolling the breezy lawn, peruse art for sale from dozens of participating artists in categories including oils, acrylics, watercolors, pastels, drawing, graphics, photography, sculpture, and other three-dimensional media. Narragansett, WakefieldRotary.org


Wickford Art Festival

July 13-14

Over 200 artists will display their work in a variety of mediums at the annual event held in Wilson Park. Admission is free and you can purchase art in ceramics, wood, wearable and decorative fiber, furniture, fine jewelry, drawing, etching, glass, mixed media, painting, photography, printmaking, pyrography, and sculpture. And don’t forget to visit historic Wickford, just a quarter mile from the park, while you’re in town. North Kingstown, WickfordArt.org



July 14-27

PVD’s eclectic summer festival celebrates its 11th year with numerous events featuring local, national, and international independent performing artists. Check out the extensive mix of magic arts, solo acts, and experimental multimedia works that cross – and even defy – genres. Performances take place around Providence’s Valley neighborhood, at locations including WaterFire Arts Center, Farm Fresh RI, and the Steel Yard. Providence, FringePVD.org


Newport Dance Festival

July 17-21

The Newport Contemporary Ballet hosts this annual event on an outdoor stage at the Great Friends Meeting House. Each evening performance features a unique lineup of dances drawn on the talent, artistry, and unique styles of the festival’s visiting dance companies, and the resident company, which performs year-round. Reserve your tickets; bring your own picnic, blankets, and lawn chairs; and enjoy world-class dance in a relaxed outdoor setting. NewportContemporaryBallet.org


Flickers’ Rhode Island International Film Festival

August 6-11

The Rhode Island International Film Festival is a major event held annually. The week-long program includes special showings across the state with premiere works in Providence. Flickers is the largest public film festival in New England and an Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences qualifying event in three categories. Check the website for films and locations. Film-Festival.org


Pawtucket Arts Fest

August 31-September 8

One of the state’s largest festivals celebrates the historic city of Pawtucket. Running over a week, festivities include art installations, performances, music, food, and more. Dozens of events, including the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra’s Pops in the Park, Chinese Dragon Boat Races, Mixed Magic Theatre, Pawtucket Flavor Fest, live music, fireworks, local vendors, food trucks, and more, have all been a part of previous festivals. Check the website for updates. PawtucketArtsFestival.org


Charlestown Seafood Festival

August 2-4

The award-winning festival was the first of its kind in the country and continues to be one of the most popular summer events in the state. Enjoy Rhode Island’s best lobsters, steamers, chowder, fish and chips, clam cakes, corn on the cob, and a raw bar with native oysters. Bring the family for amusement rides, rock wall climbing, kayaking, a car show, and live music with top bands on the midway. Stay late Saturday night for fireworks. CharlestownSeafoodFestival.com


Farm Fresh RI Local Food Fest

August 13

Join local growers and producers at the annual Farm Fresh RI event to support the mission of the popular community-based organization. You’ll be able to meet Rhody’s star chefs and watch as they prepare meals, while enjoying local wine, beer, signature cocktails, and live music. The event takes place in Newport at Castle Hill Inn’s Chalet Patio and Lawn, with a gorgeous water-view setting overlooking the Newport Bridge. Advance tickets only. Newport, FarmFreshRI.org


Jewish Culture Fest

June 2

The Jewish Culture Fest at the Dwares JCC in Providence features authentic Klezmer music, dance, comedy, the Rock-a-Baby kid zone stage, community art, storytelling, an open-air artisan market, delicious food, a beer garden, whiskey tasting, and more. Highlights include Ezekiel’s Wheels, one of the world’s top klezmer ensembles; Myq Kaplan, a nationally known standup comedian; Raza, a project that explores the feminine sound in old Hasidic melodies; and local performer and author Mark Binder. Providence, JewishAllianceRI.org


Gaspee Days

Through June 9

Pawtuxet Village is home to Gaspee Days, a commemoration of the burning of the British customs ship in 1772 by Rogue Island patriots. Memorial Day Weekend features the Arts and Crafts Festival, followed by Symphony in the Park, and fireworks on June 1. Things really get busy on June 8-9 with the 5K road race, a colonial encampment at Pawtuxet Park, the blessing of the fleet, annual parade, and the reenactment of the burning of Gaspee. Warwick, Gaspee.com


Rhode Island PrideFest

June 15

Celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community at PrideFest, which returns to PVD’s District Park for a full day of programming including live music, vendors, a beer and wine tent, and more. At night, the streets come alive with a dazzling display of vibrant colors, electrifying floats, and the spirited energy of the community and its allies at the Illuminated Night Parade, a dazzling procession of diversity, love, and acceptance. Providence, PrideRI.org


Juneteenth RI

June 22

The 6th annual Juneteenth RI, commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, comes to 195 District Park in Providence. Join in on a day of celebration, with food trucks, vendors, and live entertainment, including this year’s headliner singer, songwriter, producer, and drummer Stokley. More musical acts to be announced. Providence, JuneteenthRI.com



June 28-30

Culturefest RI ‘24 is an exciting weekend festival at the Southside Cultural Center of Rhode Island in collaboration with the Rosa Parks Resource Center. The weekend features three inspiring days of music, art, dance, vending and more. Join a gathering of like-minded souls coming together to celebrate diversity and the rich tapestry of the community through the lens of Black Americans. Providence, CulturefestRI.com


Cape Verdean Independence Day Festival

July 7

Did you know Rhode Island is home to the highest percentage of residents of Cape Verdean ancestry of all 50 states? Learn more about the Ocean State’s Cape Verdean heritage at the Independence Day festival at India Point Park with family-friendly activities including music, dance, and authentic Cape Verdean cuisine. Providence, Facebook: Cape Verdean Independence Day Festival


Washington County Fair

August 14-18

The state’s largest county fair returns to the Richmond fairgrounds for a week of family fun, celebrating the rural heritage of Washington County and benefiting area nonprofits. The fair is also the region’s largest agricultural event featuring tractor pulls, the farm museum, livestock exhibits, and presentations from local FFA and 4H chapters. There’s country music daily, great food, and a full midway with rides from Rockwell Amusements. Richmond, WashingtonCountyFair-RI.com


Chinese Dragon Boat Race and Taiwan Day Festival

August 31

The Chinese Dragon Boat Race and Taiwan Day Festival is an exciting day of family entertainment with traditional dragon boat races, cultural performances, Asian cuisine, and the popular dumpling eating contest. The event takes place along the Pawtucket River on fiberglass Taiwanese-style dragon boats gifted from the Republic of China (Taiwan) that incorporate the skill of flag-catching in each race. Taiwanese arts and crafts tables, lion dancers, interactive games, and kids’ activities make this a special event. Pawtucket, DragonBoatRI.com



Pride in RI

Throughout the month of June, communities and organizations around the state plan activities to celebrate the voices and culture of LGBTQIA+ people through parades, flag-raising ceremonies, performances, and more. Held in June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Inn riots in New York City, events are all about making youth and adults feel safe, welcome, appreciated, and seen.

June 1:
East Providence Pride Celebration

June 1:
West Warwick Pride
Facebook: West Warwick Pride

June 2:
North Kingstown Pride Parade

June 3:
Pawtucket Pride

June 7:
Big Pride Flea

June 9:
Woonsocket Pride

June 15:
Rhode Island PrideFest & Illuminated Night Parade

June 22:
South County Pride

June 29:
East Greenwich Pride Celebration & Picnic
Facebook: EG Pride Celebration & Picnic

June 28-30:
Newport Pride Weekend

TBA: Little Compton Pride

September 12-14:
Queer Block Island



NK Turns 350

Since January, residents of North Kingstown have been celebrating like it’s 1674 to commemorate the sesquicentennial of the founding of their town. Look for a Family Day Celebration on September 14 and 350th Anniversary Parade on October 5, along with other activities. NorthKingstownRI.gov




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