Five Can’t-Miss Events: May 18–24
Slurp down oysters, watch aerial tricks, gaze at the cosmos and more.
1. Newport Oyster Festival
On your marks… get set… shuck! The Newport Oyster Festival returns to Bowen’s Wharf and showcases Rhode Island’s many fantastic oyster farms. The three-day seafood spectacular celebrates the aquaculture in the state. The opening party features a night of oysters and champagne on the waterfront to benefit the Ocean State Aquaculture Association and the USS Oliver Hazard Perry. The weekend events include samplings of oysters from farms all over the state, booze and live music. You can also find the locally sourced oyster restaurants on the Rhode Island Oyster Trail or come for the Shucking Contest on Sunday at 3 p.m.
The Details: May 19–21. Opening party, Fri. 6 p.m. Weekend Festival, $150. Sat. and Sun. 11 a.m.–5 p.m. $25 advance. $35 day-of. Bowen’s Wharf, 13 Bowen’s Wharf, Newport, 401-849-2243, bowenswharf.com.
2. Fiber Festival and Art Fair
Come get a yarn to spin! The tenth Annual Fiber Festival and Craft Fair is returning to Coggeshall Farm Museum. The Festival features interpreters dressed in eighteenth century clothing mixing with visitors and helps to build the illusion of what life would have been like for farmers in the late 1700s. You can watch impressive crafting demonstrations, buy handmade items or witness a master sheep shearer at work. Do you love to cook? You can also compete for cash prizes in the annual Coggeshall Cookoff. This year’s theme is rice pudding.
The Details:May 20. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. $7 adults. $5 kids twelve and younger, seniors and active-duty military. Coggeshall Farm Museum, 1 Colt Dr., Bristol, 401-253-9162, coggeshallfarm.org.
3. Stargazing Night
The vast and beautiful sky is full of wonders and you can view them on Stargazing Nights at Frosty Drew Observatory. Every Friday night Frosty Drew opens the observatory, sky theater and telescopes to offer stargazing and astronomy to everyone. With the dark view over Ninigret Park, the observatory can show off the full spectrum of astronomical anomalies to novice space fans and experienced telescope junkies alike. They stay open late, sometimes until dawn, and will only close when the sky is not observable or everybody goes home. Maybe try for an all-nighter at the observatory? Stargazing nights are free, but Frosty Drew takes donations.
The Details: May 19. 8:30 p.m. Free. Frosty Drew Observatory, 61-62 Park Ln., Ninigret Park, Charlestown, 401-859-1450, frostydrew.org.
4. Bach’s Mass in B Minor
Johann Sebastian Bach’s Mass in B Minor has been called one of the greatest works of all time and the Chorus of Westerly gives you the chance to see it performed in its entirety. Established in 1959, the Chorus of Westerly has performed for more millions, with professional orchestras and soloists. Mass in B Minor is being presented as part of the Westerly Symphonic Series and traditionally features vocals and full orchestral accompaniment. The piece was one of the final works produced by the German composer completed in 1749, on year before he died. The final version was never performed in his lifetime.
The Details: May 21. 4 p.m. $65–$12. George Kent Performance Hall, 119 High St., Westerly, 401-596-8663, chorusofwesterly.org.
5. The Rhode Island Air Show
See daredevil pilots doing amazing aerial tricks at the annual air show in Quonset. Highlights include the flight of a Soviet-era MiG-17, a dynamic combined arms display, a premier attack helicopter and a CH-47 Chinook helicopter that will transport a 155 millimeter howitzer to the show center. The shockwave truck (you know, the one that shoots flames) will also be there for a thrilling encounter. The Rhode Island Department of Transportation is offering free train rides to the show.
The Details: May 20–21. Gates open at 9 a.m. Flying starts at 10 a.m. Quonset Point Naval Air Station, North Kingstown, rhodeislandairshow.com.
Reporting assistance by Grace Kelly