14 Great Summer Festivals in Rhode Island
Mark your calendar for our favorite summer events.
Summer can seem like an endless stretch of hot weather and long days, so if you’re looking for a way to break out of that mundane routine, check out one (or all!) of these festivals going on this summer in Rhode Island.
JUNE 15: PrideFest
Celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community this national pride month at Providence’s annual PrideFest. Features of this event include live entertainment and street performances, kid friendly spots, an illuminated night parade and more. The festival takes place from noon-7 p.m. and admission is free. Dorrance St., Providence, 467-2130, prideri.org.
JUNE 22–23: Federal Hill Summer Festival
Federal Hill, the hotspot of delicious culinary cuisine in Providence, will be backdrop to a two-day festival that highlights the best the Hill has to offer. Atwells Avenue will be lined with food and retail vendors, games and more. The festival will run from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on both days and is free admission for all. Federal Hill, Atwells Ave., Providence, federalhillprov.com.
JULY 13–14: Newport Kite Festival
There’s no cooler place in summer than Brenton Point, and the annual Kite Festival is a great reason to go. Learn how to build and fly kites from the experts, or show off your skills during open flying sessions. Kites are available for purchase at the event and dogs are welcome. Free admission. Brenton Point State Park, Ocean Dr., Newport, 324-9335, newportkitefestival.com.
JULY 25–29: Blessing of the Fleet Weekend
If you’re in the market for a uniquely Rhode Island experience, check out this three-day festival, ten-mile road race and Blessing of the Fleet celebration in Narragansett. See clergymen bless a parade of festively decorated vessels at Salty Brine Beach in Galilee, tie up your laces and run the road race, listen to live music and more. Plus, feast on culinary delights from the sea and shore at the Narragansett Lions Club and sip a brew in the beer tent. Free admission. Memorial Sq., Narragansett, narragansettlionsclub.org.
JULY 26–28: Newport Folk Festival
This three-day folk festival features premier folk artists like Gregory Alan Isokov, Sheryl Crow, Hozier and Lake Street Dive. Food and crafts will be available for purchase beginning at 10 a.m. while the music begins at 11 a.m. Although tickets have sold out, you may still have a chance! Get on the fan exchange list here. Fort Adams State Park, 80 Fort Adams Dr., Newport, newportfolk.org.
AUGUST 2–4: Charlestown Seafood Festival
Rhode Island’s best seafood, plus nearly every type of entertainment imaginable, including but not limited to a car show, arts and crafts displays, amusement rides and fireworks. Fri. noon–11 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m.–11 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Adults $10, Senior and Military $7, children ten and younger free. Ninigret Park, 5 Park Ln., Charlestown, 364-4031, charlestownrichamber.com.
AUGUST 2–4: Newport Jazz Festival
The Newport Jazz Festival is celebrating its sixty-fifth year bringing jazz music to Rhode Island. See your favorite musicians including Herbie Hancock, Kamasi Washington, Corinne Bailey Rae, Diane Reeves and many more perform at this three-day event. Tickets cost $15-$170, though prices vary depending on number of days and age of ticket holder. Fort Adams State Park, 80 Fort Adams Dr., Newport, newportjazz.org.
AUGUST 6–11: FLICKERS Rhode Island International Film Festival
Need a break from the August heat? Flock indoors for the largest public film festival in New England: six days of film screenings, forums and special events celebrating the best new voices in independent cinema. Visit the website for showtimes and ticket prices. Various venues in Rhode Island, 861-4445, film-festival.org.
AUGUST 14–18: Washington County Fair
Sure, Ocean Staters know how to rock a swimsuit. But we look good in overalls, too. This five-day festival boasts amusement rides, an impressive live music lineup, tractor and horse pulls, fair food and more. 8 a.m.–10 p.m. Adults $11, children ten and younger free. Free parking. Washington County Fairgrounds, 78 Richmond Townhouse Rd., 539-7042, washingtoncountyfair-ri.com.
AUGUST 25: Folk Festival
Bring a blanket and a picnic basket full of delicious food and relax on the lawn with family and friends to the sounds of an incredible lineup of folk artists. Parking is free and food truck fare will be available for additional bites. Noon–6 p.m. Free admission. Rose Larisa Park, 701 Bullocks Point Ave., Riverside, providencefolkfestival.com.
AUGUST 30–SEPT. 1: Rhythm and Roots Festival
This family-run, quirky, energetic and singularly special festival is the perfect way to close out the summer. Tickets are available for purchase per day, or, if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can park your camping gear on their expansive camping grounds and be immersed in four nights of music, food and all sorts of goodies aside. Glamping tents are available for the less rustic folk and family friendly events are available for all ages. There is even a pond to swim in! Admission is free for ages twelve and under, plus reduced admission for children ages thirteen through nineteen. Tickets range from $30-$250, camping and glamping prices additional. Ninigret Park, 5 Park Ln., Charlestown, rhythmandroots.com.
SEPTEMBER 6–15: Pawtucket Arts Festival
Whether you prefer dance, theatre, music, visual or folk-traditional arts, there is something for everyone during this celebration of culture, history and art in Pawtucket. This creative arts event features the Slater Park Fall Festival, the Taiwan Day Festival, SAM’s Fest, RI-Chinese Dragon Boat Races and much more. See website for event times and prices. Various locations in Pawtucket, 728-0500, pawtucketartsfestival.org.
SEPTEMBER 7: Rhode Island Calamari Fest
It is only fitting that the official state appetizer has its own festival. Live music, vendors, cash bar and calamari will be available in abundance to nibble on. Vote on your favorite calamari after the tasting from noon–4 p.m., then stick around to see who crowned winner of calamari is. 11 a.m.– 5 p.m. Adults $20, children under twelve free. 35 Ocean Rd., Narragansett, ricalamarifest.com.
SEPTEMBER 7-8: Rhode Island Seafood Festival
Calling all seafood lovers! This annual festival offers the best seafood Rhode Island has to offer. Enjoy two days of live music, freshly caught food from the sea and family fun while overlooking the Bay. Sat. 11 a.m.–7 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Tickets cost $5 in advance, $10 at the door and are free for children under twelve. India Point Park, 263 India St., Providence, riseafoodfest.com.