8 Can’t-Miss RI Fairs and Festivals

Who needs Coachella? The Ocean State has plenty of activites to offer this summer.

Probably Rhode Island’s most famous music festival, the Newport Jazz Festival has been pulling people in for more than sixty years. The festival has been host to jazz giants Miles Davis, Duke Ellington and John Coltrane, so for fans of the genre, this festival is a can’t miss. newportjazzfest.org.

Taking place at the historic Fort Adams in Newport, the Newport Folk Festival has one of the best lineups for folk fans in the country. In addition to the great music, they always have a beer and wine garden stocked with your favorite beverages and a number of local craft and food vendors. newportfolk.org.

Rhode Island celebrates its LGBTQ+ community every year with PrideFest. The festival is part music, part entertainment and part pride parade. Whether you’re straight, gay or somewhere in between, you’re sure to enjoy this colorful celebration. prideri.com.

A recent addition to the Rhode Island festival scene, PVDFest has been a smashing success in its first few years. The event, which showcases local, national and international musical, artistic and culinary talents, proves that Providence has earned the nickname of the Creative Capital. pvdfest.com.

A six-day event held throughout various locations in the state, the Rhode Island International Film Festival is the largest public film festival in New England. It is also a unique platform for the creative and cultural discovery of new cinematic talent both locally and globally. It is the event for savvy and discerning film lovers. film-festival.org.

The Rhode Island Chinese Dragon Boat Races and Taiwan Day Festival is an extraordinary event that the whole family can enjoy. Watch as the beautiful fiberglass, Taiwanese-style boats race by on the Pawtucket River and then enjoy some top-notch entertainment — including cultural performances, arts and crafts tables and a dumpling eating contest — under the festival’s giant tent. dragonboatri.com.

A gastronomic extravaganza of Rhode Island’s best seafood (including steamers, lobsters, clamcakes and more), the Charlestown Seafood Festival is not to be missed. The event also features art displays, rides, raffles and live entertainment. charlestownchamber.com.

Rhode Island’s largest agricultural fair, the Washington County Fair has a whole lot more than veggies and livestock. The five-day festival has rides, food, country music, a farm museum and agricultural displays (think tractor and horse pulls). Visit to get a taste (literally and figuratively) of what rural life in the littlest state is like. washingtoncountyfair-ri.com.