Five Can't-Miss Events of the Week: Aug. 20–26

Lovecraft-palooza, extinction on the big screen, arts in EP and more.
Necronomicon Providence

“Searchers after horror haunt strange, far places,” H.P. Lovecraft said, but perhaps the weird can be found a bit closer to home. The International Conference and Festival of Weird Fiction, Art and Academia celebrates Lovecraft’s 125th birthday this year with a fete of cosmic proportions right here in Providence, the late writer's hometown. On Thursday, head to the Façade on Westminster and Weybosset streets for free performances by eerie rock ensemble Alec K. Redfearn and the Eyesores and the Big Nazo Intergalactic Band, plus screenings of Lovecraftian films. Heading into the rest of the weekend, don't miss two spooky social events — the Cthulhu Prayer Breakfast and the Eldritch Ball — that will leave Lovecraft junkies lurking in the threshold for more. Top it all off with historic walking tours, musical performances, film screenings and author readings and you may leave feeling a bit weirder for the wear. Need to know more about the "cosmic horror maestro?" Click here.

The Details: Aug. 20–23. Call or visit the website for event times and ticket prices. The Biltmore and Omni Hotels, with additional events held all over downtown Providence and adjacent College Hill sites,


newportFILM: Racing Extinction

Are we headed the way of the dinosaurs and into the sixth major extinction in Earth’s history? Oceans turning acidic, sea life going extinct: We are both the cause and the cure, according to the documentary, Racing Extinction. On Thursday, newportFILM proudly screens this call to action in the waterfront field beside Belle Mer. The night also features pre-film live music and a post-film Q-and-A with award-winning director Louie Psihoyos and Dr. Sandra Whitehouse, a marine biologist and the senior advisor to Ocean Conservancy. Bike to the festival (racks provided) and bring a picnic (and maybe some biodegradable utensils?) to complete the experience. Onsite food vendors include Boru Noodle Bar, Tricycle Ice Cream and Tallulah's Taco Cart. In case of rain, the screening will take place at the Casino Theatre, 9 Freebody St., Newport.

The Details: Aug. 20. Live music at 6:45 p.m. Film begins at 8:15 p.m. Suggested donation $5. The field beside Belle Mer, 2 Goat Island, Newport,


Providence Children's Museum: MetLife Free at 5

Beat the heat with a free evening at the Children’s Museum, where kids can splash around and scope out the night sky without leaving the air conditioning. Sculpt ice, manipulate mist with your condensation superpowers and get your hands wet at Water Ways. Then head up to My Sky, a travelling exhibit from the Boston Children’s Museum with up-close images of the sun, telescopes to study the stars and more universe-expanding features. Also on view is the tenth annual Rhode Island Heart Gallery, an exhibit of portraits of children in state care and awaiting adoption. Representatives from Adoption Rhode Island will be available to speak with families on Friday night.

The Details: Aug. 21. 5–8 p.m. Free. Providence Children’s Museum, 100 South St., Providence, 401-273-5437,


 The Looff: East Providence Arts Festival

The East Providence Arts Festival at Crescent Park is affectionately known as “The Looff” — Looff meaning “a whirlwind of art, music and life.” With more than sixty booths featuring works by local artisans — including the sweet retro Crescent Park ticket necklace by Black Sheep Designs — the Looff definitely has art. With live musical performances by the Rhode Island Philharmonic and fun local bands, the Looff most definitely has music. And with kids performances by Keith Munslow, belly dancing and appearances by Big Nazo, the Looff has a serious kick of life. Grab the family and friends and head to a festival that will bring your summer back to life or, more appropriately, to Looff.

The Details: Aug. 22. 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Free. Crescent Park, 700 Bullocks Point Ave., Riverside,


Music at Sunset

Music at Sunset is a celebration of beauty, both the tangible and the fleeting. Blithewold provides the atmosphere — a gorgeous overlook of the bay, windswept clouds, glowing sunsets — while Superchief Trio provides the soundtrack. Sprawl on the verdant green lawns, the breeze from the bay tousling your hair, as the band plays an array of fun honky tonk tunes. Before the concert, spread out your picnic blanket for a feast, pop out your BYOB cooler or get active with lawn games and a stroll through the gardens.

The Details: Aug. 26. 5–8 p.m. Members $7, non-members $10. Blithewold Mansion's Great Lawn, 101 Ferry Rd., Bristol,