Five Can't Miss Events of the Week: May 12–18
Newport art, SpringFest, food truck fun and more.
On canvas, in your ears, on the plate and in the sky: Newport Art Museum’s monthly Art After Dark event finds art everywhere. Opening Thursday night is an exhibition of work by students in the museum studies program, which, according to the museum, “fosters the next generation of art lovers, makers, curators and supporters.” The event also boasts food tastings by culinary arts students from Rogers High School as well as musical performances by the Portsmouth Abbey Jazz Band. More fun comes in the form of a Tricky Gallery Game puzzle, scavenger hunts and stargazing on the front lawn with members of Skyscrapers Inc. Amateur Astronomical Society of Rhode Island.
The Details: May 12. 5 p.m. Free for members; suggested $10 donation for non-members. Newport Art Museum, 76 Bellevue Ave., Newport, 401-848-8200, newportartmuseum.org.
Oh, how wonderful it is to check the forecast and see mild temperatures on end. And when the weather sticks at sixty-five, it’s time for SpringFest. The biannual event at Misquamicut Beach features carnival rides, a petting zoo, kids’ activities and a food court complete with New England mainstays — think in pairs: fish and chips; lobster and butter; chowder and clam cakes — as well as Chinese, Thai and other international cuisines. The automobile-obsessed will love the classic car show, and music buffs shouldn’t wait to purchase tickets for the headlining concert featuring tunes by Pure Prairie League, the band behind the 1972 hit single, “Amie.”
The Details: May 13–15. Fri. 5–11 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m.–11 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.–5 p.m. General admission $7, Sat. night concert $28–$50, children younger than four free. Misquamicut State Beach, Atlantic Avenue, Misquamicut, misquamicutfestival.org.
Here’s a pre-weekend challenge for you: Head to Food Truck Fridays at Roger Williams Park’s Carousel Village and order one thing from each truck. If you don’t burst from fullness — there’ll be more than a dozen trucks! — we’ll grant you the Unofficial Czar of Food Truck Fridays. Friday launches the weekly seasonal series, which features eats for purchase from favorite mobile kitchens, including Pat’s Pastured To Go, Like No Udder, the Salad Man, Buddha Belly and more. Spread out your blanket in the grass or snag a picnic table and listen to live tunes in the park. Parents can quench their thirst at the Trinity Brewhouse beer garden, then the whole family can run around with abandon at the nearly ouch-proof Boundless Playground. End the night with a spin on the historic carousel for $2 per ride.
The Details: Fridays May 13–Oct. 28. 5–8 p.m. Free admission; food and carousel rides for purchase. Carousel Village, Roger Williams Park, 1000 Elmwood Ave., Providence, rwpzoo.org.
Honk your horn, beat your drum and march in celebration of our city’s ponds. In 2007, artist Holly Ewald, founder of the Urban Pond Procession, launched a public awareness project about pollutants in Mashapaug Pond in Providence. Since then, Ewald and other artists, scientists, historians, students and community members have collaborated to promote cleaner ponds in the Lower Pawtuxet Watershed. The ninth annual procession kicks off at Roosevelt Lake at Roger Williams Park (by the Casino) and ends where it all began, Mashapaug Pond at J.T. Owens Park. The pond is an important ancestral site for the Narragansett tribe, and Loren Spears, director of the Tomaquag Museum, helped lead this year’s theme: Indigenous Cultures and Urban Waterways. Pick your prop — we call the fish costume! — and join Big Nazo, the Extraordinary Rendition Band and Native American performer Thawn Harris on the forward-thinking march. The event ends with an eco-themed variety show, a documentary screening and some well-deserved refreshments.
The Details: May 14. 6–9 p.m. Roger Williams Park, 1000 Elmwood Ave., to Mashapaug Pond, 350 Niantic Ave., Providence, upparts.org.
It’s one thing to wake up with the birds — but an organic, locally sourced breakfast, too? Norman Bird Sanctuary, a nonprofit that’s preserved more than 300 acres of Rhode Island land since 1949, has you covered at the thirty-fourth annual Birds and Breakfast fundraiser. White Horse Tavern executive chef, Rich Silvia, will whip up the cuisine, which features locally grown, organic ingredients donated by area vendors. Before the breakfast, take a walk with the sanctuary’s expert birders. After the meal — with three seatings at 8, 9 and 10 a.m. — the kids can partake in a nature craft and meet a resident raptor. In addition to the natural symphony of bird song, Four Bridges’ Greg Ferreira will perform bluegrass music throughout the morning.
The Details: May 15. Seatings at 8, 9 and 10 a.m. Adults $25, kids three to twelve $10. Norman Bird Sanctuary, 583 Third Beach Rd., Middletown, 401-846-2577, normanbirdsanctuary.org.