Five Can't-Miss Events of the Week: Oct. 15–21

Halloween film-for-all, seafood fest, wicked in Wickford and more.
Halloween Movie Night

Join the Friends of Ballard Park for a night of Halloween-themed activities for all. Dress up the kids in their finest All Hallow’s Eve attire for a fun early parade. If they successfully charm the panel of celebrity judges, they just might win a Movie Night prize. The contest is followed by a public’s choice family movie for the kiddos and, later, a hair-raising film for horror-loving adults. Both will be screened in the Quarry Meadow, so dress warm and bring an ample supply of kettle corn, Halloween candy and hot apple cider.

The Details: Oct. 17. Rain date Oct. 25. Activities begin at 5 p.m. Free. Ballard Park, Hazard Road, Newport,  


Bowen's Wharf Seafood Festival

This isn’t just a celebration of the fruit of the sea; the wharf’s annual seafood festival also features live music and family fun. Kids can paint pumpkins and get their own noggins painted to match, and a variety of music, from Celtic to blues, will inspire you to get your jive on by the Newport Harbor. Best of all, local restaurants and fishermen’s associations serve up the freshest seafood dishes, from clam cakes and chowder to scallops and oysters — a veritable smorgasbord of underwater delights. Wash down your stuffie with a cold beer and save room for dessert; the festival also boasts a mind-boggling selection of pies, ciders and other scrumptious sweets. While entry to the event is free, food is available for purchase.

The Details: Oct. 17–18. Sat. 11 a.m.–6 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Free. 13 Bowen’s Wharf, Newport,


Wicked Week and a Half

Head to quaint Wickford for the ultimate Halloween celebration. To kick off the festivities, Monday brings pumpkin decorating, face painting and a scarecrow showdown. The fun continues with other wickedly amusing events, such as a walking tour of historic graveyards and the annual Horribles Parade on Main Street, where the cutest ghouls and goblins jaunt through town in their Halloween best. Don’t miss trick-or-treating in town on Halloween day, where kids can don their costumes early and grab goodies at participating businesses. Plus, parents will love the fall shop specials — a great way to get a head start on holiday shopping.

The Details: Oct. 17–31. Visit the website for activity times. Free. Wickford Village, Brown Street, Wickford,


 International Oktoberfest

Is that the scent of sauerkraut and bratwurst floating in the fall air? For the first time ever, the annual International Oktoberfest celebration waltzes north from Newport to Providence, bringing with it copious amounts of beer, brats and Bavarian culture. The biergartens will overflow with singing, yodeling, music and the slap of beer sloshing in steins, bringing the opportunity for every fraulein and alter to be whisked away to Germany without actually leaving Rhode Island. But before you head off into the hop-colored sunset, a word of advice from someone who’s experienced Oktoberfest in Germany: Whatever you do, don’t climb on a table. The chances are too good that you'll fall off or — funnier — you won't be able to get down. Event is restricted to guests twenty-one and older.  

The Details: October 17–18. Sat. noon–8 p.m., Sun. noon–6 p.m. Sat. $20 advance, $25 day-of; Sun. $17 advance, $20 day-of; weekender pass $30 advance, $40 day-of. India Point Park, India Street, Providence,


Vortex, Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Horror Film Festival

Previously known as the Horror Film Festival, this newly rebranded event opens the floodgates for even more genre-bending work. Not for the faint of heart, the annual festival features a diverse display of films created all across the globe and screened at local venues including the Bell Street Chapel Theatre and the Veterans Memorial Auditorium. Kid-friendly movies will be shown over the course of the week, however, most films are intended for mature audiences. Unless otherwise noted, children younger than fourteen will not be admitted without an adult — some are just that scary.

The Details: Oct. 19–25. General admission $10, festival five-packs $40. Various venues in Rhode Island,