BY CASEY NILSSON
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Published: 2015.06.16 12:22 PM
The summer solstice is upon us, and it’s time to get planning. Experience the greatness of our tiny oceanside state by attending one — or all! — of our favorite summer festivals.
JULY 11–12: 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. Then climb on the rocks with the family and hunt for crabs. 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Free admission. Brenton Point State Park, Ocean Drive, Newport, newportkitefestival.com.
JULY 17–19: South County Hot Air Balloon Festival
In addition to the hot-air fun, enjoy a barbecue competition, carnival rides, a road race and more. Call or visit the website for event times. Adults $10, youth fourteen and younger $5, families $25. University of Rhode Island athletic fields, 3 Keaney Rd., Kingston, 401-783-1770, southcountyballoonfest.com.
JULY 24–25: Blessing of the Fleet Weekend
It doesn’t get more “Rhode Island” than this. See clergymen bless a parade of festively decorated vessels at Galillee, run in a road race and feast on culinary delights from the sea and shore at the Seafood Festival, which also boasts live music and children’s entertainment. Free admission. Port of Galillee and Memorial Square, Narragansett, narragansettlionsclub.com.
JULY 27–30: Newport BridgeFest
Bridge the gap between Newport’s famous festivals with live music at great venues, from the lawns of Gilded Age mansions to a salt-sprayed stage at Bowen’s Wharf. Visit the website for the lineup and show times. Many events are free. Various venues in Newport County, newportbridgefest.com.
AUG. 4–9: FLICKERS Rhode Island International Film Festival
Need a break from the August heat? Flock indoors for six days of film screenings, forums and special events celebrating the best new voices in independent cinema. Visit the website for show times and ticket information. Various venues in Rhode Island, 401-861-4445, film-festival.org.
AUG. 7–9: Charlestown Seafood Festival
Rhode Island’s best seafood, plus an array of cuisine for every taste. The festival also features arts and crafts, raffles, live entertainment and more. On Friday from noon to 4 p.m., enjoy unlimited amusement rides for a $20 flat fee. Fri. noon–11 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m.–11 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Adults $8, children ten and younger free. Ninigret Park, Old Post Road, Charlestown, 401-346-4031, charlestownrichamber.com.
AUG. 8: Foo Fest
AS220’s annual block party features artist installations, family-friendly activities and more than two-dozen musical acts. Headlining bands include Deerhoof, the Low Anthem and Death Vessel. 1 p.m.–1 a.m. $7 in advance, $10 day-of. Empire Street, Providence, foofest.as220.org.
AUG. 12–16: Washington County Fair
Sure, Ocean Staters know how to rock a swimsuit. But we look good in coveralls, too. This five-day festival boasts amusement rides, a tug of war competition, tractor and horse pulls, food and more. Visit the website for activity times. Adults $10, children ten and younger free. Washington County Fairgrounds, Rt. 112, Richmond, 401-397-5998, washingtoncountyfair-ri.com.
AUG. 15: Summit Music Festival
The organizers of the sixth-annual event gave us a taste of what’s in store for this year’s event with the early release of headlining act the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. We’re psyched. A favorite for families, the Summit Music Fest draws local and national musicians, plus food trucks, a beer garden, crafts, art and good times on Providence’s leafy East Side. 1–6 p.m. Free. Lippitt Park, Hope Street and Blackstone Boulevard, Providence, summitmusicfest.org.
AUG. 28–SEPT. 27: Pawtucket Arts Festival
This creative celebration kicks off in late-summer with a Taste of the Valley dining event and continues straight through to leaf-peeping season with a fall festival, Oktoberfest, an arts marketplace and more fun events. Call or visit the website for activity times and prices. Various locations in Pawtucket, 401-724-5200, pawtucketartsfestival.org.