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5 Weekend Musts: Fall Ethnic + Cultural Festivals

Thursday, September 05, 2013


Pawtucket is bursting with arts, ethnic and cultural festivals this weekend, including the Taiwan Day Festival + Dragon Boat Races.

You know it's the beginning of fall in Rhode Island when the calendar bursts with colorful fall festivals, and this weekend is dominated by them. Pawtucket is home to several arts, culture and ethnic festivals this weekend, as well as Central Falls, Woonsocket, and Cranston. It's the perfect weekend to explore the state's rich culture (and taste its delicious food!). Get your favorite posse together and enjoy. 

Taiwan Day Festival/Dragon Boat Races in Pawtucket

Saturday Since 2000, the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council has presented Rhode Island's Chinese Dragon Boat Races & Taiwan Day Festival, and it's an annual highlight statewide. The event consists of dragon boat races for professional and amateur teams, along with many cultural and artistic events, including a Chinese dumpling eating contest for grownups and kids. With the emphasis on competition and fun, the event makes an entertaining day for participants and the entire family. Races are held on the Blackstone River off the School Street pier in Pawtucket. Festival 8am-5pm. School Street Pier, Pawtucket. 401-724-2200 1-800-454-BVTC (2882). dragonboatri.com

Arts Marketplace: Pawtucket

Saturday Part of the sprawling, fantastic Pawtucket Arts Festival, this exhibition and sale focuses on fine art and craft by more than 50 artists throughout the New England region (for a peek at some of the artists' work, check out the slideshow, here). In keeping with the Pawtucket Arts Festival, the Arts Marketplace: Pawtucket celebrates the arts and traditions of the Pawtucket community. A juried show whose mission is to meet high standards of technical and artistic excellence and to present the best of contemporary fine Art and American-made crafts in a comfortable family-oriented setting. Music and demonstrations throughout the two day event including a steam roller printmaking demo with the Ink Monkeys.  Free Admission. Food and beverages on site. 10am-4pm, Armory Art Center, Pawtucket. For complete schedule of events go to www.artsmarketplacepawtucket.com.

Polish American Festival in Central Falls

Got pierogi? Central Falls does this weekend at its annual Polish American Festival. Don't miss it.

Friday-Sunday   Delicious Polish and American food, entertainment for children and teens, a beer corner, and games of chance. Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy the music! Free admission and parking. Friday and Saturday, 6pm-midnight; Sunday, noon-6pm. St. Joseph's Church, 391 High Street, Central Falls. (401) 723-5427. Visit the Rhode Island Polonia Scholarship Foundation website for more information. 

Labor & Ethnic Heritage Festival in Pawtucket

Sunday  One of Rhode Island’s longest-running folk music and heritage-arts festivals. Initiated in the late 1980’s in partnership with the Rhode Island labor community and affiliated unions, the L&E Festival celebrated 25 years in 2012. In partnership with the Pawtucket Arts Festival, The L& E Festival shines its spotlight on folk and ethnic music, historic Slater Mill, the artisans of the Community Guilds Studio and gifted regional artists and artisans. Performers include members of Magnolia, The Greg Abate Quartet, Joyce Katzberg & Jimmy Warren, Zimmerman and more. Free admission for folk music festival only, regular admission for Slater Mill tours. 12-5pm. Slater Mill, 67 Roosevelt Ave, Pawtucket. www.slatermill.org

French Heritage Festival in Woonsocket

Saturday   Day-long authentic French open-air produce market, with Franco-Canadian entertainment, arts and crafts, food, and both a Dynamite and Apple Pie cook-off, celebrating local ethnic and cultural heritage. Ranger-guided river tours aboard the Blackstone Valley Explorer will also be available, departing from Thundermist Dam at Market Square. Rain date: September 8. Market 9am-3pm, Soiree 5:30-8:30pm. River Island Park, 16 Bernon Street, and Our Lady, Queen of Martyrs Hall, Park Square, Woonsocket. (401) 651-4739. Soiree Saturday features Beer and Dynamite and dancing to Les Vents de Canton. Our Lady, Queen of Martyrs Hall, Park Square, Woonsocket. Tickets: $10. Call (401) 769-9846, or visit the Northern Rhode Island Council on the Arts website for more information.

Greek Festival Weekend in Cranston

Friday-Sunday  Greek food, pastry, dancing, gift items, books, icons, Church tours, and children's activities. Rain or shine. Friday 5pm - 10pm, Saturday 12pm - 10 pm, Sunday 12pm - 9 pm Church of the Annunciation, 175 Oakawn Avenue, Crantston. Call (401) 942-4188, or visit the Church of the Annunciation website for more information. Free shuttle buses at Cranston West High School running to and from the festival.  


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