Don’t Miss: Fall Festivals of Southern Rhode Island

Friday, September 26, 2014


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Photo credit: Rick Farrell of Mojo Photography

Check out these upcoming fall festivals in Newport and the surrounding coastal cities.

Bristol-Warren Art Night: The last Art Night of the season, September 25, features artist studio tours and galleries in both towns. Ride along the Art Night trolley (while taking in the changing shades of leaves along the way) with a guided tour of every stop featured on the event complete with great entertainment and good company.

Blithewold Fall Foliage Yoga Series: Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum has joined forces with Bristol Yoga Studio to offer a true connection to nature through peaceful yoga sessions surrounded by an inspiring, ever-changing landscape. All levels of experience are welcome on Thursdays through October 16.

Norman Bird Sanctuary Annual Harvest Fair: Marking its 40th anniversary October 4-5, this family friendly, old fashioned-style country fair features a “monkey bridge,” greased climbing pole, the Mabel Express barrel train, tug-o-war, the "famous" (or infamous) mud pit, plus a home and garden competition, field games, crafters, a country store, music and more.

Behind the Vines:  This VIP experience at Newport Vineyards on October 11 is lead exclusively by a Newport Vineyards winemaker. Guests will embark on a 1.5 hour hike into the vines exploring each step of the grape growing process and analysis. A private wine tasting and picnic lunch will follow in the meadow overlooking the vineyard.

International Oktoberfest:  Seasonal brews and savory Bavarian cuisine will complement the lively and spirited sounds of German music spilling from the Biergartens at the Newport Yachting CenterOctober 11-12. Traditional fare includes brats, schnitzel, sauerbraten, potato pancakes and more. This year, there will be two Biergartens and expanded outdoor courtyard space for all the festivities. Families with younger children and strollers as well as senior patrons are encouraged to attend on Sunday, the less congested of the two-day celebration.

Newport Rhode Races: Runners can choose from a marathon, half marathon or a 5k race on October 12 in the City by the Sea. Each course highlights our local history and breathtaking oceanside scenery, providing some of the most spectacular runs in the country. (The Newport Half Marathon was voted the best half marathon in the Northeast by Competitor Magazine in 2011.)

Bowen’s Wharf Seafood Festival: It’s a “Harvest of the Sea” on historic Bowen’s Wharf to toast autumn’s bounty October 18-19. Local restaurants and fishermen prepare their best dishes under tents around the wharf accompanied by live music all weekend long. Spirits, soft drinks and desserts are all available, as well as seating throughout the wharf. Chefs  dish up their prized lobster dinners, clam chowders, “stuffies,” clam cakes, shrimp, scallops, raw oysters and a few dishes even a landlubber can love. Named one of the "10 Fabulous Fall Festivals on the Coast," by Coastal Living Magazine.

Newport Food Truck Festival: Food Truck Festivals of New England has saved the best stop for last. On October 25, nearly two dozen trucks will descend on the Newport Yachting Center to serve up a diverse array of made-to-order dishes from gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches and duck tacos to ethnic specialties and sweet treats.

Pell Bridge Run: Perhaps the most unique road race experience in the Northeast, this once-a-year opportunity for pedestrians to run or walk across the Claiborne Pell Bridge on October 26 from Jamestown to Newport raises funds for local not-for-profit organizations.

Newport Restaurant Week: More than 45 restaurants throughout Newport and Bristol Counties will offer seasonal three-course dishes at prix-fixe prices: $16 for lunch, $35 for dinner, November 7-16. Enjoy a new (or new-to-you) restaurant or an old favorite during this 10-day culinary extravaganza that concludes with a very special grand finale. Taste, dine and celebrate some of the area’s top restaurants, caterers, bakeries and confectionaries at the 31st annual Taste of Newport on November 16, which has been re-designed to incorporate and expand on the traditional Taste format with a collaborative dining experience, all to benefit Child & Family and its many programs and services for families.


Related Slideshow: Best Fall Festivals and Fairs of New England

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The Big E

Known as the cream of the crop of New England fall festivals, The Big E is the largest agricultural event on the east coast and the sixth-largest fair in the nation.

Not only does The Big E have the usual: food, entertainment, and amusement park rides, but it also boasts the Avenue of States.

The fair has a replica of each statehouse in New England. Inside each replica, experience what makes the state unique. Stop by the Lego exhibit in Connecticut and taste the maple syrup in Vermont.

Top off the day with a visit to the circus.

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King Richard's Faire

Knights, kings, queens, jesters, and peasants! All are invited to King Richard's Faire.

The longest-running renaissance fair in New England includes jousting, acrobats, minstrels, and a royal court.

This recreation of a 16th-century marketplace is spread over 80-acres.

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Rhode Island Chinese Dragon Boat Races & Taiwan Day Festival

The event consists of dragon boat races for professional and amateur teams as well as the opportunity to learn about Chinese culture.

Watch fiberglass dragon boats race for the top prize. These boats were a gift from the Republic of China (Taiwan).

Experience the Lion Dance and compete with the family in a Chinese dumpling eating contest.

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Photo credit: Blackstone Valley Tourism Council

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Newport International Oktoberfest

Spend Columbus Day Weekend on Newport’s downtown waterfront.

There will be two Biergartens brimming with frosty heads of seasonal and international beer varieties.

Stillen your thirst with Angry Orchard Hard Cider, Blue Moon Belgian White, Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin, Harpoon Cider, Harpoon IPA, Harpoon Octoberfest, Harpoon UFO Pumpkin, Heineken, Hofbrau Oktoberfest, Magic Hat #9, Magic HatCircus Boy, Magic Hat Dream Machine, Leinenkugel Oktoberfest, Leinenkugel Harvest Patch Shandy, Newcastle, Newport Storm Hurricane Amber Ale, Newport Storm Rhode Island Blueberry, Newport Storm India Point Ale, Newport Storm R.I.P.umpkin, Sam Adams Octoberfest, Sam Adams Boston Lager, Sam Adams Jack-O Traveler Pumpkin Shandy, Shipyard Export, Shipyard Monkey Fist IPA, Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale, Shipyard Sea Dog Blue Paw Blueberry Wheat Ale and Strongbow.  

Don't schuplattle on an empty stomach by eating plenty of Austro-German cuisine from Schnitzels & Giggles, fresh baked pretzels, spiral potatoes and more.

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Photo credit: Rick Farrell of Mojo Photography

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Misquamicut FallFest

Before hibernation sets in, spend your last day on the beach at Misquamicut FallFest.

FallFest will include carnival rides from Rockwell Amusements, the International Outdoor Food Festival, a petting zoo, a car show, and live entertainment.

Music Lineup


5 pm - 6:15 pm: Haunt the House
6:30 pm - 8:15 pm: The Savage Brothers
8:30 pm - 10:45 pm: Who Are You: A Celebration of The Who

12 pm - 1:45 pm: Tumblin Dice: Tribute to the Stones
2 pm-3 pm: The Whole Façade
3:15 pm - 4:45 pm: Spirit Shaker
5 pm - 6:15 pm: Roger Ceresi’s “All Starz”
6:30 pm - 7:30 pm: The Beach Band
7:45 pm - 9:15 pm: Elliot Lewis of Hall and Oats
9:30 pm - 10:45 pm: Weekend Wilburys: Tribute to Roy Orbison,
Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, George Harrison and Jeff Lynn

12 pm - 1:15 pm: The Steamuhs
1:30 pm - 3 pm: Freddy and the Yetis
3 pm - 5 pm: Black and White feat. Erik Narwhal and Gary Gramolini (Beaver Brown Band)

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Pawtucket Arts Festival

Now in its 16th year, the Pawtucket Arts Festival lasts through the whole month of September.

Events include theater performances, Louisiana Night, the Pawtucket Film Festival, and the Irish Music Festival.

Blackstone River Party/Taste of the Valley -- Food and dessert samplings from community restaurants at the historic Slater Mill Museum.

Steampunk Soiree at Slater Mill for Steampunk fans, guests, and gear & water wheel geeks. This is an evening of music, dance, spectacle, and merriment under the tent and on the dance floor.

Samfest at Slater Mill offers a concert retrospective featuring the repertoire of American music great, Nat King Cole and daughter Natalie.

Don't forget to see the the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra and Pops perform at Slater Park. Performance followed by fireworks.

See more here

Photo credit: Blackstone Valley Tourism Council

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stART on the Street

stART on the Street is Massachusetts's largest arts, music and cultural festival. More than 250 artists and crafters will display handmade goods.

A variety of food trucks are on hand including Vegan and vegetarian options.

Don't miss the street performances, dance troupes, and live music.

There will also be activities and interactive exhibits for the little ones.

See more here

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New Hampshire Highland Games

Grab your kilt, bagpipes, and head up north to New Hampshire for the largest Scottish festival in the Northeast.

This event features bagpipe bands, Highland dancers, and whisky tastings.

Test your mettle in competitions such as tests of strength, sheepdog trials, Highland Dance, and fiddling and drumming contests.

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Newport Mansions Wine and Food Festival

Live the high life for the day at the Newport Mansions Wine and Food Festival.

With tickets starting at $135 and headliners such as Martha Stewart, this is one of the most anticipated food and wine events in the country.

Sample the finest wines on the lawn of Marble House.

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Acadia Night Sky Festival

Leave the city lights behind, head to Acadia National Park, and look towards the heavens.

Attend astronomy workshops and take a nighttime boat cruise.

Spread out the blanket and set up the telescope to spy a few shooting stars.

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