Our Recommendations for August 8th – 11th

The Rhode Island International Film Festival begins and AS220’s Foo Fest will take place on Saturday. There will be a WaterFire lighting on the 10th. Be sure the check some of the other great events happening around town this weekend.

Providence is known as the Creative Capital and we want to let you know about some of the events happening around town that you may want to check out.  With Summertime in full swing the weather is perfect for outdoor events and opportunities abound to be inspired under the setting sun.

Thursday August 8th

Get out and enjoy the weather and our unique Providence charm!  There are two great outdoor concerts that are free and open to all ages:

Burnside Park Beer Garden Concert Series hosts a weekly concert from 4:30-7Pm in the heart of downtown at Kennedy Plaza.  This historic park is located in the heart of Providence and is the perfect setting to enjoy a view of some of Providence’s historic landmarks such as City Hall, The Biltmore Hotel, and the Industrial National Trust Building (aka The Superman Building).  This week’s series features local favorites Boo City, and band known for a mix of R&B/Soul and Country Blues.  Bring a blanket, enjoy food from one of the food trucks on site, and enjoy a locally crafted beer!

Another great weekly concert series is held on historic Benefit Street on the lawn of the John Brown House under the shade of beautiful Elm trees.  This week’s music features the Celtic stylings of Pendragon at the John Brown House’s Concerts Under the Elms.

Friday August 9th

It’s film festival time so go see a movie! Ranked as one of the top 12 Festivals in the United States, the Rhode Island International Film Festival continues its 6-day festival with film screenings at Providence’s Veterans Memorial Auditorium and several other venues around town. Visit the Film Fest website for a more detailed schedule.

Saturday August 10th

We know you’re excited to check out all of the activity happening during WaterFire but there are events happening throughout the day that will keep you on your feet.

AS220’s Annual Foo Fest

Our friends at AS220 have been putting on the mother of all block parties each year called Foo Fest since 1995. This annual party takes over Empire Street in downtown Providence from 1pm to 1am and features a genre-spanning bill of nearly two-dozen musical acts and a nationally known headliner act on indoor and outdoor stages. The festival also features over a dozen artist installations and participatory creative activities, including family-friendly offerings throughout the afternoon.

A local institution, AS220’s vision for a local unjuried and uncensored forum for the arts was launched in a one-room rental above the Providence Performing Arts Center with a budget of just $800. Today, the non-profit owns – and enlivens – three mixed-use buildings, totaling over 100,000 square feet, in the heart of Providence’s downtown. AS220′s facilities and services are available to any artist who needs a place to exhibit, perform, or create original work and its classes and public-access studios are among the most affordable in the nation.


Of course WaterFire will be happening on Saturday with events beginning at 6pm. Check out the WaterFire Arts Festival Plaza which features over a dozen local artists offering fine art for sale with a wide variety of vendors from paintings and photography, to handcrafted jewelry and ceramics, to glassware and more.

Bring your dancing shoes because we’re sure you’ll enjoy the music featured on our Ignite Providence Music Stage on Steeple Street, featuring Latin Jazz Trio Los Amigos (6:30-7:15), blues guitarist Kim Trusty (7:30-8:30), followed by master percussionist Jesus Andujar’s Latin band, Grupo Sazon (9-midnight).  Dance demonstrations by the salsa dance company, Mambo Pa Ti, which is led by Carols Gonzales, will also be able to be viewed at Steeple Street at 9:45 and 10:45.

At Waterplace Park in the Basin, you’ll be amazed by Grupo Ondas, a local  Capoeira group who, in collaboration with the Cultural Center of Cape Verde and Brazil and WaterFire, will culminate a week of cultural events by hosting the Capoeira Encounter and Presentation beginning at 4pm until the lighting ceremony.  Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian martial art that combines self-defense, dance, acrobatics, and music into a “game” that is as breath-taking to watch as it is to play. This graduation ceremony, known in Portuguese as Batizado, is a traditional capoeira event in which new students are inducted into the world of capoeira, while senior students and instructors have the opportunity to demonstrate their immense skill. Such events draw capoeiristas of all ages from across the nation.

As part of the Rhode Island International Film Festival there will be several screenings of the documentary WaterFire: Art & Soul of a City at the Providence Public Library, a documentary that was released December 2012 that features behind-the-scenes footage of what it takes to make the WaterFire season happen.

WaterFire is sponsored by Fidelity Investments, Amica Insurance & National Grid.  Click here for more ideas to plan your trip.

Sunday August 11

Providence Flea

Held every Sunday from 10 am – 4 pm on the Providence River Greenway at South Water Street (across from Bacaro), this Flea Market continues to grow in popularity as new vendors are added weekly.  A mish-mash of vintage finds, handmade wares, upcycled clothing and goods, this newest addition to Providence’s urban scene is a nice way to spend your morning walking off whatever culinary delights you sought out for brunch.  Of course if you’re still hungry there are food trucks by the plenty on site.

Other Events Throughout the City:

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Author: Tim Blankenship

I work on websites.

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