Summer is the seasons for fairs, carnivals and festivals in New England. As much fun as rides, cotton candy, crafts and fried dough can be, at a food festival it’s all about the grub!
Rhode Island will be featuring several decadent culinary events this year. Here our top 5 can’t-miss picks!
1. Ocean State BBQ Festival. Providence, June 9-10 (5 to 10 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday)
This is only the second year for this event, but based on last year’s success, it could become an annual occurrence! There will be music, kid-friendly activities, crafts by local artisans, tips and demonstrations on smoking and barbecuing your own meats, and samples from the barbecue competition. The BBQ Festival will be held at The Steel Yard in Providence, located at 27 Sim Avenue.
2. Great Chowder Cook-off. Newport, June 10(noon to 6 p.m)
So what if Rhode Islanders make their chowdah completely wrong? It’s still pretty delicious – just don’t tell your Boston friends! The Great Chowder Cook-off in Newport is the longest-running chowder competition in the nation, with 2017 marking the 36th year! Festivities will take place on the North Lawn at Fort Adams State Park, with more than 20 local, national and international competitors.
Ticket prices include all-you-can-eat chowder samples, with additional food and drink available for purchase. There’ll also be live entertainment and kids’ activities.
3. The Crave. Providence, June 15 – 16(5:30 to 10 p.m.)
For a taste of everything Providence is known for – and then some – head to The Crave! This family-friendly food festival will be held at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence. This unique event features food and beverage samples from more than 80 restaurants, breweries and wineries, including Gracie’s, Matunuck Oyster Bar, Newport Vineyards, Milk Money, Duck and Bunny, Sam Adams and Narragansett Brewing Co., plus cooking demonstrations.
The food festival is this year’s addition to the annual CVS Health Charity Classic golf tournament. Proceeds benefit a great cause – the Rhode Island Community Food Bank!
Tickets available through Ticketmaster, by phone at (800) 745-3000 or at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center box office.
4. Charlestown Seafood Festival. August 4-6(noon to 11 p.m. Fri, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sat, and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sun)
Another proud, long-running Rhode Island festival, The 33rd annual Charlestown Seafood Festival is hosted by the Charlestown Chamber of Commerce, and is an absolute must for seafood connoisseurs! Decadent creations including lobster, clam cakes, steamers, chowder, a raw bar, fish and chips, lobster rolls and more will be available to sample and purchase.
And there is plenty more to enjoy! Amusement rides, a rock-climbing wall, a car show, a kite exhibition and live music will also be featured throughout the weekend. Don’t miss the fireworks Saturday night at 9 p.m.!
This is a rain-or-shine event held at Ninigret Park, off Route 1A. Children under 10 are free!
5. Providence Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival. Saturday, August 5
Since food trucks are still a relatively new concept, this is only the third year for the Providence Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival at India Point Park on Gano Street. More than 20 local food trucks will be showcasing their specialties, and a variety of regional and national craft beers will be there to help you wash it all down!
Purchase special Beer Lover’s Package tickets for just $18.50! Children 12 and under are free!
H/T to The Providence Journal