12 Food and Seafood Festivals in Rhode Island to Plan Your Trip Around in 2017
12 Food and Seafood Events in Rhode Island to Plan Your Trip Around in 2017
It’s no secret that people in Rhode Island love and appreciate delicious food. A lesser known fact is that we love a great party — and what better combination of the two is there than Rhode Island Food Festivals and Events? This is by no means is an exhaustive food lovers list, because of course, you can always take a food tour. These eleven events are some of the Ocean State’s favorites and certainly ones that you should consider when planning your next trip to Rhode Island.
RI Food Fights. RI Food Fights is, at heart, a celebration of Rhode Island’s best culinary offerings. These events allow guests to experience new restaurants, chefs, and bakeries under the guise of a competition. It hosts three main events in Providence:
* The Great Cupcake Championship on March 19
* The Incredible Ice Cream Throwdown on June 18
* Bacon & Beer Fest RI on June 17 ...mmmm bacon!
Guests sample the best of the best in Rhode Island all under one roof! Guests determine who receives the “People’s Choice Award,” while a panel of judges selects their own 1st and 2nd place winners. If you have a sweet tooth, you can’t miss any of these!
For all events, visit the RI Food Fights website here.
The 6th Annual Eat Drink RI. David Dadekian, founder and president, wanted to bring together all things culinary in Rhode Island while supporting local businesses. He succeeded. A quick visit to the website will yield a wealth of information, from upcoming food events to highlights of local agriculture. Best of all, Eat Drink RI hosts its own annual four-day festival for food lovers at the Rhode Island Convention Center from April 26 – 29.
Wednesday: Fiestaval! Eat Drink RI kicks off with this special VIP event. Best friends and gardeners Matt McClelland and Louby Sukkar showcase their talents. Bootblack Brand is bringing the cocktails and Easy Entertaining is providing the small bites. There will also be live music and entertainment.
Thursday: Dinner with Dames. Talented female chefs and bartenders from across RI come together to prepare a multi-course dinner.
Friday: Truck Stop. This event benefits the Rhode Island Community Food Bank by moving to the Food Bank’s big lot. If you’re interested in the Food Truck scene, this offers a great selection and supports a good cause.
Saturday: Grand Tasting. Saturday’s event is back at the Rhode Island Convention Center. Booths upon booths of local food artisans showcase their work, offering samples of food as well as locally produced beer, wine & spirits. There are also great culinary demonstrations.
NEW to this year’s festival is a partnership with Point Street Reading Series. There will be a trio of food-author readings and signings during the Grand Tasting.
This is the highest quality of home-grown RI taste-making, so prepare to be wow’d.
For more information, visit Eat Drink RI’s website here.
Taco Fest 2017 is the newest to our list of RI Food Festivals which is in it’s 6th year! It opens and celebrates the season ahead with amazing food, music, dancing, and more! There will be crispy, spicy, veggie, fishy and more to choose from while you experience the textures in Downcity Providence –all along Westminster Street! This event is FREE and open to the public. This is a family friendly event with face painting, balloons, sidewalk chalk, mask making, and many other play activities. May 6
Go to Indowncitypvd for more fun at this outdoor event.
Newport Oyster Festival. Newport is never one to be left behind when it comes to Rhode Island Seafood and Bowen’s Wharf is no stranger to great events. When the two come together, it’s the ultimate RI Seafood! These oysters are from 45 of RI growers’ finest oyster farms, shuckin’ it up on the wharf! Indulgences like this don’t get better when your slurping back these raw, steamed, fried, or grilled bivalves! May 19-21.
For more information on the Newport Oyster Festival, click here.
Warren Quahog Festival. Warren is one of the hidden gems in Rhode Island, an artsy city on the East Bay that is swimming in culinary talent and lacking in pretentiousness. This July 15 and 16 —will mark the 34th year that locals show off their talents in a wide variety of freshly cooked seafood, chowders, stuffed quahogs, littlenecks, and clam cakes. And if you don’t know what a quahog is [KOH-hog: a clam], come experience true Rhode Island cuisine! This festival also partners with the Warren Art Festival on Burr’s Hill Park now in its 26th which includes artists and live musical entertainment, so you won’t be in short supply of things to do. So ride on down the East Bay Bike Path and have yourself a good old fashion seafood picnic in Warren’s charming Waterfront District.
36th Annual Great Chowder Cook Off. Every restaurant that servers “chowdah” in New England claims to be the best, but this festival sets out to see who’s right. Top restaurants from New England and as far as Ireland compete for the title of “Best Clam Chowder” and “Best Seafood Chowder,” with an emphasis placed on original and high-quality ingredients. Head to Fort Adams State Park in Newport on June 10 to see what makes this staple food so darn good. From the well-seasoned chowder connoisseur to the new-to-New-England chowder taster, you’ll leave feeling like an expert.
For more information on the 36th Annual Great Chowder Cook Off, click here.
When you do come to enjoy the flavors of Rhode Island, come on a fun tasting tour of local restaurants with our Newport Neighborhood Food Tour AND our Downcity Providence Food Tour, we know the local food scene and we will show you the best places where locals eat and dine! Both are fun walking tours filled with food, history, architecture and culture!
33rd annual Charlestown Seafood Festival. If you haven’t figured it out yet, the Ocean State loves its food caught from the ocean. Here is another event that celebrates its fresh and delicious seafood. Set in the picturesque town of Charlestown in southern Rhode Island, this August festival features the full gastronomic experience, plus crafts, adventure activities, amusement rides, and even a firework display. This is a great event for the whole family, and an opportunity to experience life as a Rhode Islander.
To follow updates on the Charlestown Seafood Festival August 4-6, 2017, click here.
Greek Festivals of RI. If there’s one thing the Greeks do best, it’s enjoying life to the fullest, and their enjoyment begins around the table. With traditional homemade foods like moussaka, souvlaki, and gyros, to an entire bakery section devoted to pastry favorites like baklava and loukoumades, this is THE place to go to experience Greece culture in New England. Dance troupes and live music, a kaffe (coffee shop) and Greek market, and games and activities for kids bring this event to life—along with, of course, the spirit of the Greeks. Visit the 90th Assumption RI Greek Festival in Pawtucket, RI August 18 – 20 or Church of the Annunciation’s Greek Festival in September.
For info on the Assumption RI Greek Festival in August 18-20, 2017, click here.
For info on the Church of the Annunciation’s Greek Festival in September 8-10, 2017, click here.
Taste of Block Island. When in Rhode Island, why not visit Block Island? It’s just a short ferry ride away, and there you’ll find a quaint village full of restaurants, shops, beaches, and a plethora of outdoor activities. As the busy season fades into fall, it’s a great time to see what this island has to offer, and to do so while they are offering great deals! With the purchase of a button ($5), you’ll have access to all the discounts throughout the island, from restaurants to lodging to horseback riding. Enjoy “Building your own Sundae” to “Building your Own Bloody” (something for every age). Not to mention, in years past they’ve hosted an island-wide Bacon Fest, and a Chowder Fest, so stay tuned for the next rivalry. September 15-17, 2017.
For more information on Taste of Block Island, click here.
Ocean State Oyster Festival. Last year marked the second annual Ocean State Oyster Festival, where a collaborative group of founders set in motion their dream to see Rhode Island recognized for its top-of-the-line bivalves. “What lobsters are to Maine, we want oysters to be to Rhode Island,” they said. And this year’s third annual festival, set for September 23, 2017 will feature dozens of oyster farmers and vendors, wine and beer, live music, beautiful scenery and slightly dangerous entertainment (a shucking contest—for professionals only!) The event is capped, so be sure to order tickets in advance!
To follow updates on the 2017 Ocean State Oyster Festival, click here.
The 12th Annual Newport Mansions Food & Wine Festival. After completing your RI Red Food Tour, be sure to stick around on Sept 21-24 for what has been called “the best wine and food festival in the country.” Sophisticated and sublime, this festival features a two-day grand tasting of hundreds of wines and food samples on the lawn of a Gilded-age mansion in Newport—and that’s just one of the events they offer. Cooking demonstrations and seminars, a collectible wine dinner, and a gala are among their other offerings. This is “the food event” of all food events, not to be missed!
For more information on the 2017 Newport Mansions Food & Wine Festival, click here.
Columbus Day Festival Weekend 2017. This event is located in Federal Hill, a section of Providence known for the Italian immigrants who formed a community there over a century ago. It’s full of authentic cuisine, old-fashioned markets, and a lively history. There is a parade, which is always held on Sunday, live music, and an array of tastings from top-tier ethnic restaurants in the area. Lovers of Italian food, or rather–food in general—won’t want to miss this event.
To follow updates on the 2017 Columbus Day Festival Weekend Oct 7-9, click here.
To add to all the mouth-watering food festivals and events of the Ocean State, Rhode Island Red Food Tours will happily take you on off-the-beaten-path food tours in Newport and Providence. Guests sample menu items from hometown favorites and get to know the culture and history of Rhode Island. Contact us today if you want to plan your trip in 2017 around eating where the locals eat and going where the locals go.
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