The Official Awesome Rhode Island Events Calendar: 2022 Edition
April 7, 2022
This is just a snapshot of outstanding things to do in Rhode Island in 2022 to have on your radar. Make plans now and you’ll be sure to experience a year to remember.
Just like Rhode Island’s more than 400 miles of coastline, the Ocean State’s event scene can be described in one word: astounding. From food and music events to fairs and festivals, we’re pretty sure nobody does it better than Rhode Island when it comes to filling your social calendar.
Mount Hope Farm Spring Fest, May 7, 2022
In addition to vendors of local produce and other delicacies, two-dozen artisan vendors will display and sell their work ranging from jewelry to ceramics to furniture at Mount Hope Farm, a 127-acre national historic site located in Bristol. The Bristol Garden Club will be on hand with its annual spring sale of annuals, perennials, herbs and specialty items, all ideal as Mother’s Day gifts. Children’s activities include a scavenger hunt, crafts and story hours by the popular Mrs. Katz and Her Hats. Kids will also enjoy hay wagon rides and visits with the farm’s animals. Enjoy live music and food trucks with offerings ranging from ethnic specialties to chowder and burgers to ice cream.
Newport Oyster & Chowder Festival, May 21-22, 2022
From briny bivalves to creamy chowder, the Newport Oyster & Chowder Festival is one of the best things to do in Rhode Island as you can taste your way around the Ocean State – all in one place! Sip champagne and enjoy oysters and chowder from local growers and vendors along Newport’s bustling waterfront all weekend long. With more than 45 participating oyster farms, what better way to savor the terrior of our local waters? The flavors are distinctive to each farm, so this is your chance to savor a sampling of them in one festive atmosphere! Growers will be shucking alongside local restaurants and you’ll enjoy live music under the colorful festival tents. Additional oysters, a full bar and other food provided by local restaurants will also be available on site.
Newport Polo, June 4 and every Saturday afternoon through Sept.
Unfolding weekly at Portsmouth’s historic Glen Farm, the Newport International Polo Series features teams from around the world and from major U.S. cities playing against Team USA/Newport. Polo got its start in the U.S. in Newport in 1876, thus Newport is home of America’s First Polo Club. Today, the International Polo Field offers sweeping vistas of beautifully manicured grounds, classic white fenced pastures, elegantly restored stone barns, and miles of field-stone walls. Spectators are encouraged to picnic and tailgate to their hearts’ content. While Pavilion tickets are available with reservations in advance, anyone is welcome to purchase lawn seats ($20 each). A great family and group activity, polo appeals to nearly everyone – even first timers who may be curious about the sport! PS: dogs are welcome too!
PVDFest, June 10-12, 2022
Providence’s signature outdoor arts festival returns this year to reinvigorate and rebuild the Creative Capital’s world-renowned art and culture community. Live music, dance, food, and visual art installations will transform downtown Providence, and the event is completely free to attend. Performers include the Grammy-winning Rebirth Brass Band, trumpeter/vocalist Kermit Ruffins – best known for playing himself in the HBO Series “Treme” and for his New Orleans bar, Kermit’s Treme Mother-in-Law Lounge; eight-time Grammy Award-winning pianist Eddie Palmieri; one of Peru’s leading indie bands, Hit La Rosa; and Hand to Hand, a joyous, participatory event led by Squomk that brings audiences together for a humorous, uplifting visual extravaganza.
The Newport Flower Show, June 17-19, 2022
Hundreds of colorful creations by floral designers, horticulturists and botanical artists will interpret the show’s theme, “Eden … A Personal Paradise,” at Rosecliff. Rosecliff is a Gilded Age mansion (then called simply, “summer cottages”) that was commissioned by Nevada silver heiress Theresa Fair Oelrichs in 1899 and designed by architect Stanford White. White modeled it after the Grand Trianon, the garden retreat of French kings at Versailles. Completed in 1902 at a reported cost of $2.5 million, Mrs. Oelrichs then used her ballroom, the largest in all of Newport society, to host swanky affairs and lavish parties for the Gilded Age’s most elite families. At the flower show here, beautiful displays grace the Rosecliff ballroom and salon, while other exhibits will be set in the Courtyard of Love and the oceanside terrace and lawn.
Held on downtown Providence’s South Water Street, this event features participation by more than 250 nonprofit organizations, businesses, and food vendors to make a celebratory scene like none other! Venture down to the main stage providing entertainment all day for festival-goers with a variety of local, regional, and national acts, all to celebrate the individuality and culture of the LGBTQ community and welcoming individuals of all race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, religion and age. PrideFest is one of Rhode Island’s biggest festivals, and for one day you won’t find another event that attracts 100,000+ festival-goers.
Newport PRIDE, June 24-26, 2022
Every year, Newport Pride Weekend takes place throughout Newport, celebrating the LGBTQ+ community while promoting love, acceptance, inclusivity and diversity. This year’s Pride Weekend returns with a full line-up of exciting events and experiences. Enjoy the Pride Weekend kick-off at the waterfront Newport Harbor Hotel in addition to a colorful and spirited bike parade, music events, a Pride Market & Festival with vendors, performances, and more at the historic Great Friends Meeting House and many, many more celebratory events!
Coastal Wine Trail’s Wine, Cheese, & Chocolate Festival, June 25, 2022
Wine, cheese and chocolate – who could ask for anything more? This joyful celebration is technically right over the state line but Rhode Island’s favorite wineries participate as part of the Coastal Wine Trail consortium. You’ll also find Lil’ Rhody local food artisans here too! Let your palate explore the savory and the sweet as more than 45 participants descend on Westport Fairgrounds with plenty of room to roam.
Newport Classical, July 1-27, 2022
Previously known as Newport Music Festival, Newport Classical is an annual chamber music-oriented music festival presenting world-renowned and up-and-coming artistic talents at stunning, storied venues across Newport—an internationally sought-after cultural and recreational destination. People of every age, culture, and background are invited to enjoy these intimate, immersive musical experiences featuring a broad range of composers, formats, artists, and sounds from the classical genre, ensuring there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Bristol 4th of July Parade, July 4, 2022
The Bristol Fourth of July Celebration, founded in 1785, is a nationally known Fourth of July parade marked by a series of events, a community breakfast, parties, a ball, fireworks, pageants and public concerts all leading up to parade through town which owns the title as the oldest Fourth of July parade in America. A parade like no other for your mid summer things to do list in Rhode Island for 2022.
Hall of Fame Open, July 10-17, 2022
The first stop of the summer swing for pro tennis in the U.S., the Hall of Fame Open resumes this summer featuring the best in professional men’s tennis. Contested on the historic grass tennis courts of the International Tennis Hall of Fame which has hosted all of the legends of the sport since 1880, the tournament is the only event played on grass courts outside of Europe and it offers the only opportunity to see professional men’s tennis from the ATP Tour in the Northeast prior to the US Open.
Newport Folk Festival, July 22-24, 2022
An American original since 1959, the Newport Folk has been delivering legendary performances for six decades. It was one of the first modern music festivals in America and remains a focal point in the expanding genre of folk music. Taking place at Fort Adams State Park, dozens of artists grace three stages over the three-day festival. 2022 artists are currently being announced and thus far include Maren Morris, Valerie June, Trampled by Turtles, Arooj Aftab and many more.
Newport Jazz Festival, July 29-31, 2022
The granddaddy of all music festivals, the Newport Jazz Festival at Fort Adams State Park is an American institution featuring legendary and upcoming artists. The festival features three full days of jazz on four unique stages, continuing a tradition first established in 1954. Artists are still being announced but some names already committed include Norah Jones, Celisse, the Emmet Cohen Trio, Esperanza Spalding and many more.
Rhode Island Seafood Festival, Sept. 10-11, 2022
Held at Providence’s India Point Park overlooking the confluence of the Seekonk River and Providence River, this two-day festival showcases New England’s best seafood and beverages all while you take in live music in the popular Fox Point neighborhood of Providence. Traditionally taking place the weekend after Labor Day, this fun-filled, family friendly event is a great way to bid adieu to a perfect Rhode Island summer.
Savor the freshest seafood including oysters, clams, shrimp, lobster rolls, Portuguese fish chowder, New England clam chowder, crab cakes, poke and even dishes for landlubbers.
Newport International Boat Show, Sept. 15-18, 2022
One of the largest and most prestigious boat shows in the country, the Newport International Boat Show spans over 13 acres of downtown Newport’s waterfront. Walk the docks and take in a spectacular display of new sailboats and powerboats, some making their national debut. On land, you’ll find hundreds of marine products, services and accessories to enhance the boating lifestyle, even if you’re a landlubber. Also on deck are educational seminars, in-water boating courses and daily giveaways.
Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival, Sept. 16-18
Historically, the Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival has attracted top wineries from around the globe, produced exquisite dinners, hosted seminars and exclusive dining experiences in addition to grand tasting events held at Marble House, the Gilded Age mansion designed by Richard Morris Hunt and gifted to his wife, Alva, as her 39th birthday present. Since the pandemic, the festival has pivoted to more intimate events to keep gatherings smaller than in previous years. While the 2022 Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival is scheduled, details are to be announced. What we do know is that big or small, this event always delivers.
Audrain Newport Concours & Motor Week, Sept. 29 to Oct. 1, 2022
This world class event brings the best of the motoring world to our renowned City by the Sea which is rich with automotive history, dating all the way back to the dawn of the motoring age. Events during this week will be hosted at some of Newport’s most notable locations: the historic mansions of Bellevue Avenue, the International Tennis Hall of Fame, Doris Duke’s Rough Point estate, the Redwood Library and Athenaeum, the Newport Pell Bridge, and local city and state parks. Celebrity seminars and book signings welcome motoring enthusiasts including Newport resident Jay Leno, and the Concours d’Elegance includes some of the finest judges from around the globe, headed by world renowned concours judge, motoring expert and host of “Jay Leno’s Garage,” Donald Osborne.
Bowen’s Wharf Seafood Festival, Oct. 15-16
Here’s how it works: head down to historic Bowen’s Wharf in downtown Newport for either day of this weekend extravaganza. Admission is free; you simply pay for the food and beverages that you want to purchase. Honoring the “Harvest of the Sea,” this beloved festival, now in its 32nd year, offers fresh local seafood including fish tacos, lobster rolls, stuffies, chowder, fried calamari, clams and oysters in addition to signature cocktails and cold beer. As you savor some delectable dishes, relax and enjoy the talents of local musicians with beats ranging from folk and surf rock to Caribbean and blues. Proceeds from festival bars benefit Oliver Hazard Perry, RI’s 200-foot official sailing education vessel. Bring the whole family!
Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular, Oct. 2022
This annual event at the Roger Williams Park Zoo, true one-of-a-kind experience for audiences of all ages, features thousands upon thousands of carved jack-o–lanterns featuring the likenesses of legendary musicians, founding fathers, pop culture icons, celebrities, seasonal scenes and scary Halloween designs. Calendar dates for 2022 to be announced.
Rhode Island Comic Con, Nov. 4-6, 2022
This fun three-day event is the Ocean State’s premier toy, comic book, media and collectibles event attracting thousands of eager fans of not just comic books but all related forms of pop culture, sci-fi, and fantasy entertainment. Dozens of celebrities are featured at meet-and-greet and photo-op events, lectures, parties and attendees often don costumes of their favorite characters.
This awe-inspiring, legendary event centers around a series of nearly 100 bonfires that blaze just above the surface of the three downtown Providence rivers. Stay tuned for these much anticipated WaterFire events, organizers will release its 2022 calendar schedule later this month . We’ll be updating this blog post by May 1 with dates.
The only thing better than dining around the Ocean State is dining around the Ocean State at a great deal. Enjoy two weeks of dining specials with participating restaurants throughout Rhode Island featuring amazing deals from prix-fixe menus to BOGO deals and deep discounts, not to mention savory specials. Catch a bargain for breakfast, lunch or dinner (some offer all three!). Have it your way: dine inside, dine outside or take it to go. And keep your eye out for beverage specials from discounted wine by the bottle to creative cocktails. Be ready, because Little Rhody knows how to bring the heat! Locals always have these weeks on their things to do in Rhode Island for 2022 list. Providence, July 11-24, 2022 + Newport, Nov. 4-13, 2022
Jazz at Greenvale Vineyards, beginning in May
This sixth generation farm that sits along the Sakonnet River in Portsmouth knows a thing or two about proper pairings – in this case, it’s their exceptional estate-grown wines with live jazz. The series unfolds every Saturday afternoon, May through the second Saturday of September. Producing Albariño, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris Ramato, Meritage, Cabernet Franc and perhaps their best known wine, the Skipping Stone White, a blend of Cayuga and Vidal Blanc, Greenvale’s verdant pastures and bucolic milieu make it an exceptional place to taste authentic Rhode Island flavor in an idyllic setting.