23 Rhode Island Events in 2023 to Have on Your Radar
January 22, 2023
We might be the smallest state, but Rhode Island is BIG on extraordinary events. We’ve gathered 23 Rhode Island events, just a few of our favorites, for you to put on your calendar. Whether you’re looking for events in Rhode Island this weekend or making plans for the coming months, we’ve got it here. Stay tuned on our social media channels where we regularly post about the people, places and events in that make the Ocean State truly magical.
February 4-5, RI VegFest, Providence
Here’s your chance to indulge in all the fun of a fabulous food festival – but without the animal products! Rhode Island’s first-ever vegan festival is BACK! Vegans, vegetarians and carnivores alike flock to this event to experience two days of eating and shopping. Enjoy dishes from more than 85 plant-based vegan restaurants, makers, artists, and retailers.
The festival unfolds 12p-6pm pm both days, with VIP early entry at 11 am, at WaterFire Arts Center in Providence.
February 17-26, Newport Winter Festival
In its triumphant return, the Newport Winter Festival is back, reigniting a 35-year tradition in the City by the Sea. This event is planned to align with school vacation week. Experience this 10-day winter extravaganza loaded with family-friendly events, many of which are free. From crafts, concerts, comedy and magic shows and to ice bars, beer dinners and food competitions, the festival has something for everybody.
March 11, Newport St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Attracting thousands of revelers no matter rain, snow, sleet or shine, the 67th Newport St. Patrick’s Day Parade is a go! The parade kicks off at 11am at Newport City Hall and continue to St. Augustine’s Church in Newport’s Fifth Ward neighborhood. The two-hour parade is the longest-running annual St. Patrick’s Day parade in the Northeast. It welcomes pipe and marching bands, fife and drum corps, reenactment units, schools of Irish dance, live bands, police and fire units, social/fraternal organizations, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and more.
April 1-2, Bloom Flower & Home Market, Providence
Finally, a safe space you can go to where you won’t be judged for having too many houseplants! Celebrate spring with more than 85 vendors of indoor and outdoor plants, home décor, art, and more. Sip cocktails, buy yet another cactus, and shop 15,000 square feet of small businesses from all over at the WaterFire Arts Center in Providence.
Second half of April, Daffodil Days at Blithewold, Bristol
During the second half of April, this much loved floral display of 50,000 daffodils blanketing this 33-acre seaside estate in Bristol, Rhode Island, delights visitors from near and far. The first week of the event is traditionally timed to coincide with spring school vacation week. It includes family-focused programming themed around the delightful daffodils which seem to sprout as far as the eye can see. Stroll the grounds at your leisure or experience Blithewold’s events including afternoon tea, concerts or workshops. Check back at blithewold.org for updates and schedule of events.
May 13-21, The Ocean Race, Newport
Considered the most demanding sailing race on the planet, the Ocean Race circumnavigates the globe. It’s an epic test of sailing skill, tactical decisions, navigation, boat handling, and extreme mental and physical challenges. Crews onboard high-performance racing vessels in the race make stops in eight cities worldwide. Newport, Rhode Island is the only stop in North America. Throughout the nine-day festival taking place at Fort Adams State Park in Newport, the public can experience “Ocean Live Park” every day to see the race boats up close at the dock, learn about the global race, and see the oceans of the world through the eyes of the crews. Activities for all ages include touring team bases, sailing experiences, an immersive interactive ocean exhibit on ocean stewardship, plus music, food, children’s activities, special events, entertainment, and cocktail cafes in addition to taking in thrilling In-port racing.
May 20-21, Newport Oyster & Chowder Festival
Whether feasting on briny bivalves, savoring creamy clam chowder, or pursuing eats of the landlubbing kind, the Newport Oyster & Chowder Festival on Bowen’s Wharf in Newport, Rhode Island, is an annual springtime downtown thrill! With more than 45 participating oyster farms , what better way to savor the terrior of our local waters? Growers will be shucking alongside local restaurants on Newport’s bustling waterfront. Enjoy live music under the colorful festival tents.
June 23-25, Newport Flower Show
“The Grand Tour” is the theme of the 2023 Newport Flower Show in Newport, Rhode Island. Visitors here will experience countless colorful creations by floral designers, horticulturists and botanical artists interpreting the show’s theme. It all takes place at Rosecliff, a Gilded Age mansion that was commissioned by Nevada silver heiress Theresa Fair Oelrichs in 1899. It was designed by architect Stanford White and 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, Rosecliff’s ballroom is the largest private ballroom in all of Newport. It continues to host swanky affairs and lavish parties today, continuing a tradition enjoyed more than a century ago by the Gilded Age’s most elite families.
At the flower show here, beautiful displays grace the ballroom and salon, while other exhibits will be set on the oceanside terrace and sprawling lawn which borders the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean.
June 24, Newport Pride
Celebrating the LGBTQ+ community while promoting love, acceptance, inclusivity and diversity, this year’s Pride event in Newport, Rhode Island, returns with a full line-up of exciting events and experiences. Past events have included beach yoga, cocktail events, a Pride ride, spirited bike parade, music events, a Pride Market & Festival with vendors, performances, parties and more. Stay tuned as events come together for this year’s extravaganza at newportprideri.org.
June TBD, PVD Fest, Providence
Providence’s signature outdoor arts festival ignites the city for a free three-day festival celebrating arts, culture, food and more, truly showcasing the Creative Capital’s world-renowned art and culture community. Live music, dance, amazing eats and drink, and visual art installations transform downtown Providence. The event is completely free to attend.
July 4, Bristol 4th of July Parade
Established in 1785, the Bristol 4th of July Parade is the oldest continuous celebration of its kind in the U.S. Here’s the thing: the parade is just one part of the Annual Fourth of July Celebration. A weeks-long concert series unfolds at Independence Park, with performers in all different genres of music playing just steps from Bristol Harbor. Dates and performers for the 2023 series are still being confirmed. There’s also a pageant, carnival, a ton of children’s events, a block party and more festivities leading up to the parade. The Fourth of July Parade begins at 10:30 a.m. by stepping-off at the corner of Chestnut Street and Hope Street, and ends on High Street, between State Street and Bradford Street.
July 4-23, Newport Classical Music Festival
Previously known as Newport Music Festival, this annual chamber music-oriented music festival in Newport, Rhode Island is like none other. Featuring world-renowned and up-and-coming artistic talents, the festival unfolds across a diverse array of stunning, storied venues across the City by the Sea. These include Gilded Age mansions, oceanfront venues, bucolic settings like the Norman Bird Sanctuary, extraordinary churches, the historic Redwood Library & Athenæum and more.
July 16-23, Hall of Fame Open, Newport
Tennis aficionados and casual fans have flocked to this international tennis tournament that has been held every year in July since 1976 at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island. Home of the original location of the U.S. National Championships, the annual Hall of Fame Open includes a week of captivating competitive play. Attendees can also enjoy a variety of events, clinics and ceremonies honoring this year’s inductees.
July 28-30, Newport Folk Festival
When it debuted in 1959, the Newport Folk Festival made its mark as one of the first modern music festivals in America. Today, it’s morphed into one of if not the leading annual folk-oriented music festivals in the country. Unfolding over three days at Fort Adams State Park in Newport, Rhode Island, the most highly touted artists have played in recent years. These include including Brandi Carlisle, The Avett Brothers, Maren Morris, Mumford and Sons, Mavis Staples and more, walking in the footsteps of Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, Led Zeppelin, Peter, Paul and Mary, Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell. You never quite know what special guests might drop in, as Dolly Parton, Paul Simon, Wynonna Judd, Judy Collins and others have in recent years.
August 16-20, Washington County Fair, Richmond
Marking its 57th year in August, South County’s Washington County Fair, is Rhode Island’s largest agricultural event. It’s a throwback to simpler times. Experience a giant midway with tons of rides, festival food, agricultural events and competitions, games, exhibits and displays, tractor and horse pulls, the farm museum and impressive concerts by well known artists. Fair organizers have already announced the first performer: country superstar Joe Nichols on August 17th. More acts will be announced leading up to this annual summer spectacular!
The Rhode Island Chinese Dragon Boat Races & Taiwan Day Festival has been a longtime staple in Rhode Island’s Blackstone Valley. It’s a great chance to enjoy extraordinary cultural events for the whole family to enjoy! Take in the majesty of the traditional Taiwanese-style dragon boats gifted to the destination from the Republic of China (Taiwan).
The races are broken into different divisions so there are many to watch. The Taiwan Day Festival offers entertainment including cultural performances, arts and crafts, and the ever-popular dumpling eating contest. The festival also includes vendors, interactive activities, and food trucks. Stay tuned for 2023 dates at tourblackstone.com
SEPT. 22-24, NEWPORT MANSIONS WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL
Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival continually attracts top wineries from around the globe. Guests can enjoy exquisite dinners, hosted seminars and exclusive dining experiences 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 2023 Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival dates are set, the official schedule and details are to be announced. What we do know is that big or small, this event always delivers.
SEPT. 28-OCT. 1, AUDRAIN NEWPORT CONCOURS & MOTOR WEEK
A celebration of the automobile uniting enthusiasts from around the world, experience plenty of interesting auto-centric events hosted at some of Newport’s most notable locations. These include Bellevue Avenue’s famed Gilded Age mansions, the International Tennis Hall of Fame, the Audrain Automobile Museum, and more. From morning yoga at the concours, auctions and seminars to a grand gala and waterfront cars and coffee for all to enjoy, this is a one-of-a-kind event.
Sept. 14-17, Block Pride
Organized by Queer Block Island, this weekend event has grown and continues to welcome supporters and allies from near and far. Now in its fourth year, Block Pride typically includes extraordinary drag performances, awesome parties, educational events, and its signature event, the festive pride march. Block Pride is of many awesome PRIDE Rhode Island events.
Oct. 8, Broadway Street Fair, Newport
Thousands of people descend on Newport, Rhode Island’s main thoroughfare extending from upper Broadway to Washington Square for the Broadway Street Fair. Enjoy food, live music, and frivolity in the crisp early fall air. The Broadway Street Fair has become one of Rhode Island’s most enjoyed events of its kind. When it comes to events in the fall, the Broadway Street Fair feels like the start of it all!
Oct. 6-8, Atlantis Rising International Sand Sculpture Competition, Misquamicut State Beach
Making its debut in 2022, the fantastically successful Atlantis Rising International Sand Sculpture Competition will once again welcome back world class master sand sculptors to compete for first place. Visitors, meanwhile, can observe these masterful artists in action. Festivities include live music, food trucks, craft vendors, a drone light show, carving demonstrations and classes, family friendly experiences and much more. All the fin unfolds on the captivating setting of Misquamicut State Beach.
November 3-5, Rhode Island Comic Con, Providence
Rhode Island Comic Con prides itself on bringing the fans of New England “The Biggest Show in the Smallest State.” Much-loved celebrities and artists from some of the most popular television shows, movies and stream series descend on Providence to meet fans, host speaking engagements and sign autographs. Thousands of people from far and wide make this event a top priority. It’s a great place to find that hard to find comic book, vintage toy or rare collectible you have been searching for!
November/December, Trinity Rep’s A Christmas Carol, Providence
Rhode Island’s family holiday tradition is reimagined anew every year in creative and captivating ways. Take in this glorious, joyful telling of the classic story that captures the magic and hope of the season. Guided by Jacob Marley and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, and ultimately inspired by the community, Ebenezer Scrooge embarks on a heartwarming journey toward redemption.
Whether you’re looking for events in Rhode Island this weekend or making plans for the coming months, we’ve got it here. And please make Rhode Island Red Food Tours, both in Newport and in Providence, part of your event plans this year. Please check the status of each event accordingly as we approach their respective dates. We’ve hyperlinked each event for your convenience.