Events

Let the Foodie Festivities Begin: Tasty recommendations for summer food and drink events

RI stays true to its community-driven nature as events throughout summer celebrate the culinary wonders of the Ocean State.

Kristen Adamo, President and CEO of the Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau, says that RI, and PVD in particular, has built a reputation as a culinary capital, which reels in tourists and visitors. 

“Having events really helps us market the destination to people,” says Adamo. “We really are known as a culinary destination across the country.”

The lack of fast food restaurants, especially in the cities, speaks volumes to RI tourists and visitors about the eating habits of residents in the local area, says Adamo. 

This summer there are a slew of events you will want to add to your activities checklist. As the lists can sometimes get overwhelming, we decided to point out a few of our favorites for you.

Coastal Wine Trail’s Wine, Cheese & Chocolate Festival

At the Wine, Cheese & Chocolate Festival in Westport, MA, attendees taste their way through sweet and savory delicacies and try over 45 wines paired with cheese and chocolate. Visitors get to socialize with the vineyard owners and wine makers from the Coastal Wine Trail (which includes southeastern MA, coastal RI and coastal CT) as well as interact with local food artisans and fellow wine enthusiasts. 

After the festival was canceled in 2021, the Coastal Wineries of Southeast New England are eager to get people out and connected for a day of fun. The event runs all day with tickets purchasable for two-and-a-half-hour time slots, giving ample time for attendees to talk with everyone there and taste each local wine. 

The event will be held on Saturday, June 25 from 11am to 8:30pm at the Westport Fairgrounds. Order tickets at eventbrite.com

Craft Brew Races

Who says you can’t have both work and play? Keep your muscles strong and your brew on for the 2022 Craft Brew Race. A pairing of exercise and beer for anyone who likes to run/walk and socialize. 

It’s a relaxed 5k race in Newport as you run or stroll through Fort Adams State Park, followed by a craft beer festival held inside Fort Adams. It features more than 30 breweries, food trucks, music and yard games, and is a 21+ only event, so adults can get a short break from parental responsibilities. For friends of parents, you can drag your pal out for the night and spend some quality time with them.

This event will be held on Saturday, July 16 and is located at Fort Adams State Park. It begins at noon and runs until 4 pm. Purchase tickets at eatdrinkri.com

Bartender’s Ball

Bartending is often an under-celebrated art form. Bartenders across the state are being recognized and awarded for their work, and invited to party like civilians on a weekend at this new industry event. 

Mike Ryan, publisher of Motif, says that Motif hosts the Bartender’s Ball as a chance to present awards to all the bartenders that spend their nights behind the counter, giving them a night to remember. “We are trying to celebrate a profession that brings so much joy to other people,” says Ryan. “We want to bring some joy to them.” 

The Bartender’s Ball will feature live music, food, drinks, arialists, cupcakes, giant puppets, dancing, axes, darts and multiple live-action events and competitions throughout the night. Bartenders will be awarded for a variety of categories – some voted up online in advance, some at the event. For bartenders, this night is also a chance to chat up people in the same profession that can relate on multiple levels. Feel free to get a little dressed up because after all, it is a ball.

Know any bartenders worthy of recognition? Bartenders can still be nominated for awards and voted on at motifri.com/2022-bartenders-ball/

The ball will be held on Monday, Aug 1 from 7 – 11pm at R1 Entertainment Center in Lincoln. For more information, go to motifri.com/2022-bartenders-ball

Food Truck and Drink Awards

Calling all food and drink lovers! For the 6th year, Motif celebrates a multitude of local food trucks and beverage makers at the end of the summer. The awards are a way to acknowledge these business owners and workers who pour their hearts into their business. 

Food trucks have become a vital instrument for social interaction and have exploded in popularity over recent years. Bradly VanDerStad, assistant editor at Motif, says the awards cultivate an atmosphere filled with celebration, community and appreciation for this element of the RI food scene. “It’s definitely a labor of love, so that adds a whole other layer of intrigue to this,” says VanDerStad. “It’s just people really doing this because they care about it.” Motif partners with FoodTrucksIn and R1 Entertainment Center to produce the event, as well as numerous local breweries which pour at the event and trucks which serve their delicious concoctions.

Last year, 35 food truck awards and 26 drink awards were presented to local entrepreneurs. The awards recognize it all, from favorite french fries to an all-weather-warrior, and from favorite porter to favorite drinking space. 

Attendees will walk into a gathering of people celebrating their community with an abundance of food and drinks to try. There will also be live music by local artists, hula hooping and other entertainment. 

The awards will be on Sunday, Aug 14 at R1 Entertainment Center in Lincoln. And don’t let the Sunday deter you – if you work in RI, you probably have the next day off! More at motifri.com

Recurring events

The Guild PVD Beer Garden – featuring locally brewed beer along the PVD Pedestrian Bridge. This new brew installation will also host numerous pop-ups during the season (including some by the artists of Field of Artisans …) theguildpvd.com

Wednesday & Thursday: 4 – 8pm

Friday: 2 – 8pm

Saturday: 12 – 8pm

Sunday: 12 – 6pm

Field of Artisans x Narragansett Brewery:

Monthly Series – visit various featured artists each month combined with a craft beer and food while you stroll around the brewery. fieldofartisans.com/gansett

Last Friday of each month through August at 4 – 8pm

Food Trucks on Fridays

Fridays have become THE day for food trucks, with new weekly gatherings by Ocean State Food Trucks at Mulligan’s Island in Cranston and the long-standing food truck extravaganza Food Truck Fridays at the carousel in Roger Williams Park, you can find dozens of different types of cuisine, a beer garden by Trinity Beer Garden, live music, dessert and lot of activities for the kiddos. Food truck events are a great way to sample different types of cuisine, find new types of food before they go mainstream and get a bunch of different people exactly the kind of food they want at one spot. Check the truck rosters online for these evening events, and maybe skip lunch to save room: foodtrucksin.com and mulligansisland.com every Friday this summer.

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