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Top 20 Rhode Island Events

by in May 2010
Top 20 Rhode Island Events
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Call ahead to confirm dates, times, and admission prices. For hundreds of fairs, festivals, exhibits, shows, and other fun activities, go to:

MAY 1: CRANSTON, May Breakfast. Ring in the spring with a traditional New England May breakfast at Phillips Memorial Baptist Church. Feast on eggs, ham, johnnycakes, and baked beans, served on china, with juice and coffee or tea. May baskets filled with sweets will also be for sale. 401-467-3300;

MAY 8: SOUTH KINGSTON, East Farm Spring Festival. Visit the University of Rhode Island’s 72-acre research facility and learn about “green” gardening, farming, and energy techniques. Exhibits, workshops, food, entertainment, and plenty of children’s activities. 401-874-4453;

MAY 15: PROVIDENCE, Abraham Lincoln Visits the Blackstone Valley. All aboard the Providence & Worcester Railroad, departing from Providence’s Amtrak station, for a ride with our 16th president. Hear Lincoln’s historic Cooper Union speech, enjoy period music, and receive a signed commemorative print of an original painting of Lincoln by Peter Campbell. Passengers are encouraged to dress in period costume. 800-454-2882, 401-724-2200;

JUNE 4-6: BLOCK ISLAND, Taste of Block Island Weekend. Purchase a button for $5 and enjoy discounts at all shops and restaurants on the island. Take 10 to 20 percent off your tab at retail establishments; enjoy free drinks, chowder, or appetizers; sample wines; take a boat tour of New Harbor; and much more. 800-383-2474, 401-466-2982;

JUNE 8: PROVIDENCE, Federal Hill Stroll. Walk the streets of the city’s Little Italy and sample a variety of the area’s finest in the culinary and visual arts. More than 30 restaurants, galleries, and shops participate. Call and reserve tickets early, as this event sells out quickly. 401-456-0200;

JUNE 9: BARRINGTON, Bays, Beaches & Bouquets. Barrington Garden Club stages this flower show in six private homes. The starting venue is St. John’s Church; don’t miss the boutique and the horticulture judging. 401-245-8215

JUNE 12: CHARLESTOWN, Gardens by the Sea Garden Tour. Visit a dozen private areas along coastal Rhode Island, all of which are new to this biannual event. Begin at Cross Mills Public Library and pick up a map and brochure. 401-364-6211;

JUNE 12: WARWICK/CRANSTON, Gaspee Days Parade. One in a series of events celebrating the burning of the British revenue schooner HMS Gaspee, which helped incite the Revolutionary War. The parade winds along Narragansett Parkway in Warwick into Broad Street in Cranston. 401-781-1772;

JUNE 19: WESTERLY, Chorus of Westerly Summer Pops. A taste of Broadway and Hollywood at this outdoor concert presented by the Chorus of Westerly, the Boston Festival Orchestra, and conductor George Kent at Wilcox Park. This 30th-anniversary concert concludes, as always, with church bells, cannons, and fireworks by Grucci. 401-596-8663;

JUNE 25-27: NEWPORT, Newport Flower Show. Held on the grounds of the picturesque Rosecliff mansion, this premier summer event boasts an African theme this year, with “Safari: Flora and Fauna.” Admire exotic green treasures from a continent that abounds in diverse plant and animal species. 401-847-1000;

JULY 9-11: NEWPORT, Coastal Living Magazine Newport Regatta. Some 300 sailboats and 1,500 crew members chart a course through Narragansett Bay during New England’s premier one-design regatta. Multiple viewing spots include a perch at Fort Adams State Park (Harrison Ave.), along Ocean Drive, or on nearby Goat Island. 401-846-1983;

JULY 16-18: KINGSTON, Annual South County Hot Air Balloon Festival. Friday night kicks off with a balloon glow, lots of entertainment, crafts, food, and artists, all at the University of Rhode Island athletic fields. Throughout the weekend enjoy balloon rides, model aircraft, antique autos, carnival rides, and more. 401-783-1770;

JULY 23-24: NARRAGANSETT, Blessing of the Fleet. The highlight of this annual event is the Saturday parade of commercial and recreational vessels, blessed by clergy at the Port of Galilee and judged for prizes. Don’t miss the 10-mile road race on Friday and the two-day seafood festival. 401-413-9801;

Please Note: This information was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.

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