The best things to do in RI this week: July 29 to August 5
NEWPORT JAZZ FESTIVAL
The legendary Newport Jazz Fest takes place July 29-31 in Fort Adams and the schedule is light. Of course, as Newport Folk testifies, unforeseen surprises just might steal the show. You don’t have to be a jazz fan to attend this festival – Norah Jones, Celisse, Esperanza Spalding, Angelique Kidjo and a celebration of the late festival creator George Wein seem to be among the highlights. #FestVibes Details here.
Let’s be weird. FringePVD: The Providence Fringe Festival, runs now through July 30, bringing together over 300 individual performers from theater to dance. Catch dozens of in-person (and online) performances on 10 stages, including the WaterFire Art Center campus, The Steelyard, Farm Fresh, ISCO, Lost Valley Pizza Co., and more. The full program is online, but the highlights are yet to come: a Vegan Hot Weiner Eating Contest (gotta see it); family block party, scavenger hunt and closing party on Sunday evening. #GetYourFringeOn. Details here.
DEDICATED MEN OF ZION
Portsmouth’s long-running Common Fence Music is now Newport Live, and they’re set to hold their first-ever gig at their new Newport base with North Carolina-based soul/gospel quartet Dedicated Men of Zion, July 30. the poster, they mix “the origins of gospel, funk, R&B, soul and jazz; a place where the Saturday night and Sunday morning sounds couldn’t help but skip their tracks.” To listen: “The devil does not like that”. Get ready to move. $35. 73 Pelham Street, Newport. 7:00 p.m. Details here. Read about the move here.
Put on your best Benny tee, perfume yourself with Autocrat, double your Del’s. Rhode Island’s Most Rhode Island Traditions, WaterFire, July 30, Baby. You know the chorus. But a few highlights: It all starts in Washington and Steeple at 6:30 p.m. Check out items from local artists and makers – glass, photography, jewelry, and more, including work by WaterFire Accelerate artist, Ysanel Torres. Head to Canal Street to watch the blown glass. Stop by the Steeple Street Stage for live tunes from the Dan Mach Nolt Quartet at 8 p.m. Full schedule here.
Tea and scones on the grounds of the mansion? I don’t mind if I do, Carson. Bristol’s stunner, Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum, offers afternoon tea – iced or hot, with fresh scones with clotted cream – and views across their majestic grounds. Tickets from $15. July 29, 30, 31 and August 4, 5. 101 Ferry Road, Bristol. Details here.
YOGA WITH THE GOATS
Down dog with a four-legged friend at Simmons Farm in Middletown on July 30. According to the event details, you will choose your “child” and walk to the clover for a “contemplative stretch in nature”. Dress to get dirty. As you walk through the working farm, you’ll see wildflowers, pigs, and cattle grazing. $25. 8:30 a.m. 1942 West Main Road, Middletown. Details here. Time permits.
YOGA WITH THE BIRDS
…Or, you could practice tree-laying at a bird sanctuary. “Yoga for All at the Norman Bird Sanctuary” is chargeable, at 9:30 a.m. Shavasana + Bird song = your moment of zen. July 30. 583 3rd Beach Road, Middletown. Details here.
Rhody Yogis, you have options this week. Try boat pose in a sea of lavender in South Kingstown. “Yoga In the Lavender” takes place at the beautiful Lavender Waves Farm, July 31 at 9 a.m. #MoreZen $25. 3814 Commodore Perry Highway, South Kingstown. Details here.
FREE BEACH CONCERTS
Three beautiful words. Middletown kicks off its free summer concert series on August 1 with Travis Colby. Head to Second Beach for food trucks, beach bonfires and free tunes. 315 Sachuest Point Road, Middletown. 6-9 p.m. Details here. Learn more about the artist here.
Roll out the red carpet: The Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra performs its Summer Pops in the Park concert, themed “A Night at the Oscars.” Food trucks will be on hand (hopefully with popcorn.) Lawn chairs or BYO blankets. According to their Facebook post, we can expect a night of soundtrack classics, from “Chariots of Fire” to “My Heart Will Go On” to “Titanic” and – yes, it’s happening – “A Whole New World” from “Aladdin.” I can’t be the only kid from the 90s who can still sing this gem from start to finish. #UnbelievableSights #IndescriptableFeeling. Free August 3, 7-9 p.m. Temple to Music, inside Roger Williams Park Details here.
It’s time to bring your bacon-loving best friend—no, not Robby, your pup—to the Roger Williams Zoo for his moment in the spotlight. At Pup-arazzi Photo Night, they’ll be providing the goofy photo backdrops, you’ll be providing your furry schmoopy (still not Robby.) This month’s theme: The Dog Days of Summer. #Puparazzi. $5 per puppy. 5 August. 5-8 p.m. 1000 Elmwood Ave., Providence. 401-785-3510. Details here.
SONGS OF THE SANCTUARY
Mexican-American singer-songwriter Lisa Morales, based in Texas, brings her tracks to the Norman Bird Sanctuary on August 5, as part of the Newport Live x Norman Bird series of collaborations. A cousin of Linda Ronstadt, Morales grew up in “a musical family in Tucson, Arizona, learning to play traditional Mexican music while developing a varied musical taste,” according to the show’s billing. Of her upcoming solo album, “She Ought to Be King,” Morales says on her website, “I’ve watched how strong we women are. We continue to evolve and gain confidence over time. We don’t sink into our own shoes – we stand taller in them. $35. 7 p.m. 583 3rd Beach Road, Middletown. Details here. Learn more about the artist here.
CHARLESTOWN SEAFOOD FESTIVAL
Three days of lawbstahs, steamahs, chowdah, lawbstah rolls, raw bah, clam cakes, fish and chips. (Hey, it’s not just Bostonians who drop their “r’s”. We all have at least one Rhody buddy who sounds like Petah Griffin from “Family Guy,” right?) A favorite from Rhody for a reason, don’t miss the 37th annual Charlestown Seafood Festival. Sensory overload: live music, dozens of food vendors ranging from fries to donuts, raffle, carnival, car show, fireworks. For a sense, check out these photos. A Rhody summer essential. Ninigret Park, 5 Park Lane, Charlestown, August 5-7, 401-364-4031. Details here.
Until next week, Rhody: Keep rocking.
Lauren Daley can be contacted at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @laurendaley1.
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