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THINGS TO DO

Best things to do in RI this week: May 13-20

You’ll have the best times! Check out WaterFire, Spring Fest, Blue Man Group, and ‘Beyond van Gogh.’

Guests immerse themselves in "Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience” at the Rhode Island Convention Center.Timothy Norris

OK, so we’re headed into Friday the 13th — but there’s no bad luck when it comes to finding fun in Rhody this week. I’ve rounded up some Ocean State awesomeness, from an immersive Van Gogh experience, a Beach Fest, some blue men, kitten yoga, and bike rides under the full moon. Neighbors: we ride.

FIRST WATERFIRE

It’s a partial lighting — 12 stationary braziers in front of Memorial Park — but, hey, I’ll take it. As all Rhode Islanders know, WaterFire is the official fist sign of summer. May 13. Sunset (7:56 p.m.) – 10 p.m. Check full schedule here. Read more here.

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SPRING FEST WEEKEND ON THE BEACH

You had me at “Spring Fest Weekend on the Beach.” Shh. Just send me the GPS address.

… But if you need more details: The 12th Annual Misquamicut Spring Fest Weekend kicks off the beach season in Westerly May 13-15. See Block Island from the top of the Ferris wheel, slide the Super Slide, hop on Bumper Cars, Tilt-a-Whirl and Fun House. Need more? How about a car show, live music, artisan vendors, beer and wine tent, and food: think sausage and peppers, fried dough, “bacon delights” (intriguing), cider and donuts, tacos, kettle corn, pizza, seafood, and (you guessed it) Del’s.

Meanwhile, kiddos can enjoy story-time, face-painting, and, according to South County Tourism’s website, the tricks of magicians Larry and David. (There’s an “and” there, HBO fans. Though I would pay anything to see Larry David attempt to pull a rabbit out of a hat on a Rhode Island beach.) 257 Atlantic Ave., Westerly. $10 advance, $12 door. Kids under 7 free. 401-322-1026. Details here, here and here.

DON WINSLOW

Catch him while you can. South Kingstown’s bestselling crime novelist announced this is his last book tour, as he turns his attention to political films. His latest, “City on Fire,” is set in Providence. After appearances on MSNBC and “CBS This Morning,” Winslow makes two home-state stops: May 13 at Providence’s Columbus Theater ($35, ticket price includes a copy of book), and May 14 at Westerly’s United Theater ($10 for the talk or $38 for the talk and a hardcover copy) Details here and here. Meet Winslow here.

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TREE TOURS

Nature-lovers, tour Portsmouth’s Toad Hall with the Newport Tree Conservancy. According to the tour description, the seaside swath “is a master-work of landscape planning and care,” including tulips, azaleas, rhododendrons and trees, with views of the Sakonnet River. $15. May 14. Parking instructions will be provided to registrants in their email confirmation. Register here.

BEER FEST WITH A MISSION

Well, this sounds awesome: The first ever RIDEA — Rhode Island Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Action — Craft Beverage Festival is May 14 at Isle Brewers Guild in Pawtucket. According to the website, “This non-profit festival plans to highlight women, BIPOC, and LGBTQ+ breweries, wineries, and spirits producers from RI and beyond.” Funds will go to a Johnson & Wales scholarship “that helps people from diverse backgrounds pursue a career in the beverage industry.” Fest tickets $40; designated driver tickets $10. 6 p.m. Learn more here and here.

CAT POSE

Tired: Goat yoga. Wired: Kitten yoga/pilates. It’s real, people. Johnston’s Community Cat Center offers yoga and pilates classes with cats and kittens. BYO mat, towel and water, and get ready for a purr-dy interesting time. $17.31, May 15. Yoga classes at 9:30 and 11 a.m. Pilates at 12:30 p.m. 39 Putnam Pike, Johnston. Details (and photos) here.

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TAKE IT OUTSIDE

Irish music fans, take note: Blackstone River Theatre kicks off its 2022 “Take It Outside” concert series with Boston-based Irish music duo Matt and Shannon Heaton May 15 at 4 p.m at a “new outside concert space located behind Blackstone River Theatre,” according to a press release. This will be the first of five outdoor concerts held on Sundays. #OutdoorMusicSeason. $15. Folding chairs provided, but feel free to bring your own chair or blanket. Reserve in advance online or call 401-725-9272. 549 Broad St., Cumberland. Details here. Meet the artists here.

TORI AMOS

Singer/songwriter/activist Tori Amos plays Providence’s The Vets May 16. The eight-time Grammy nominee has had a cult following for decades with albums like “Little Earthquakes” and “Under The Pink.” She’s also used her platform to “tackle serious issues around female gender,” as the billing states. Amos — who splits her time between Cornwall, England and Florida — is currently on her “Ocean to Ocean” tour. Tickets from $49.50. 7:30 p.m. 1 Avenue of the Arts. 401-421-2787. Details here.

FLOWER MOON BIKE RIDE WITH MARY OLIVER POEMS

My lil’ head just exploded with sensory overload. Dig this: Every month on the full moon, Bike Newport hosts free 15-mile nighttime ride downtown Newport to Fort Adams, around the beautiful Ocean Loop and along the mansions of Bellevue Avenue. They also read poems from “Twelve Moons” by Mary Oliver. This month, they ride on the Flower Moon May 16. Next up: Strawberry Moon on June 14. #OverTheMoon. Free to register. 7:30-9:30 p.m. Meet at 7 p.m at Equity Park. Details here.

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HAPPY LITTLE MEADOWS

Get your Bob Ross on with a nature painting class in Warren. You’ll use “a variety of techniques such as drawing gum, washes, scraping, wet in wet, dabbing and detail work” to create your watercolor meadow scene, according to the event description. #HappyLittleFlowers. All materials included. $30. May 16, 6-8 p.m. Tourister Mill, 91 Main St., Warren. Details here.

GO, VAN GOGH

This is not a drill, people. It’s finally happening. “Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience” opens at the Rhode Island Convention Center May 17 through July 8.

Little backstory: I fell in love with Vincent Van Gogh’s work in eighth grade, when we each had to pick an artist for an art class report. There is something about him — the paint strokes, the pain, the letters to Theo — that I just feel. Whenever we go to the RISD museum, I stand in front of each of his works for about 20 minutes. I’m just somewhere else when I see it.

I’m not alone. The show has sold some 3 million tickets globally. Guests are immersed into some 300 masterpieces, comprised of over 4 trillion high-res pixels, from The Starry Night to Sunflowers. We’ll also hear Van Gogh’s “thoughts and words set to a symphonic score,” according to show info. #StarryNights. Details here.

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RUBY ON THE BIG SCREEN

Popular Netflix movie “Rescued by Ruby” — which tells the real-life story of a Rhode Island State Police Corporal and his trusty canine Ruby — hits the big screen at The Historic Park Theatre and Event Center in Cranston on May 18 at 6 p.m. Hosted by Rhode Island PBS, families can participate in a question and answer with Trooper Dan O’Neil and Ruby; film producers and “other special guests” will be there, according to event description. Free. 848 Park Ave., Cranston. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., screening at 6 p.m., Q&A at 7:30 p.m. Register here. Read more here.

BLUE MAN GROUP

They’re bald. They’re blue. They’re men. You guessed it: It’s Blue Man Group. For some 30 years, the world has been captivated by the blue men’s beats and innovative instruments. Catch them at PPAC May 20-22. Tickets from $20. 220 Weybosset St., Providence. 401-421-2787. Details here.

GET YOUR DOWNTON ON

Tea and scones at a mansion? Yes, please, Carson. Just as the new Downton Abbey movie hits the silver screen, Bristol’s stately Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum offers afternoon tea — hot or iced tea, with fresh scones with clotted cream — with views of their lush grounds. BYOH (hat, that is.) #DowntonTime. Tickets from $15. May 20, 1 p.m. 101 Ferry Road, Bristol. Details here.

Until next week, Rhody: Keep rockin’.


Lauren Daley can be reached at ldaley33@gmail.com. Follow her on Twiiter @laurendaley1.