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Best things to do in RI this week: June 17-24

The Juneteenth flag, commemorating the day that slavery ended in the U.S.Nati Harnik/Associated Press

[George Constanza voice] I’m back, baby!

My apologies to loyal column readers about a skipped week last week [cue the confused faces of people who didn’t realize I was gone] but in the meantime, I’ve found events so cool they’ll knock your socks off. Between Pride Month, Juneteenth, Father’s Day, Summer Solstice, and typical summer fun, there’s an overwhelming amount happening this week. Let’s ride, Rhody.


If you see me with a big goofy grin and a skip in my step, it’s because I was just out walking a goat. (I mean, does life get any more whimsical than that? Maybe only if you add a giant swirly lollypop.) Simmons Farm, a 120-acre farm in Middletown offers occasional goat hikes throughout the year. Each walker gets their own goat to walk on a leash on a 90-minute hike around the historic farm. There will be stops along the way to let the goats nibble. (!)

But wait— it gets cuter. You can also hike with a baby goat, which are so tiny that if they get tuckered out, you “must be able to pick up and carry” the baby. (I mean… what? Is this real life?) #HeadExplodingFromCuteness. I haven’t even mentioned that you’ll hike past a babbling brook and meander through open pastures. We will visit our pig friends, peek in on our group of belted Galloway cows… and our funny flock of barnyard bird friends; the ducks and chickens will be there to greet you on arrival.” #Stop #TooCharming. June 17, 3:30-5 p.m. $25 per adult for goat hikes; $40 per two adults for baby goats. 1942 West Main Road, Middletown. Details here.



If that subhead just gave you a sensory overload, beeline to Cranston. Garden City and Avvio Restaurant host a pop-up wine-garden June 17-19. You might shop then sip, or just bring Fido to hang while you enjoy a glass of vino by the gazebo at “Garden City Sips.”


According to event info, you’ll find “a selection of vineyards and varietals for sale by the glass. Guests can also enjoy live musical performances, fun lawn games, picnic seating, charcuterie making workshops, sidewalk sales, stores, shops and restaurants.” Friday 4-8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 1-7 p.m. No cover charge. Seating is first-come-first-serve; must show a valid ID in order to purchase an alcoholic beverage. 100 Midway Road, Cranston. Details here.


Wine-tastings hit different in the summer. #Fact. Leyden Farm Vineyard & Winery hosts a wine-tasting at their West Greenwich vineyard June 18 from noon to 4 p.m. Select five wines and learn about each. The glasses are yours to keep. Post-tasting, you might purchase your fave and enjoy it on the patio. $12 for a tasting and glasses for two. 160 Plain Meeting House Road. Details here.


You don’t have to wait until Newport for a summertime folk fest in Rhode Island — especially if you love Celtic and world music.

The 10th Annual Blackstone River Theatre Summer Solstice Festival will fill Cumberland’s Diamond Hill Park with four stages of live music focused on Celtic and world music, dance and culture, plus kids activities and 35 craft and food vendors, on June 18.

From 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., you can soak up more than a dozen acts — and you can even take part yourself. In the Irish session tent, fest-goers are invited to sit in and play with festival performers. According to event info, featured performers include: Atwater-Donnelly Trio, The Mari Black Band, John Doyle and Mick McAuley, Kevin Doyle, Eastern Medicine Singers, Genticorum, The Winifred Horan Quartet, RUNA, Torrin Ryan, The Vox Hunters, and Windborne. Plus Irish step dancing from Rhode Island students, face-painting, sand art, and “Marvelous Marvin’s Circus Skills workshop” (Color me intrigued.) Rain date June 19. $20 adults; $5 kids 6-15, under 5 free. Details here.



June is Pride Month, and Providence’s Askew is celebrating with a full-on Pride Block Party on June 18. Head down there for live music, “New England Black Circus — Trapeze and Aerial Performances,” Randy Andy & The Drag Kings, plus face painting, massage, vendors, food, artists, DJ, outdoor dining and more, according to event billing. You should note, however, that according to their website: “Any non-fun will not be tolerated.” #RulesToLiveBy. $10. 6 p.m. to close. 150 Chestnut St., Providence. Details here.


Meanwhile, the Gay Beer Club and Providence’s Narragansett Brewery host a Beach Party Bake Sale, with proceeds going to Youth Pride Inc. At the Providence brewery, you’ll find a “Beach Party Beer Garden” inflatable water attractions, bake sale, DJ, drag performers, and Providence Drum Troupe “including aerialist and fire dancers” (wait, what?) June 18, 1-6 p.m. Tickets from $10. 271 Tockwotton St., Providence. Details here.



Complete with fireworks, the 4th annual Juneteenth RI celebration kicks off June 19 at noon at Roger Williams Park’s Temple to Music. Details online are scant, but according to their Instagram, you can expect a performance from Grammy-nominated R&B singer Elle Varner, live music, food, face-painting, and the like. Fireworks start at 8:30 p.m. Learn more here.


Kin Southern Table + Bar in Providence hosts a Juneteenth Block Party on Juneteenth proper. Expect 12 hours (yes, that’s a half a day) of partying, with 360-degree photo booth, live entertainment, movies, street games, food and drink. The menu isn’t posted, but Kin’s bread and butter is Southern comfort. Think fried green tomatoes, baked mac & cheese, barbecue pork ribs. Fuel up. It’s a #12HourParty. 71 Washington St., Providence. 401-537-7470. Details here.


For a more educational time with the kids, you might head to Saunderstown for a family-friendly Juneteenth event on Casey Farm. Explore the farm by foot or hayride, hear live music including the URI African Drummers and Dancers. Hear historians and speakers discuss “Indigenous and African American culture.” There will also be an unveiling of a R.I. Slave History Medallion.

Bring chairs or blankets and enjoy lunch purchased from local BIPOC-owned food vendors — from vegan desserts to tacos and burgers, or Spicy kimchi noodles. Free admission; pay for what you eat. Noon to 4 p.m. 2325 Boston Neck Road, Saunderstown, R.I. Details here.



This one is worthy of leaving Rhode Island.

Attleboro’s third annual regional Juneteenth Festival, “a family-friendly celebration, commemorating the end of slavery in the USA,” is June 18 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Capron Park. According to a press release, festivities include speakers, music, dance, food, raffle, line-dancing, art exhibits, kid area, and vendors” plus local performers, artists storytellers Nzinga’s Daughters, and more. 201 County St. Attleboro, Mass. Details here.


Treat dad to a sunset cruise aboard the Coastal Queen from Newport. Harbor. The 75-minute cruise includes a free cocktail for Dad, and epic views for all. $35. June 19, 6:15 p.m. Details here.

Meanwhile, Providence River Boat Company offers Father’s Day river cruises. The 50-minute tours run all day from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. $26 adult; $21 kids. Details here.


I want to mention here that if you’re looking to treat your Rhody dad to a meal this weekend — whether he’s into breakfast or barbecue, lobsters or linguini, no need to travel far. There is a restaurant for him in the Ocean State. I’ll save 6,000 words here, and refer to you an epic Rhode Island Dining Guide, which has something for everyone, whether you live in Blackstone Valley, or you’re hunting for a new spot in Providence. Actually, I’ll refer dad to the guide. Let him pick the spot for his big day. #DadsDay


Whether you’re an ole’-timer or just love ole’-timey music, The Pump House invites Rhode Islanders to an “Ole’ Timers Jam” on Tuesday nights. According to the event billing: “Bring your guitar, banjo, bass, mandolin, fiddle, or any other instrument you can think of for a night of traditional jamming!” Love it. Bar opens at a 6 p.m, jamming starts at 7 p.m. Free. June 21 Suggested donation $5. 1464 Kingstown Road, Wakefield. Details here.


There’s just something about food from a truck. And you can hit up three this week. On June 23, nosh your way through Food Truck Night at Crowne Plaza Warwick. Free to enter, just pay for what you eat and drink. Find some dozen food trucks, live music and beer and wine from Trinity Brewhouse. Details here. 801 Greenwich Ave., Warwick, R.I. Details here.

On Friday, you could hit up two: Mulligan’s Island Food Truck Festival features live music, some 20 Rhody food trucks, and mobile Beer Garden. June 24, 4:30-8:30 p.m. 401-464-8855. 1000 New London Ave., Cranston. Details here.

Then swing by Roger Williams Park. Bring a chair or blanket and soak up live tunes from local artists, jump on the carousel, hop the train ride. #FoodTruckFridays. 1000 Elmwood Ave., Providence. Details here.


Ooh, see that girl. Watch that scene. Digging the drive-in screen!” …Or something like that. Yup, whether you love ABBA, Meryl Streep, or drive-in movie theaters, there’s something for you at Misquamicut Drive-In June 24… It’s called “Mama Mia” on the big-screen. One ticket gets your whole car in the lot — bring your crew and get ready to sing. #BecauseMamaMia. First come, first to park. $25 per carload. Gates open 6:30 p.m. Previews at 8 p.m; movie at 9 p.m. 316 Atlantic Ave., Westerly. Details here.

Until next week, Rhody: Keep rockin’.

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