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Best things to do in R.I. this week: July 1-8

You’ll have the best times! Of course, we’re focusing on parades and fireworks. But there are plenty of great options before and after July 4 as well.

Bristol holds its annual Fourth of July parade on July 4, starting at the corner of Chestnut and Hope streets.Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

Grab your Del’s, toast with ‘Gannsett, and start up the clam boil. It’s Independence Day, Rhody — and not the kind with Tommy Lee Jones. I have so much to mention this 4th of July week, we’re gonna make like we’re lighting fireworks and launch right… now!


Zoo animals are ringing the bell and flashing the house lights: It’s last call for Roger Williams Park Zoo’s “Asian Lantern Spectacular.” Now through July 4, the fam can “journey through a wonderland of larger-than-life illuminated lanterns” and try Asian-inspired cuisine, according to their website. 6-10:30 p.m., $17.95 per adult, $15.95 per child. Register online for a selected time slot. 1000 Elmwood Ave., Providence, R.I. 401-785-3510. Details here.



Attention classical music fans: Here’s your chance to see 24 concerts in 17 days.

The 2022 Newport Classical Music Festival, from July 1 to 17, features two dozen concerts inside Newport’s historic mansions and venues including The Breakers, The Elms, Blithewold Mansion, Chinese Tea House, and more.

The opening show — Grammy winners Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and violinist Chad Hoopes inside The Breakers on July 1 — is sold out. But there are other options, including:

  • Pianist Natasha Paremski, July 2
  • Junction Trio, July 3
  • Triton Brass: A Salute to America, July 4
  • Sarah Cahill: The Future is Female, July 5
  • Classical Contemporaries: Middle Years, July 6
  • Black Oak Ensemble: Silenced Voices, July 6,
  • Piano Quintets, July 7
  • Inna Faliks: Reimagining Schumann and Ravel, July 7

Full concert list and details here.

This year’s fest includes music by more than 40 women composers, according to Newport Classical. Executive Director Gillian Friedman Fox said in a statement she’s “looking forward to introducing our audiences to many rarely performed works by female composers,” adding that they have a “particular focus on elevating women in classical music.” Learn more here.


We pregame in Smithfield, Rhody. Independence Day fun kicks off July 1 at Deerfield Park in Smithfield. Food trucks will be there at 4 p.m., with live music starting at 6 p.m. and a fireworks display at dark. 39 Lisa Ann Circle, in the village of Greenville. Details here.



The Patriot Flag is carried by the Star Spangled Banner Project during the 236th Fourth of July Celebration in Bristol, R.I., in 2021. Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

Need I say more? Rhode Islanders know Fourth of July is synonymous with Bristol. Billed as “America’s Oldest Fourth of July Celebration,” Bristol’s fun dates back to 1785 when, according to the website: “Rev. Henry Wight of the First Congregational Church and a Veteran of the Revolutionary War conducted the first Patriotic Exercises.” The parade “is believed to have begun in the early 1800s.” Here’s what on the agenda for 2022:

  • July 1: The Fourth of July concert series brings two bands — the New Bedford, Mass.-based Red Handed and Boston’s ‘80s rock tribute band, Back in the Day — to Independence Park for a double-bill outdoor concert starting at 6:30 p.m.
  • July 2: The Concert Series continues with Aquidneck Island’s own Bar Fly and (Dave Matthew fans, rejoice) DMB Project, same time, same place. #AntsMarching
  • July 3: The Big Night. Fireworks Night. Fireworks start at 9:30 p.m. over Bristol Harbor.
  • July 4: Parade Day. You know the drill: Get there early if you want a good viewing spot. Patriotic Exercises start at 8:30 a.m. at Colt Andrews Elementary School (570 Hope St.) The parade steps off at 10:30 a.m. from the corner of Chestnut and Hope streets, and ends on High Street, between State and Bradford streets. Details here.
  • If you’re looking to do Bristol in style, you might splurge on tickets to the annual Fourth of July Parade Picnic at the historic Linden Place Mansion on the parade route. The circa-1810 mansion offers breakfast, lunch and a shady parade spot. According to the event listing, guests enjoy “bleacher-style seating” two meals, restroom facilities and “plenty of elbow room.” Tickets include catered boxed breakfast from 8 -11 a.m. (coffee, juices, vanilla greek yogurt with dried cranberry granola, double blueberry muffin and seasonal whole fruit) and catered boxed lunch from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., (your chosen sandwich, chips, whole fruit, craft cookie, dill pickle, bottled water and soft drink.) Plus, the mansion will be open for self-guided tours. $95. Limited seating. Call 401-253-0390 for tickets. Details here.


No matter where you live in Rhody, here are a few highlights worth the drive:

  • Sail away to Block Island (yes, I just sang that in the jingle) to see fireworks July 1. Fireworks will be “visible from nearly everywhere on the island” and will launch “as soon as it’s suitably dark, probably around 9.” Details here.
  • North Kingstown’s party on July 3 will have food trucks — yes, including Del’s and System Weiners — with the Lafayette Band taking the stage at 7 p.m., and fireworks at dark. Details here.
  • If someone in your family is sensitive to the big booms of fireworks, the city of Jamestown will have a place for the public to enjoy a “quiet fireworks” display on the Fourth of July, at Beavertail State Park in Jamestown. From the perch at Beavertail, viewers may watch the Newport show that’s held across Narragansett Bay with less noise. The fireworks will depend on this week’s weather so listen to your local weatherperson. The explosion of fireworks many miles away can still be heard but at a low volume. So all the spark with less of the bang. The viewing is wheelchair-accessible and stroller-friendly and Rhode Island Park rules apply. The show is from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. A rain date is scheduled July 5. More details on Beavertail State Park.
  • Providence celebrates July 3. The party starts at 7 p.m. at India Point Park with a live show “curated by local artist Becky Bass.” According to her website, Bass is a vocalist, steel drummer, actor and two-time New England Urban Music Award winner hailing from the U.S. Virgin Islands. Fireworks will go off around 9 p.m. Details here.
  • North Providence celebrates July 3, with a food court from 6 to 9 p.m., music by Reminisce, and fireworks at dark. At Governor John A. Notte, Jr. Park on Twin Rivers. Details here.
  • Pawtucket celebrates July 3 with fireworks launched from inside McCoy Stadium. The stadium itself will be closed — the party is in the Joseph Jenks Junior High School front parking lot. Head there for live music and food trucks. Fireworks will begin shortly after 9 p.m. Details here.
  • Warwick launches fireworks July 3 at dusk/around 9 p.m. from Oakland Beach. Details here.
  • Newport celebrates on July 4th itself with fireworks over Newport Harbor at 9:15 p.m. Details here.
  • South Kingstown also celebrates July 4. The fun starts at 5:30 p.m. with a concert from Rhody band Take It To The Bridge. Plus food, concessions 50/50 raffle. Fireworks launch at 9 p.m. Details here.
  • East Providence celebrates July 5 at Pierce Stadium with a concert — line-up is Marc Dennis, Crystal, Brendan Rush and Bella Hannah, Full Circle Duo, The Stone Leaf, Arlindo Andrade, Manuel Brandao, Andrea Vargas — and fireworks. Gates open 6 p.m., fireworks 9:30 p.m. Details here.


If someone in your family is sensitive to the big booms of fireworks, the city of Jamestown will have a place for the public to enjoy a “quiet fireworks” display at Beavertail State Park. From there, viewers may watch the Newport show that’s held across Narragansett Bay; the explosions are several miles away, so you get all the spark with less of the bang. The viewing area is wheelchair-accessible and stroller-friendly, and Rhode Island Park rules apply. The show is from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. A rain date is scheduled July 5. Details here.


OMG OMG. I think I might be more excited for this than for fireworks.

South County Museum holds its annual “4th of July Chick Hatch” from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on their Narragansett campus. Viewers can watch baby chicks emerging from their eggs hatching in the incubator, hold day-old baby chicks, and view the Rhode Island Red Heritage flock maintained on the Museum’s Living History Farm. According to the event info, “South County Museum’s Heritage Flock meets the American Poultry Association’s Standard of Perfection. According to Jim Crothers, Museum Executive Director, ‘If these were dogs, they would be considered American Kennel Club Purebreds.’ In 1954 the RI Red was designated as the state bird. South County Museum has maintained the Heritage Flock since 2006.”


I’m there. #CluckingAdorable. $5 donation. Kids 5 and under free. July 4. 115 Strathmore St., Narragansett. Details here and here.


Are you a baseball fan? Over 55? Then you just scored a homer, my friend. PACE-RI is offering free admission to the Newport Gulls game July 6 for Rhode Island residents 55 and older. (Don’t feel old; Brad Pitt is 58.)

The Newport Gulls, a summer collegiate baseball team, are six-time champions of the New England Collegiate Baseball League, according to their website. On July 6, they face the Upper Valley Nighthawks from Hartford, Vermont. #GoGulls. Game is at 4:05 p.m. Bring valid Rhode Island ID. Cardines Field, 20 America’s Cup Ave., Newport. Details here.


“The fact is, ladies and gentlemen, the distance between this platform and the slave plantation, from which I escaped, is considerable… above your national, tumultuous joy, I hear the mournful wail of millions!”

These words are worth the drive, no matter where you live. Rhode Islanders are invited to listen or join a live reading of Douglass’ famed 1852 speech “What to The Slave Is The Fourth of July” in the garden of Linden Place in Bristol on July 7. Audience members are invited to join in at the podium.


Douglass escaped slavery to become a lightning rod orator and thinker. He delivered this speech in Rochester, N.Y., on July 5, 1852 — some nine years before the start of the Civil War. If you can’t make this reading, I urge you to read this at home. Beyond powerful. Free. 6 p.m. 500 Hope St., Bristol. Details here.

Until next week, Rhody: Keep rockin’.

This article has been updated with details about the quiet fireworks show in Jamestown.

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