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Best things to do in Rhode Island this week: Aug. 11-18

You’ll have the best times! This week, clambakes, cornhole, an international film festival and more.

Buddy Guy and Kenny Wayne Shepherd will perform at the Backroads Blues Festival at Bold Point Park in Rhode Island.Courtesy of Bold Point Park

The legendary Barry Manilow makes an appearance in Providence this weekend. Did you know he has a connection to Rhode Island? More on that here. Also, a film fest, Buddy Guy, reggae, salsa dancing, vodka, puppies, a raffle to Costa Rica, cheese-making and more — below. Let’s ride.


Calling all indie film buffs and aspiring filmmakers: the 40th annual Flickers’ Rhode Island International Film Festival is running now through Aug. 14 and there are so many events and screenings in venues all over Providence, it would take up the rest of this column to list them all. Many films will be screened online. A few in-person highlights:


  • At 10 a.m. Aug. 12, aspiring screenwriters can attend a day-long ScriptBiz workshop at the Rhode Island Foundation. (Details here.)
  • The Kids Eye Film Festival — Animated Shorts Package at AS220 features nine short animated films running 91 minutes. Aug. 12.
  • “Finding Our Way: Shorts Package” shows eight short films at AS220 at 4:30 p.m., while “Reshaping Reality: Experimental Shorts” is comprised of 11 shorts at Johnson & Wales at 4:30 p.m. Aug. 12.
  • RISD Museum screens three films starting at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 12
  • “Rethinking Identity,” screening of six short films at Johnson & Wales at 4:30 p.m., and “Breaking Out: LGBTQ Shorts” screens there at 7 p.m. Aug. 13.
  • There are also “Under the Stars” screenings at Providence Innovation District Park Aug. 12 and 13.

Full schedule here. More details here.


Fanilows, it’s your time to shine. Barry Manilow plays the Dunkin’ Donuts Center Aug. 13. Expect to hear all the hits — including the one that debuted in Providence.

“When I was putting together the 1978 tour, we rehearsed in Providence in a big warehouse of some sort,” he said. “We [kicked off the] tour in Providence — the tour that was debuting ‘Copacabana.’ The record hadn’t come out yet. I [performed it] for the first time in Providence.”

Manilow will also award a Rhode Island music teacher $10,000 — $5K to keep, and $5K to buy instruments for their classroom. “The first thing they take money away from is the music department,” Manilow said. “Music classes will change a kid’s life.”

Tickets from $45.95. At Dunkin’ Donuts Center, Providence, Aug. 13, 7:30 p.m. Details here. Read the Globe’s interview with Manilow here.


Dig into a clambake for a good cause. Little Compton’s Gnome Surf is working magic in the ocean. Founded in 2015, Gnome aims to harness the therapeutic power of the ocean and the act of surfing to help anyone — but is especially focused on helping neurodivergent kids.


“I believe every child can be helped through surf therapy, but our main focus is neurodivergent children,” said founder and instructor Chris Antao, of Fall River. “Most of our children have autism, we have a high-population of kids with Down syndrome, and ADHD.”

At their annual clambake fundraiser, you can enjoy a good ol’ fashioned clambake with chowder, beer, wine and dessert — plus enter a raffle to win a trip to their Happy Camp in Nosara, Costa Rica. #SurfsUp

Aug. 13, noon to 4 p.m. 80 John Dyer Road, Little Compton. Kids tickets $20; adult tickets start at $60. Details here. Read about Gnome here.


Rhody, it’s a special don’t-miss WaterFire night on Aug. 13: For the second year, WaterFire Providence and The Papitto Opportunity Connection (POC) “celebrate Rhode Island’s communities of color,” according to the event billing. It “will be an immersive cultural experience filled with exciting performance artists, locally renowned musicians, foodpreneurs, and singers representing Black, Indigenous, Hispanic, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Latino cultures.”

Highlights include:

  • Get your groove on at the Waterplace Basin Stage with The Lao Youth Center dance group, the Cambodian Society of RI Dance Troupe, Dance BFF (Bollywood Fusion and Fitness, and Napua O’ Polynesia dancers, drummers, & musicians. Starts 6 p.m.
  • Becky Bass, a native of the US Virgin Islands and Brown alum performs Caribbean soul music at the POC Soundstage on Steeple Street, Sidy Maiga and The Bridge Where We Meet brings West African Fusion, and more. (6-11:15 p.m.)
  • Dance to R&B from Rhode Island’s Alexus Lee, and reggae from Clatta Bumboo and the Roots Government Band at the Washington Street Bridge Stage.
  • Take a salsa dance class at 8:30 p.m.
  • The RI Kung Fu and Lion Dance Club shares “a symbolic part of the traditional Chinese culture with a Lion dance” at various locations.
  • Catch Brazilian capoeira on College Street.

Full details of the night here.


Blues fans, don’t miss this epic double-bill. Chicago blues guitarist and eight-time Grammy winner Buddy Guy teams up with blues talent and award-winner Kenny Wayne Shepherd for their Backroads Blues Festival at Bold Point Park with special guest Christone “Kingfish” Ingram on Aug. 13.


Guy is reason alone to buy tickets. At 86, he is a living legend. He learned from Muddy Waters; influenced Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Keith Richards, Gary Clark Jr. and more. I love that he’s taken New England star Quinn Sullivan under his wing; their relationship is now a documentary, “The Torch.” Long story short: Go. Tickets from $40. Doors 4:30 p.m., show 6 p.m. At Bold Point Park, 555 Waterfront Drive, East Providence. Details here.


The Korean American Association of Rhode Island hosts “Korea Day Celebration,” a night of traditional music and dance, in Providence Aug. 14. Korean Independence Day is Aug. 15. According to the event billing: “Every year, Koreans gather to celebrate this momentous day, much like Americans celebrating their Independence Day on July 4. It’s a time to show off national identity and pride…Musicians and dancers come from New York and South Korea to perform.” Admission and food are free. 4-7 p.m. Bishop McVinney Auditorium, Providence. Details here.


…Sure. In the collab we didn’t know we needed, Tito’s Handmade Vodka and The Trap Brew Pub & Grill are teaming up to help Warwick’s homeless animals.

Bring your dog and crew to the East Greenwich pub Aug. 14 for dog-themed cocktails, live music, cornhole, and pup treats. Plus, you can meet adoptable dogs from Warwick Animal Shelter. A portion of proceeds benefit Friends of the Warwick Animal Shelter. 2-6 p.m. 195 Old Forge Road. Details here.



Slurping oysters is a New England summer tradition… but how did they end up on your plate? See how you farm mollusks with Matunuck Oyster Bar. Start with a discussion about aquaculture and fisheries, then tour the shellfish farm in Potter Pond. ($25 per person.) For a special treat? Splurge on the Champagne and Oysters package — a tour for two, 12 house oysters and a bottle of bubbly for $150. #Swank. Aug. 15, 10 a.m. 629 Succotash Road, South Kingstown. Details here.


Yes, yes, yes and yes. I’m in. On Aug. 17, Greenvale Vineyards in Portsmouth hosts “Wine Down: Yoga, Wine and Jazz for Conservation” on their vineyard grounds. Downward dog for a cause: the fundraiser benefits the Eastern Rhode Island Conservation District, a nonprofit “to promote and improve long-lasting and environmentally-friendly practices that protect natural resources such as soil, water, and air.” #WinWin. $30 for wine, yoga and music; $20 for yoga and jazz. 582 Wapping Road. Details here.

Jason Bonham, son of Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, brings Zeppelin hits to Bold Point Park in Rhode Island.Courtesy of Bold Point Park


Jason Bonham, son of Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, is continuing the family business of getting the led out. He brings Zeppelin hits to Bold Point Park Aug. 18. #RambleOn. From $27.50. Doors 5 p.m., show 6:30 p.m. 555 Waterfront Drive, East Providence. Details here. Details here.


Hop the trolley, take in art. You gotta love Gallery Night in Providence. If you know, you know. If you’ve never been, it’s part of what made PVD such a magical city. Experience it Aug. 18. There are four trolley tours:


  • A 5 p.m. “Fiber Arts” tour, leaves and returns to the Graduate Hotel.
  • A 5:30 p.m. tour leaves and returns to the Graduate, will stop by Museo del Barrio, and Craftland among other stops.
  • A 6 p.m. tour, leaving and returning to the Graduate, stops at AS220 galleries and Studio Hop, among other stops.
  • A 6:30 p.m. tour, leaving and returning to the WaterFire Arts Center, stops at Rhode Island Center for Photographic Arts and RISD among other stops.

Full details here.


Okay, okay, so this is technically for next week’s column — but tickets to this sell out so fast, and seats are so limited, I never get a chance to mention it. So I want to give you a heads up to get on this now:

Make your mozzarella in a cheese-making class at Middletown’s Simmons Farm. According to the billing, the adventure begins with farm talk, wine and cheese-tasting, and a tour of the “goat parlor where you will meet the ladies who make the milk.” Then it’s all about that mozzarella ball. You can also make your own butter. Classes are limited to six people, so if your dream is to make homemade pizza by the end of summer, book it. $99. Aug. 20, 3 p.m. 1942 West Main Road, Middletown. Details here.

Until next week, Rhody: Keep rockin’.

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

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