Things are getting very Halloween-y in the Ocean State. This week’s fun includes haunted boat rides, superheroes, hayrides, fall fests — and some stellar live music. Let’s rock.
FALL FOOD TRUCK NIGHT
Just when you thought they were gone for the season… We’ve got another Food Truck Night. It’s free admission, just pay for what you eat at Warwick Food Truck Night at Crowne Plaza. Plus live music and beer and wine from Trinity Brewhouse. Oct. 14, 5-7:30 p.m. 801 Greenwich Ave., Warwick. Details here.
HAUNTED RIVER BOAT TOURS (WITH BEER)
The October combo we didn’t know we needed: Boats + Scary things on a river and some are + Booze. Yup, in addition to their non-scary offerings like Twilight River Cruises and WaterFire rides, the Providence River Boat Company offers a “Haunted Boat Ride” that might have you looking at PVD in a new light. According to the billing: “Surrounded by the moonlit bridges, cobblestone walkways and century-old architecture of downtown Providence, you will hear stories of our capital city’s dearly-deceased-but-not-so-departed residents; local literary giants and humble servants alike; their restless souls still stirring among the living.” Climb aboard… if you dare. Adults $30, kids 10-17 $27. Oct. 14, 16, 20, 21 as of this writing, various times of departure each day. (Book ahead now for beer tours, Oct. 31 and Nov. 1. Must be 21+) 101 Dyer St. Details here.
WATER, SCIENCE & ART
It’s a free celebration of “water, science and art” at the Rain Harvest Arts Festival at Roger Williams Park Oct. 15. The fest — hosted by the Providence Stormwater Innovation Center, The Providence Parks Department, and Rogers Williams Park Conservancy — “celebrates the Providence Parks Department’s investment in over 40 projects to clean polluted stormwater runoff before it enters the ponds in the park,” according to the event’s website. Find live music from Providence’s ERB (Extraordinary Rendition Band), and Providence Drum Troupe. “Environmental scientists, educators, and stormwater experts will share knowledge and encourage public participation with tours of stormwater projects, hands-on workshops, demonstrations, water experiments, bird walks, and more.” Plus food trucks. Free. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 1000 Elmwood Ave., Providence. Details here.
Got a green thumb? Head to Newport in Bloom’s 10th annual Daffodil Bulb Giveaway on Easton’s Beach (First Beach) in Newport Oct. 15 from 9 a.m. to noon. Bulbs come 24 to a bag. #LetItGrow. Details here.
Just when you thought they were gone for the season… We’ve got another seafood fest. The 31st Annual Seafood Festival at Bowen’s Wharf in Newport runs Oct. 15 and 16 with live music and, yup, plenty of seafood. (That’s rock and lobster.) It’s free admission — just pay for what you eat. Expect fish tacos, lobster rolls, stuffies, chowder, fried calamari, clams, oysters, plus cocktails, beer, frozen lemonade, donuts, and kettle corn. Proceeds from festival bars benefit Oliver Hazard Perry, Rhody’s sailing education vessel. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m both days. Details here.
TIVERTON HARVEST MARKET
I love Weetamoo Woods and Pardon Gray Preserve — side-note: some of the best gentle trails in Rhody for fall hiking — so I’m over-the-moon that Tiverton Farmers’ Market is bringing their Harvest Market back to the preserve’s picturesque pasture and walking trails. Think guided hikes, hayrides, live music, dozens of artisan vendors, “Tent Talks”— including birding, beekeeping and “Introduction to Garlic” — and food trucks (yes, including Del’s.) For a sense of last year’s fest, see here. $5 parking. Oct. 16, noon to 4 p.m. 3228 Main Road, Tiverton. Details here.
FREE DEAD SHOW
Attention Deadheads: Violin River, a Rhody Grateful Dead tribute band, plays a free show at The Met Oct. 16. #TheMusicNeverStopped. Doors 4 p.m., show 5 p.m. Hope Artiste Village, 1005 Main St., Pawtucket. Info. here and here.
WALK FOR THE ANIMALS
Love animals? Love to walk? You and Fido might step out for Potter League’s 33rd annual Heart & Sole Walk For Animals at Newport’s Fort Adams State Park Oct. 16, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. According to the website you can make the short 3/4-mile walk with or without your dog. The walk starts at noon, and the day includes music, marketplace, food trucks, and “special activities for dogs and kids.” Details, how to register and FAQs here.
SCARE YOURSELF SILLY
If you’re one of those people who absolutely love to scare the @#$% out of yourself, well, you’re in luck. Scary Acres RI is open for the Scare Season. According to the billing, you’ll take the “Dark Harvest Hayride” through Haunted Town, “brave the Haunted Burial Grounds Corn Field,” and “try to survive the Curse of the Bayou… Will you survive?… Fear. Lives. Here.” …. Oh, sorry, I was just (ahem) hiding under the couch. 2150 Scituate Ave., Cranston. Prices and hours vary. Details here.
FAIRY TALES, SUPERHEROES AND THOUSANDS OF PUMPKINS
At the Roger Williams Park Zoo Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular — up now through Halloween — you can see thousands of pumpkins aglow with this year’s theme: “Celebrating 75 years of Television.” This weekend, an added bonus. Oct. 18 is Fairy Tale Night (“Enjoy meet & greets with your favorite costumed characters before hopping on the pumpkin trail,” the site reads) and Oct. 19 is Superhero Night. Ditto, but for Marvel fans. Both are 6-8 p.m. and included with a Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular ticket. Open nightly 6-10:30 p.m. Mon.-Thurs.: $18 adult, $15 child. Fri-Sun.: $21 adult, $18 child. 1000 Elmwood Ave., Providence. 401-785-3510. Details here.
ALL THE #FALLVIBES AT ONCE
Nothing says fall like cider donuts, hayrides and apple-picking. Rhody has all three — even flower-picking.
- Cucumber Hill is full-on fall funhouse: corn maze, axe-throwing, nighttime flashlight maze, lantern-lit hayrides, pick-your-own pumpkins, pony rides, food trucks and more. 39 Cucumber Hill Road, Foster. 401-397-7500. Details, prices and hours here.
- Escobar’s Farm in Portsmouth offers an 8-acre corn maze, hayrides, pumpkin-picking, concessions and more. GPS: 255 Middle Road, Portsmouth. 401-683-1444. Details, rates and hours here.
- Clark Farms in Matunuck boasts a corn maze, petting zoo, hayrides, pumpkin patch and more. 2984 Commodore Perry Highway. 401-783-8844. Details, rates and hours here.
- Adams Farm in Cumberland offers a weekend corn maze, farm food truck and hayrides, plus pumpkin patch, farm animals, cornhole, “tire playground” and “hay mountain” for kids and more. 495 Sumner Brown Road. 401-714-4425. Details, rates and hours here.
- At Johnston’s Salisbury Farms, find pumpkins, popcorns, candy apples, a giant corn maze and more. 11 Peck Hill Road. 401-942-9741. Details, rates and hours here.
- It’s apple-picking — and candy-apple-eating — time. Check out our list of where to bag Braeburns and score sweet treats here.
He founded the Modern Lovers and wrote love songs to Boston, like “Roadrunner.” Natick native Johnathan Richman, 71, plays Providence’s Columbus Theater Oct. 20. There’s also an Ocean State connection: Richman is the dude singing throughout R.I.-set “There’s Something About Mary,” from Rhode Island’s Farrelly Brothers.
Perhaps we might inspire a few songs while he’s in town. Jonathan, free idea: “Rhoderunner.” From $25. Doors 7 p.m., show 8 p.m. 270 Broadway. 401-621-9660. Details here. An interview with Richman here.
FROM CHUCK BERRY TO THE BLACK KEYS
Newport Live (formerly Common Fence Point Music) hosts its first fall concert with Sam Amidon and Marc Ribot at Newport’s Casino Theater Oct. 21. Amidon — a Vermont native, singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist (fiddle, banjo, guitar) and husband of singer/songwriter Beth Orton, has a dreamy neo-folk vibe. For a sense, listen to “Juma Mountain.”
He’s currently touring with Ribot, a long-time Sideman for the Stars. Ribot’s resume roster includes Wilson Pickett, Rufus Thomas, Chuck Berry, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, John Mellencamp, T Bone Burnett, Neko Case, Diana Krall, Marianne Faithful, Allen Ginsburg, The Black Keys, Jeff Bridges and more. From $35. 7:30 p.m. 9 Freebody St. Newport. Details here, here and here.
WOODY GUTHRIE AND THE RED SOX
In that Venn diagram, what do those two have in common? The Dropkick Murphys.
Sox fans’ favorite fight-song-singers, The Dropkicks embark on a “This Machine...” tour, stopping in Providence Oct. 21. The title alludes, of course, to Guthrie’s famed guitar emblazoned with: “This machine kills fascists.” (In fact, the tour promo photo on the Vets’s site shows a guitar, with the words, “This machine STILL kills fascists.”) Woody’s daughter, Nora Guthrie, told me the band wanted to set some of her dad’s lyrics to music.
“One of my father’s most ridiculous lyrics was called ‘Shipping up to Boston.’ I worked with the Dropkick Murphys, a punk band from Boston — that was the year the Red Sox won the series,” she told me previously. “So here’s [Jonathan] Papelbon dancing the jig on the final game, and everyone’s out there dancing to my dad’s song.” #LoveIt. From $39.50. Doors 6 p.m., show 7 p.m. 1 Avenue of the Arts, Providence. 401-421-2787. Details here.
Providence’s award-winning folk musician Jake Blount makes a hometown show at the Columbus Oct. 21. (One of his favorite spots in town, he told me previously, along with Empire Guitars and Seven Stars Bakery.) An Afrofuturist, traditional folk scholar and specialist in the early folk music of Black Americans, Blount is a queer Black fiddler and banjo player, 2020 recipient of the Steve Martin Banjo Prize, and two-time winner of the Appalachian String Band Music Festival.
His bread and butter are traditional tunes. His debut solo album “Spider Tales” (2020) landed on NPR and The New Yorker’s Best Albums of that year. His new album, “The New Faith” was recorded in Providence. One gorgeous video, “Once There Was No Sun,” landed in Rolling Stone. Must-listen: “The Man Was Burning.”) From $15. Doors 7 p.m., show 8 p.m. Details here.
Until next week, Rhody: Keep rockin.’