fb-pixel Skip to main content

Best things to do in Rhode Island this week: March 17-24

Unicyclists and other bike riders at a past Saint Patrick's Day parade in Providence.

Welp, I’m in my leprechaun outfit, I’m doing a little jig, playing the fiddle, eating corned beef and cabbage, waving the Daley coat of arms, sipping Guinness and brooding in a corner — that’s right, I’m doing every Irish trope at once, and that takes talent, baby.

We’ve got St. Paddy’s madness, Jurassic Park dinos, Harry Potter trivia, concerts and parades. Let’s goooo.


As you might expect, St. Patrick’s Day is shamrockin’ in Rhody. If I listed everything, it could take up the rest of this column. But a few March 17 highlights:

Providence’s G Pub celebrates with food and drink specials, and a DJ starting at 9 p.m. Wear your best “green get-up to win swag.” (I’ll be getting a second use out of this leprechaun outfit.) 61 Orange St., Providence. Free admission, details here.


Yes, there’s a PVD pub crawl. Details here and here.

Bodega On Smith hosts a daylong block party, from 11 a.m.-7 p.m., with a DJ, “Irish buffet,” green drinks, cornhole and more. 373 Smith St., Providence. $30. Details here.

McBride’s Irish pub opens at 9:30 a.m. with a block party street closure from noon to 8 p.m, and live music throughout the day. 161 Wayland Ave., Providence. Details here.

In Warren: a free Bank of Ireland St. Patrick’s Day Concert at Arc{hive} Book and Snackery. 4 Market St., Warren. Details here.

Charlestown’s Rathskeller Down Back hosts a St. Paddy’s party with live Celtic tunes 12:30-3:30 p.m. with food and drink specials. Free admission. 489b Old Coach Road. Details here.

For something totally different, Soul Sanctuary in Coventry celebrates St. Paddy’s with herbal mocktails, healthy snacks, adult coloring and live music. $5 admission. 7-9 p.m. 808 Tiogue Ave. Details here.

And if you’re looking to dine out, our Alexa Gagosz has some suggestions for you here.



The fun rolls on into Saturday, when the Providence St. Patrick’s Day parade — marshaled, in part, by our own Dan McGowan — steps off at noon from the corners of Whitford and Smith, according to their website’s GPS map, marching down Smith to the State House. Expect all the usual fanfare. Info. here.


Lil’s Rhody’s Lil’ Compton boasts a lil’ parade. Billed as “the World’s Shortest St. Paddy’s Day Parade,” marchers start and stop in Adamsville village: a trek of 89 feet. It steps off from 26 Main St. on March 18 at 2 p.m., and features Irish step-dancers, pipes and drums. (And if you snagged ‘em, you’re lucky: tickets are now sold out for the post-parade corned beef & cabbage dinner; proceeds go to the Little Compton Food Bank.) Details here.


Middletown’s Newport Vineyards hosts their St. Paddy’s Fest on March 18 with grape-stomping, live music, beers and Irish fare. Again, St. Paddy’s attire is encouraged — I knew this Leprechaun outfit was a good investment. Kids 15 and under free. $25 general admission. 11:30-2 p.m. 909 East Main Road. Details here.


Dispatch and State Radio fans, take note: Chadwick Stokes is headed to The Met on March 18 with the Pintos. This looks to be a killer show. Must-listen: “Chaska.”


Aside from fronting some cult-fave Boston bands, he and his wife, Sybil Gallagher, founded the nonprofit Calling All Crows in 2008, to connect music fans with feminist movements. “It’s mostly centered on women and gender equality, women’s rights, but everything is tied to that,” he told me previously. “We believe we need to have women in powerful positions if we want to make it though this life of ours.” Doors 7 p.m., show 8 p.m. $29.50 advance; $35 doors. 1005 Main St., Pawtucket. Details here.


Got something on your mind? It’s Brain Awareness Week, and the free family-friendly Brown Brain Fair on March 18 features interactive activities to teach us about our brains. Part of Brain Week Rhode Island, fair-goers “can measure their brain’s electrical activity, control a state-of-the-art robotic arm, examine mini-brains under a microscope, solve interactive puzzles, test their memory, and dress up like a scientist, among other family-friendly stations and activities,” according to Brown. Learn more here, here and here.


A triple-threat. Rhode Island-based Allison Rose (whose 2016 debut EP, “Hope,” is also our state motto) and Ben Cosgrove — a Maine-based composer/multi-instrumentalist whose clients include Grand Teton National Park and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics — back Caroline Cotter at Askew March 19. (Tip: if you’re stressed, zen-out to Cosgrove’s album “The Trouble With Wilderness.” Instant relief.)

Cotter — a finalist for both the 2019 Rocky Mountain Folks Fest Songwriter Showcase and 2018 No Depression Singer-Songwriter Award — has a peaceful ethereal Alison Krauss vibe. Must-listen: “Home on the River.” 6 p.m. doors, 6:30 show. $10. 150 Chestnut St., Providence. Details here.


You might get there early: Grateful Dead tribute band Violin River play a free show from 1-4 p.m. that day.


Downward dog with a cat. Yup, Johnston’s Community Cat Center hosts “Yoga with Kittens” March 19. You bring the mat, they’ll provide the cat. $17.31. 9:30 and 11 a.m. 39 Putnam Pike. Details here.


Fans of New England singer/songwriter Anais Mitchell, take note: her play hits PPAC this week. “Hadestown,” the indie/folk singer’s musical based on Greek mythology, grew from a community theater project in Vermont to Broadway.

In 2004, the Vermonter was driving to a gig when “a melody kind of dropped out of the sky with a lyric, and it was the chorus melody of ‘Wait for Me’… it seemed to be about the Orpheus and Eurydice story,” she told the Globe previously. Read more here. March 21-24. Tickets from $30. 220 Weybosset St. Details here.


Think you know Harry? Whether you’re Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw or Slytherin, gather ‘round: It’s Potter Trivia night at Reiner’s Bar & Game Room in Providence on March 22. Top prize: $250 cash. (That can buy a lot of chocolate frogs.) Second place scores $75 cash, and third place a gift card. $5 admission; 11 Dorrance St. Details here.



Clever, girl…The Jello is already trembling in my hands. Yup, Jurassic World Live Tour invades Providence March 23. The adventure starts when an Indominus rex escapes in the AMP…! Expect to see Blue the Raptor, a stegosaurus, triceratops and yes, a T-rex. I give bonus points to anyone who arrives dressed as Jeff Goldblum. March 23-26. Tickets from $15. Details here. Get a sense of what to expect here.


This is a special one. In August 2020, singer/songwriter Mark Erelli was about to solo on stage when something happened: “I looked down and couldn’t see my fingers on the guitar,” he told me previously.

A few weeks later, while driving in Boston, “I went into a tunnel, and it was lights out. I couldn’t see the road.”

The Melrose, Mass., resident was eventually diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, or RP, an inherited retinal disease that causes progressive loss of night and peripheral vision. Many diagnosed become legally blind, and it can lead to complete blindness, according to FightingBlindness.org.

Erelli wrote about his loss in his new album, “Lay Your Darkness Down.” Now he plays a record-release party, hosted by Newport Live, at the Jamestown Arts Center March 23.

“This material is the most intimate thing I’ve ever done,” Erelli told me previously. Listeners “connect in their own way. They’re not necessarily getting emotional because I’m going blind — they’re thinking about things in their life they’ve lost, things they’re struggling with.” Read the full interview here. $35. 7 p.m. 18 Valley St. Details here.

Until next week, Rhody: Keep rockin.’

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