Raise your hand if you have not taken a selfie with Kenan Thompson this week. He’s everywhere, from McBride’s to Olneyville to scooting around Newport, delivering donuts — and now he and “Good Burger 2″ co-star Kel Mitchell have official proclamations from PVD. Keep your eyes peeled Memorial Day Weekend, my friends: we’ve got an SNL GOAT in our midst — plus beer gardens, wine gardens, fireworks, ice cream and more.
WINE GARDEN BY THE SEA
Kick off Memorial Day Weekend Newport-style. Newport’s luxe The Chanler at Cliff Walk opens their Ca’ del Bosco Wine Garden for the season May 26. You don’t need to be a guest to soak up water views and sip sparkling Cuvée Annamaria clementi, Santa Margherita pinot grigio, spritzer or crisp summer lagers. You might pair with house Polish kielbasa with roasted kraut, smoked chicken boudin with avocado, tomato, arugula, basil; or a double burger with sweet onion, heirloom tomato, and smoked mozzarella. Open Friday-Sunday, 1-6 p.m., and on Memorial Day, according to their Instagram. 117 Memorial Blvd. Details here.
LEGO ANIMALS x GREEN ANIMALS
Award-winning LEGO artist Sean Kenney brings his animal sculptures to Portsmouth’s Green Animals Topiary Garden May 26. The 14 sculptures in “Nature Connects: Art with Lego Bricks” runs through Sept. 10. Kenney’s exhibit has traveled the nation, so I’m thrilled it’s hitting Rhody. Daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Non-members $25 adult; $10 kids ages 6-12. Learn more here and here.
PITBULL IN PVD
It’s party-time, millennials. Pitbull brings the beats the AMP May 26 and all the late 30s/early 40s Rhode Islanders are ‘bout to get down. I love these Insta posts shared by the Grammy winner: “Millennials dusting off the ole joints” to jam. The dude taking off his back brace: priceless. From $75. 8 p.m. 1 LaSalle Square, Providence. Details here.
RISD’s Graduate Thesis Exhibition is on now at the Rhode Island Convention Center. Catch the free show while it’s up through June 3. 1 Sabin St., Providence. Details here and here.
SUMMER NIGHTS AT THE DRIVE-IN
Nothing gives off retro summer vibes like an old-school drive-in theater, and the Misquamicut Drive-In is screening popcorn-fun flicks all weekend. On May 26, catch “Rocky Horror Picture Show” with RKO Army; see “Grease” May 27, “Jurassic World Dominion” May 28, and “High School Musical” June 2. Bring your whole crew — it’s $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.
THE SONS ARE BACK IN TOWN
After three years, South Kingstown’s Sons of Liberty Spirits reopens their tasting room with a grand reopening party May 27 from noon to 7 p.m. Think live music, food trucks, cocktails and beer. Free admission, pay for what you eat and drink. 1425 Kingstown Road. Details here and here.
On a similar note, after construction and renovations, Newport Craft Brewing & Distillery opens their outdoor tasting pavilion and bar May 27. They’ll celebrate with A Mano pizza, the Cluck Truck, cold brews and cocktails. 293 JT Connell Highway. Newport. Details here and here.
Beach season starts now: Grab your binoculars to check out sandpipers, eiders, buffleheads at Norman Bird Sanctuary’s stroll on Third Beach. Free. May 27, 8 a.m. 875 3rd Beach Road, Middletown. Details here.
FIREWORKS, PARADE & PARTY
Lincoln celebrates Memorial Day Weekend with fireworks at 8:30 p.m. May 27 at Lincoln High school. BYO blankets. On May 29, the parade steps off at 11 a.m. from the corner of Smithfield and Higginson avenues, concluding at Chase Farm Park, where you can rock the post-parade party with food trucks and live music. Details here and here.
GET YOUR ART ON
The Gaspee Days Arts & Crafts Festival is showcasing more than 100 fine artisans with live music at Pawtuxet Park in Warwick on May 27 through May 29, starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday. 2 E View St., Warwick. Details here.
Also this weekend is the 27th Annual Virtu Arts Festival in Wilcox Park in downtown Westerly, starting at 10 a.m. on May 27. Free admission. 44 Broad St., Westerly. Details here.
ICE CREAM, LIVE MUSIC, FOOD TRUCKS, BEER
Ah, Hemingway’s famous seven-word story about summer. Or something like that. Anyway, it’s all the summer vibes at once at Sacred Cow’s “Sunday Food Truck Funday” with live music and Trinity Brewhouse’s beer and wine. May 28, 4:30-8 p.m. Free admission, pay for what you eat and drink. 187 North Brow St., East Providence. Learn more here and here.
HAVE A FOLK SINGIN’ NATURE WALKIN’ OL’ TIME
I love all of these Pete Seeger vibes: Sing folk songs while hiking through the Haile Farm Preserve. A dual “guided nature walk and a peripatetic folk song concert led by Benedict Gagliardi, Armand Aromin and Flannery Brown,” the trio “will share their knowledge of local insects, birds, other wildlife and plants and at many moments may drift into a song.” Hikers are invited to sing along. Yes. Five Gold Stars. Free. May 28, 10 a.m. Haile Farm Preserve, New Industrial Way, Warren. Details here.
GO FLY A KITE
I’m not dissing you, buddy. I’m just talking about Weekapaug Inn’s Memorial Day cookout and kite-flying event. The luxe inn in Westerly hosts its annual “Kite Fly-Inn” May 29 from 1-3 p.m. See kit demonstrations, enjoy a cookout, play lawn games, do some kite-decorating — and score a kite to take home. Got a cool kite? Bring it. $35. 25 Spray Rock Road. Details here.
“IF THESE WALLS COULD TALK”
The WaterFire Arts Center hosts “If These Walls Could Talk,” a group exhibition by the 2022-2023 WaterFire Accelerate cohort June 1- July 9. The mixed-media exhibit is “based on the art of storytelling. Each piece explores the power of visual narratives,” according to billing. Free opening night reception June 1, 5-9 p.m. 475 Valley St., Providence. Details here.
It’s rooftop beer garden season. WaterFire Providence’s TroopTop Thursdays return to rock the top of WaterFire Arts Center starting June 1. It’s a win-win: each party (in partnership with Troop PVD, sponsored by US Rubber Lofts) boasts live music, art, local brews, wines, spirits, snacks and ice cream — and doubles as a fundraiser for a featured nonprofit. June 1′s featured nonprofit is Haus of Codec, plus live tunes, live painting, and in the gallery? You guessed it: “If These Walls Could Talk.” 5-9 p.m. Details here.
I’m a passionate book lover and Ocean Stater. Rhody has so many talented authors and bookstores that I’ve started a little subsection of this column, “Rhode Reads.” If you’re a local author or a bookstore hosting a local signing, hit me up and you might get featured. In this week’s Rhody Reading News…
Do not miss T.J. Newman at Books on the Square June 2. The flight attendant-turned-bestselling thriller writer’s first book “Falling” was unputdownable. There was an all-out bidding war for film rights, with Universal winning in the end. Her new release, “Drowning” is the exact same level of gripping fun. Read both before you see the movies — because the second has to become a movie, too. Get your copy signed. 7 p.m. 471 Angell St., Providence. Details here.
We’re getting into next week’s column with this, but the inaugural Newport Rare Book Fair kicks off June 2, and runs through June 4, with exhibitors from around the country at the Newport Congregational Church. June 2 is a preview night party from 4-7 p.m. with wine, beer, cocktails and canapes. $75. I’ll have more on this next week as we get into the meat of the fest. Details here.
Until next week, Rhody: Keep rockin.’
Lauren Daley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @laurendaley1.