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Best things to do in Rhode Island this week: Sept. 15-22

This week: VegFest, Gansett Fest, Oktoberfests, a Porchfest, and more

Tickets are on sale for RI Vegtoberfest on Sept. 23, and outdoor event this year featuring vegan beer and food in Providence’s Biltmore Park.Carly Rae Brunault

How cool is PVD? Bob Dylan, Pete Davidson and John Mulaney this week all announced shows here. Yeah. That cool. Light up the group chat and decide who’s getting the tickets, where you’re eating before the show, and whose turn it is to drive because I have that ticket info. Also, this week’s jam-packed calendar includes 1,000 pounds of calamari, a member of Dead & Co., multiple Oktoberfests, a boat show, dog-friendly trivia night and more. Let’s ride.


This week I launch a subsection of this column called “Hot Tickets.” Because (hopefully) you Globe Rhode Island readers rely on this column to plan your fun, and I care that you rock Rhody to the fullest. These will be big name or otherwise wicked cool events that I predict sell out before I get time to alert you to them week-of. In these instances, when tickets become available, I’ll break the glass, pull the lever and sound the hot ticket alarm. [Sirens wail.]

Bob Dylan: VIP tickets go on sale Sept. 14 and GA tickets Sept. 15 for the man, the myth, the legend, Dylan. All hail Robert Zimmerman. The 82-year-old Nobel Prize winning mysterious genius brings his “Rough and Rowdy” ways tour to PPAC Nov. 10 at 8 p.m. for a phone-free show. I’ll be the one shouting for “Crossing the Rubicon.” GA tickets from $58.50. Details here.


John Mulaney & Pete Davidson: They’ve both famously been to rehab, both have their dating lives splashed all over the tabloids — and now these two notorious buddies take Providence together. “John & Pete” do their thing at PPAC Oct. 27 in two phone-free shows, 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. (That second show was recently added due to demand, PPAC announced this week.) Public tickets go on sale Sept. 15 at 10 a.m. From $39. Details here.


Veg Out: You need to purchase by Sept. 22 if you plan on hitting up RI Vegtoberfest Sept. 23. Tickets will not be available at the door, and online tix are currently low, for the outdoor “vegan beer and food experience” in Providence’s Biltmore Park. The first time-slot is sold out. There are tickets left for the 1:30-3:30 p.m. and 4-6 p.m. slots. The event, held at Trinity Beer Garden, features local brewery samples and food, a vegan marketplace of artists, and more. $25. 2 Kennedy Plaza. Details here and here.


It’s summer vibes at a fall fest at the 13th Annual Misquamicut Fallfest Weekend in Westerly. Head to the beach for a Ferris wheel, games, dozens of food and craft vendors, family entertainment and live music, according to billing. Sept. 15-17, $10 advance, $12 door. Misquamicut State Beach, 257 Atlantic Ave. Westerly. Details here.


No, I’m not making this up. Gansett Fest is very real. Narragansett hosts a three-day celebration Sept. 15-17 at Veterans Park, and each day is unique:

It kicks off Sept. 15 with “Endless Summer Music Festival” featuring a Steely Dan Tribute Band, food trucks and beer garden. ($10 admission; 5-10 p.m.)

Next up: the Rhode Island Calamari Festival and Cook-off Sept. 16. According to billing, you’ll find 1,000 pounds of calamari, tastings, live music, non-squid food trucks and more. (11 a.m. to 4 p.m. $20 admission, free for kids 12 and under.) Saturday night rocks the park with more live music from 5 to 10 p.m.


Sept. 17 is “Gansett Day” including, according to billing, a historical walking tour, “1890s field games” such as egg-and-spoon races, potato-sack races and “knock down the can.” Plus a barbershop quartet and helicopter rides from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the North Beach parking lot. Sooo… I think we can all agree Narragansett wins Most Eclectic Three-Day Fest this week. Hats off. Details here and here.


If you’re specifically into the seafood aspect, we’ve got another fest for that. Because Rhode Island. Find calamari, oysters, chowders, fries, shrimp Mozambique tacos, jerk chicken, pineapple smoothies, clam cakes, lobster rolls, lobster grilled cheese, smoked corn, fried zucchini flower, Del’s lemonade, and much more as the Rhode Island Seafood Festival Takes over India Point Park Sept. 16 and 17. Plus 10 bands offering continuous live music. Adult admission $10; kids 12 and under free admission. Details here.


Sailors and boat lovers will want to scope out the Newport International Boat Show, now through Sept. 17. Billed as “one of the largest and most prestigious boat shows in the country,” it spans some 13 acres of downtown Newport. Plus seminars, in-water boating courses and giveaways. Note that they’re watching Hurricane Lee, and some events may change due to weather. From $31; kids 12 and under free. 4 Commercial Wharf. Details here.



Yup, that’s plural. Prost, Rhody. September means Oktoberfests, and we’ve got two this week:

Head to Fort Adams for the 2nd annual Newport Oktoberfest Sept. 16. Billed as “Bavaria meets the Ocean State,” the Fort Adams Trust and Ragged Island Brewing Co. offer German beer, wine, food, and live music at a 21+ event. Receive a glass beer stein to use for the afternoon’s pours from local breweries and “three German staples — Weihenstephan, Paulaner, Ayinger and Spaten.” Taste “authentic Bavarian food” from bratwurst to kraut and roast chickens, and dance to a five-piece German band. 2-5:30 p.m. Advance tickets $65, designated driver $20. Doors: $70, $25. Details here.

Meanwhile, find another Oktoberfest at The Guild Pawtucket Sept. 16. Get that lederhosen out — there’s a prize for best dressed. Plus a selection of German beers, Bavarian-inspired fare, games and live music. Free admission. 461 Main St. Details here.


Trad-folk fans, take note: Blackstone River Theatre kicks off its 24th season with Newfoundland singer-songwriter Matthew Byrne. The Canadian Folk Music Award winner brings his old-time folk and zen-vibes to Cumberland Sept. 16. $18. 549 Broad St. Learn more about the artist here. Show details here.


The Tiverton Farmers Market holds a “Mini-Firefly Wellness Market” Sept. 17 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Town Farm. Take a free all-levels yoga class (BYO mat), take a mini-Reiki session, meet local wellness practitioners, farms, food entrepreneurs, makers, local artists, groove to live music and more. Free admission. 3588 Main Road. Details here and here.



What’s a porchfest? Exactly what it sounds like. Bristol’s High Street area will spring to life as various house porches serve as stages for a neighborhood-wide music fest Sept. 17. This is how you build community. I love it. Check out what band is playing at which house here. Porches rock from 3-6 p.m., then continues with a parade down High Street Unity Park for the after party. The after party runs from 5-8 p.m. at Unity Park with food, drinks, dessert, and more live music, according to their Instagram. Highlights: Rhody’s Grateful Dead cover and Keats & Co play 183 High St. at 3 p.m.; fest scenesters The Jethros play 85 High St. at 3 p.m., and Irish music band Turas rocks 106 High at 3 p.m. Details on fest and artists here.


This is peak Newport: The Chanler at Cliff Walk celebrates 20 years with a “Harvest Dinner” on Cliff Lawn overlooking the ocean on Sept. 17. Canapé and cocktail hour at the yurts starts at 5 p.m. — think smoked fish, bresaola, oysters, black bass ceviche, artisan cheeses, house-made breads — then enjoy “both coursed and family style dining at community farm tables during dusk under twinkling string lights,” while listening to bluegrass music. Menu includes house garganelle, whole roasted swordfish, lamb ragout, smoked pork belly, Jonnycakes, succotash, marble potatoes, desserts. $150 per person + tax and service. 117 Memorial Boulevard. Details here.


Bristol’s Ragged Island Brewing hosts a charity dog-friendly trivia night with raffles, t-shirts and free-admission for four-legged good boys and girls. Feel free to BYO food; the Newport Chowder food truck will also be on-site. Admission for humans is $10, and proceeds from ticket sales, raffle and t-shirts go to the Portsmouth Dog Park Expansion plans, according to billing. Are the trivia questions all canine-based? Do the dogs answer, and if so, does it have to be the form of a question? How much money will Fifi spend on raffle tickets? I’m so intrigued. Sept. 18, 6-8:30 p.m. 54 Bristol Ferry Road, Portsmouth. Details here.


Like WaterFire, Gallery Night is part of what makes PVD the Creative Capital. On Sept. 21, hop a trolley to see galleries, museums and other creative hot spots with one of four free guided tours. Check out the maps online to pick your tour, or go it on your own. #GalleryNightProvidence Details here.


Trinity Rep brings the black comedy “Becky Nurse of Salem” to the stage starting Sept. 21. By Sarah Ruhl, directed by Curt Columbus, the play in a nutshell, per Trinity’s site: “Becky Nurse — a modern descendant of an executed Salem ‘witch’ — has been fired from her job, troubled by her granddaughter’s boyfriend, is pining for a married man, and taking pain pills to cope after her daughter’s overdose. To reverse her bad fortune, she consults an eccentric local witch … leading to shocking, funny, and even disturbing results.” From $24. Details here.


As Deadheads say: Let Oteil sing! And he will on Sept. 22 when Oteil & Friends pulls into PVD’s The Strand. The Dead & Co/Allman Brothers Band bassist and overall happy dude is here to fill the Dead-shaped holes in Rhody hearts. If you missed the last shows at Fenway, take solace with Oteil and pals Melvin Seals, Steve Kimock, Duane Betts, Jason Crosby, Johnny Kimock, and Lamar Williams Jr. I’ll be the one yelling for “Fire on the Mountain.” Doors 7 p.m., show 8 p.m. Tickets from $55. 79 Washington St. Details here.


Musicians, it’s time to stretch, hydrate, and head back into the pit for the big season opener. Yup, the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra opens its 2023-24 Season Sept. 23 — catch a sneak peek at an open rehearsal Sept. 22 at the Vets. $20. Details here.

Until next week, Rhody: Keep rockin’.

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