Welcome to fall, Rhody. When the Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular starts, Rhody is in full-on Autumn Mode. Plus a surf fest, food trail, trains, alpacas, a member of Dead & Co., Josh Ritter, and Jay Leno. Rhody, we fall.
PLAY DEAD WITH OTEIL BURBRIDGE
Deadheads, don’t miss Oteil & Friends Sept. 22 at PVD’s The Strand. The Dead & Co/Allman Brothers Band bassist is here to fill the Dead-shaped holes in Rhody hearts. Doors 7 p.m., show 8 p.m. Tickets from $55. 79 Washington St. Details here.
Snag tickets by Sept. 22 if you plan on hitting up the RI Vegtoberfest Sept. 23. The outdoor “vegan beer and food experience” at Providence’s Biltmore Park features local brewery samples and food, a vegan marketplace of artists, and more. $25. 2 Kennedy Plaza. Details here and here.
NEWPORT MANSIONS WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL
This annual Rhody staple is a consistent sell out, so if you’re planning on tasting wines, cocktails and fare at the mansions Sept. 22-24, hop on it. The festival also includes a series of wine dinners at participating restaurants. As of this writing, limited tickets are still available for seminars and dinners. See here and here.
The Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra opens its 2023-24 Season Sept. 23. Robert Spano, the former music director of the Atlanta Symphony, begins the season with Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5, and Karen Gomyo returns to perform Bruch’s Violin Concerto. Catch a sneak peek at an open rehearsal Sept. 22 at the Vets. $20. 1 Ave of the Arts. Details here.
We’ve got two premieres in PVD this week: The Players at Barker Playhouse in Providence perform “Into the Breeches,” by George Brant, directed by Vince Petronio. Opens Sept. 22. Learn more about the play here. 400 Benefit St. Details, times and prices here.
Meanwhile, Wilbury Theatre Group kicks off its season with “2216: The Remix of a Global Experiment,” written and directed by JaMario Stills, on Sept. 28. Learn more about the play here. Tickets are pay-what-you-can starting from $5. Standard admission $35. 475 Valley St. Learn more here.
A NEW FESTIVAL IN A CITY OF FESTIVALS
On Sept. 23, in the heart of Newport, on the lawn of the historic Great Friends Meeting House, Festival Latino will celebrate the people, the cultures, the flavors, and the traditions of the Hispanic community on Aquidneck Island and beyond. Read the Globe’s Q&A with festival organizer, Conexión Latina Newport executive director Rebekah Gomez, here. Rain or shine. Noon to 6 p.m. 21 Farewell St. More info here.
FOOD TRAIL KICK-OFF
Foodies, it’s go-time: Blackstone Valley invites us to explore foods “from over 40 countries all within a short drive, walk or bike ride across our region’s 10 cities and towns” on their International Food Trail. Kick-off weekend is Sept. 23-24, featuring some 80 restaurants, breweries and orchards. If you dine and post, tag @tourblackstone to be entered in a contest to win a goodie bag and overnight stay at Courtyard by Marriott Lincoln, according to the trail’s website. Featured dishes include: Restaurante Jassany’s Honduran and El Salvadorian specialties: pollo con tajadas, baleadas, pastelitos de maiz, and pupusas. Senjoy Ramen offers pork chashu or grilled chicken with kikurage mushrooms, bamboo shoots, half marinated egg, fish cake, scallion, red ginger and corn. And Madeira Restaurant offers authentic Portuguese dishes. Download a trail guide, passport, and see a map here.
After seeing the way Rhody’s surfers and surf culture fans turned out for the doc on local legend Sid Abbruzzi at Fort Adams, you know plenty of Ocean Staters are stoked for this: Westerly’s second annual Celebration of Surf Fest at Misquamicut Drive-In Sept. 23 features live music, vendor market, surf demo, raffle, films and more. Some 600 packed the drive-in last year. See the vibes here. $15. 2-9 p.m. 316 Atlantic Ave. Learn more here and here.
ALL ABOARD TO SEE BILLY JOEL AND STEVIE NICKS
Two A-listers rock Gillette Stadium Sept. 23 — the first time they’ve shared a stage in New England — and if you’re going, there are special trains leaving from Rhody. The special event train departs from Providence Station at 4:50 p.m. and from Pawtucket/Central Falls at 4:56 p.m. Trains will depart Foxboro Station 30 minutes after the concert ends. Details here.
Hop another train to spot fall foliage. A three-car fall foliage train departs from Portsmouth for a 3.5-hour journey following the shore of Narragansett Bay. According to Patricia Harris and David Lyon, in a recent Globe Magazine article: “After passing beneath the arching Mount Hope Bridge, the train pivots east toward Tiverton. When it reaches the foot of the rail bridge across the Sakonnet River, the Grand Bellevue pauses so diners can take in the water views on both sides while they enjoy their entrées.” They note that there’s also a murder-mystery experience, “where a whodunit accompanies the meal.” Agatha Christie vibes. Through Nov. 11. Adult fare from $99.95 includes dinner. 2 Alexander Road, Portsmouth. Details here. See more New England trains to hop here.
Don’t miss Josh Ritter and the Royal City Band Sept. 23. Ritter is a brilliant songwriter — I’ve been a fan since I first heard the short story that is “The Temptation of Adam.” Bob Dylan is also a fan, apparently, covering “Only a River,” Ritter’s collab with Bob Weir, in April. “When I learned yesterday that Mr. Dylan had sung a song that I’d written, I was washed over with a feeling that can only be described as a cousin of vertigo…. Art travels. Voices carry.” It travels to PVD’s Columbus Theatre this week. Doors 7 p.m., show 8 p.m. Tickets from $40. 270 Broadway. Details here.
ALPACA FARM DAY
You have to smile when you meet an alpaca, and that’s a fact, Jack. Meet Providence, Richmond, Kingston and crew — the alpacas are all named after Rhody towns — at Little Compton’s Hope Alpaca Farm. The farm kicks off fall with an Open Farm Weekend Sept. 23- 24. Put it this way: when I visited, my cheeks hurt from grinning. Free. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. 134 Maple Ave. Details here.
HOW DO YOU LIKE THEM APPLES?
Fall means apple picking and cider donuts, and Rhody’s orchards are ripe with both. From Cranston to Greenville, Little Compton to Cumberland, pick a peck of Honeycrisps, Rhode Island Greening, Northern Spy, Rome Beauty — and grab donuts for the road — with our guide here.
The Newport homeowner and former “Tonight Show” host will be inducted into the Rhode Island Italian-American Hall of Fame at PPAC Sept. 27, and performs his stand-up in this scholarship benefit show. Read my interview here. Tickets from $35.50. 7:30 p.m. 220 Weybosset St., Providence. Details here.
What WaterFire is to Rhody summer, Roger Williams Park Zoo Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular is to Rhody fall — part of our customs and rituals. Yes, my friends, it’s time to see thousands of pumpkins as the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular returns Sept. 28. This year’s theme: Pumpkins Around The World, “from the pyramids of Giza to the Leaning Tower of Pisa.” Open nightly 6-10:30 p.m. Online purchase only. Mon.-Thurs. $18 adult, $15 child. Fri- Sun.: $21 adult, $18 child. 1000 Elmwood Ave., Providence. 401-785-3510. Details here.
BARBECUE AND ROCK AT A MANSION
BYO chairs and blankets to Linden Place in Bristol Sept. 29 and tuck into barbecue pulled pork, chicken, cornbread and all the sides, while rocking out to the southern country vibes of the Liz Spencer Band. Adults $40, kids under 12 $20, kids under 6 free. Cash bar will be open. 500 Hope St. Details here.
Prost, neighbors! We’re getting into next week’s column but Octoberfest at Narragansett’s Oktoberfest runs Sept. 29 through Oct. 1. The brewery, founded by German immigrants in 1890 celebrates its roots with “German-inspired beers like Fest Marzen & Hefeweizen that would be sure to make our founders proud,” according to billing. Expect “authentic German menu,” a bier garten, live music from TubaFrau and Bavarian Bros, stein-hoisting contests, contest for “best traditional dress” and “best modern dress,” and more. General admission is $25 and includes glass stein and beer token. Friday afternoon ticket, no music: $10. 271 Tockwotton St., Providence. All details here and here.