Don’t walk under ladders and avoid black cats — we have a Friday the 13th coming up, Rhody. But it’s not all bad luck: our events calendar is lit, from sandcastle contests to fall fests and giant pumpkins, and lots of food-related fun. (Obvious-yet-obligatory note: Mother Nature has the final say on outdoor events. Check for rain cancellations before you jump in the car.) My friends, we ride.
ROGUE ISLAND COMEDY FEST
SAND SCULPTURE COMPETITION
It’s back, baby. The Atlantis RIsing International Sand Sculpture Competition returns to Westerly’s Misquamicut State Beach Oct. 6-9 and I’m pumped: Nothing stops me on the beach like spotting a massive sand sculpture.
Head to Misquamicut Beach to see epic sand sculptures, along with food, vendors, live music — possibly a seagull snack-fight — and more. According to South County Tourism, 10 sand artists from around the globe will compete for the first place pot: $7,500. This summer, I asked co-organizer/pro sand-sculptor Greg Grady Jr. (who has built for Brown) for sculpting tips for Boston Globe Magazine. If you’re itching to build, read here. Adults $15, kids 5-12 $5, under 5 free. 257 Atlantic Ave. Details here.
It’s free admission to Woonsocket’s 45th annual Autumn Fest Oct. 6-9. Schedule is lit: live music, a three-on-three basketball tournament, cornhole, rides, artisan vendors, food, games, parade, fireworks and more. At World War II Park, Social Street, Woonsocket. Details here.
THIRD BEST PASTA IN THE NATION
So Travel & Leisure just ranked Federal Hill as one of the Top 5 “Little Italy” neighborhoods in the country. See why as you eat your way through Federal Hill at the 31st Annual Columbus Day Festival Oct 6-9. The deliciousness takes place from Dean Street to Sutton Street along Atwells Avenue. Expect chef demonstrations, some 80 food, art, and retail vendors along with games, amusement rides, live entertainment and more. Details here.
Attention, Deadheads: Pawtucket’s The Met celebrates the music of the Grateful Dead Oct. 6 and 7 with a “Dead of Autumn Weekend.” Groove to the Dead with Playing Dead — featuring former members of Dark Star Orchestra, Slipknot!, and Uncle John’s Band. #TheMusicNeverStopped $15 advance, $20 door, advance weekend pass $24. 1005 Main St. Details here.
GIANT PUMPKIN WEIGH-OFF
It’s the Giant Pumpkin, Charlie Brown … we’re gonna need a crane. Yup, Pasquale Farms in Richmond is hosting a Southern New England Giant Pumpkin Weigh-off — with crane — Oct. 7. (Check site in case of rain date.) Expect giant pumpkins, games, craft vendors and plenty of food — Del’s to tacos, chowder to oysters. 10 a.m., $5 adults; kids 12 and under free. 421 Kingstown Road, Richmond. Details here.
RISD CRAFT FAIR
I look forward to this every year: It’s part sensory overload, part RISD just plain showing off its abundance of creative talent. The rain or shine event on Oct. 7 features some 128 booths of RISD alumni and students making just about everything a human could make — from purses and pillows to quilts, clothing, plates, jewelry, prints, glasses, home goods, furniture… I’ll stop there. Go. 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Benefit Street. Details here.
FALL RECIPES & MEET THE AUTHOR
Last fall, I interviewed creative mom-of-five Kim Ragosta, who barters with Rhody farms: they give her food, she gives them delicious recipes. The Richmond homesteader (and homeschooler of her troop) told me then she planned to publish her collection of recipes. That time is now: “A Time to Gather” just dropped.
From chorizo and orecchiette soup, to bacon and onion spaghetti with cheese, chili-stuffed squash to orzo and sausage-stuffed butterkin squash, it’s time to get our locally-sourced cozy meals on. Ragosta will sign-and-sell at the Oct. 7 Pasquale Fest mentioned above, and on Oct. 8, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Windmist Farm, 71 Weeden Lane, Jamestown. Learn more about Ragosta here, and her book here.
VOLUNTEER AT AN ANIMAL SANCTUARY
If nothing makes you happier than visiting with animals, beeline to West Place Animal Sanctuary in Tiverton. The farm invites Rhody to “meet the newest arrivals” during the Fall Visitors Weekend Oct. 7 and 8. Take an interactive and educational tour, meet rescue animals, and get up-close and personal with horses, goats, alpacas, pigs, donkeys, cows and more. According to event info., you can “welcome a baby calf who is only weeks old and was just rescued in late August.” (I’m already cooing.) $24 adults; $15 kids. Proceeds benefit the animals at the sanctuary. Rain or shine. 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. 3198 Main Road. Details here.
BREAKFAST WITH SONIC THE HEDGEHOG
I haven’t had breakfast with Sonic the Hedgehog since Saturday mornings in 1993. Cranston’s Historic Park Theatre hosts a character breakfast buffet with that speedy blue dude at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 7. $25. 848 Park Ave. Details here.
…AND THE SANDERSON SISTERS
Spooky coincidence: we’ve got another awesome character breakfast. Start your day with the Sanderson sisters at United Skates of America’s “Hocus Pocus” breakfast Oct. 8 from 9-11 a.m. (Those sisters love Rhody.) Prices vary. 75 New Road, East Providence. Details here.
‘Tis the season. We’ve got another, Rhody: Grey Sail’s Oktoberfest is Oct. 8, filled with German beers, Bavarian-inspired fare, live music and stein-hosting. Lederhosen and dirndl encouraged. Noon-7 p.m. 65 Canal St., Westerly. Details here.
Two rock docs I’m amped to catch hit Newport’s Jane Pickens Theater this week:
“Stop Making Sense,” the iconic 1984 Talking Heads concert film by Jonathan Demme — and the reason you’ve been seeing David Byrne dancing all over your timelines this week— plays Oct. 10 at 7:30 p.m. Newly restored in 4K to time with the 40th anniversary via (who else) A24, check the trailer here and see details here. $15. 49 Touro St.
Meanwhile, “Joan Baez: I Am A Noise” plays Oct. 13-18. If you missed it at Nantucket Film Fest, check the doc billed as “an unusually intimate psychological portrait” of the folk singer/activist, it’s “a visual memoir” anchored by “home movies, diaries, artwork, and audio recordings.” (Yes, she talks about her relationship with Bob Dylan.) I interviewed the Newport Folk fave previously here. $14. Oct. 13, 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Details here.
HORROR MOVIE TRIVIA
You think you know Freddy and Chucky? Prove it at “Horror Movie Trivia Night” Oct. 11 at PVD’s Reiners Bar and Game Room. I will be of help to zero teams as I hide under the couch during each and every horror movie. But good luck: first place: $300 cash. Costumes are encouraged. 21+. $5 per person. Teams are two to five people. 11 Dorrance St. 7:30-9:45 p.m. Details here.
COCKTAILS AND BINGO
Bingooo! Get your B-I-N-G-O on as Rhode Island Spirits hosts “Cocktails and Bingo” Oct. 11. Free admission, but must RSVP. Prizes include free tastings and bottles. 6-8 p.m. 40 Bayley St., Pawtucket. Details here.
RI HUMANITIES’ 50Fest
50Fest is a free fest at the WaterFire Arts Center Oct. 7 celebrating 50 years of culture, history and civic life in Rhode Island. According to billing: “Rhode Island Humanities takes 50 years of humanities out of the box in a rare and exciting display of culture, history, and visions of civic life.” See a “mini film festival” and posters, “create connections in the film and digital portrait studio,” and more — plus free coffee and boba tea. Noon-5 p.m. 475 Valley St. Details here and here.
PIZZA x AUTUMN WREATHS
The seasonal collab we didn’t know we needed. Bristol’s Brick Pizza and Coastal Blooms team up for an evening of fall wreath-making and pizza-eating Oct. 10. According to event billing, you’ll find an array of “dried ornamental grasses, seed pods, fruits, cinnamon sticks, faux pumpkins, ribbons etc.” to start getting your fall on. Arrive at 5:30 to order food and drinks — good news: new fall menu just dropped. $55 for workshop and materials. 500 Wood St. Details here.
If you’ve been streaming Halloween baking shows on Food Network recently, it may be time to tackle scary treats yourself… and there’s no better time than Friday the 13th! [Lights flicker off.] Oops, sorry. My elbow hit the light switch. As I was saying… Ocean House hosts “In the Kitchen: Halloween Sweet Treats” Oct. 13 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Culinary pros can teach you how to make strawberry ghosts and pumpkin tartlets to wow your pals at the Halloween party. $95. Details here.
ONGOING SEASONAL FUN:
It’s fall, y’all. That means…
Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular at Roger Williams Park Zoo. This year’s theme: Pumpkins Around The World. Note that on Oct. 10 and 11, kids can meet costumed characters before hopping on the pumpkin trail. 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.
Fall means apple picking and cider donuts, and Rhody’s orchards are ripe with both. From Greenville to Little Compton to Cumberland, pick a peck of Fujis, Honeygolds and Empires — and grab doughnuts for the road — with our guide here. Then, of course, post a pic of apple-picking on Insta — I think that’s in the apple-picking rulebook.
Fall means apple drinking and we can do it in luxury: The Chanler at Cliff Walk’s Apple Cider Bar is open weekends through Nov. 19. Sit out in the crisp open air to sip mulled cider crafted from Rose Hill Heirloom apples to refuel after your Cliff Walk. Details here.
It’s Corn! Dare to escape from the 8-acre corn maze at Escobar Farm in Portsmouth, then treat yourself. Concessions include popcorn, candy, raisins and “butterscotch flavored lollipops in the shape of an ear of corn,” according to website. Ages 12 and up $10, kids 4-11 $8; 3 and under free. Friday-Sunday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. GPS: 255 Middle Road, Portsmouth. 401-683-1444. Details and hours here.
I rounded up more fall ideas around New England for you here, including this key tip: Don’t forget to check @Ciderdonuteur’s map to see where to snag a cider donut in Rhody. (Which Rhody-made cider doughnut did Boston Globe Today’s Segun Oduolowu say “slaps”? Find out.)
Until next week, Rhody: Keep rockin’.