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Best things to do in R.I. this week: Oct. 7-14

The Ocean State Oyster Festival is back, “Wheel of Fortune LIVE” hits the PPAC, and RISD welcomes its new president with free events all weekend

The Rhode Island School of Design craft fair will take place on Saturday, Oct. 8.RISD

Nobody does seafood and beer like the Ocean State. From an oyster fest to Oktoberfest, we have a seasonal blend of fun in the 401 this week. Is it summer or fall? Fummer? Sall? I don’t know what’s happening, Rhody, but I love it. Let’s go.


RISD celebrates the historic inauguration of its 18th president, Crystal Williams, with public events and panels all weekend. Williams, a poet, who was Boston University’s vice president for community and inclusion, becomes RISD’s first Black president in its 145-year history.

All events are free and open to the public. RISD asks people to RSVP for the inauguration and the panel sessions here. Here’s the rundown, according to RISD. I would especially highlight the actual inauguration ceremony, RISD Craft, and Ibram X. Kendi’s discussion with Williams. Some highlights:


  • Oct. 7. Investiture Ceremony, 10–11:30 a.m., Inauguration tent, 220 South Water St. All are invited.
  • Community Celebration, 12–2 p.m., Market Square for “lunch, entertainment and a surprise giveaway.”
  • Open Studios, 3:30–5:30 p.m., All department buildings (no tickets required).
  • Block Party! Be there, 8-11 p.m., Market Square. Celebrate the inauguration with music and dancing — during WaterFire. (Yes, it’s a partial-lighting WaterFire night!)
  • Oct. 8. Open Studios, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. All department buildings (no tickets required)
  • RISD Craft. (This looks so fun.) 10 a.m.–4 p.m. on Benefit Street (no tickets required). The fest features handmade fine art and design work by some 130 artists, both juried alumni and current students.
  • New Space(s) Inauguration Symposium, closing keynote conversation, 4:30–5:30 p.m. RISD Auditorium, Auditorium Building. This looks fascinating: Author, scholar and anti-racist activist Ibram X. Kendi and Williams will “discuss how art and design can help build an antiracist society.” #TakeNotes. Full details here.


Lizzo isn’t the only one rocking the flute. Flutist Adam Sadberry plays Newport Oct. 7 (though I doubt he’ll have a 200-year-old flute owned by James Madison.) Sadberry joins pianist Irina Lupines “in a program featuring the tango-inspired music of Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla, plus works by J.S. Bach and César Franck, spanning from 1722 to the present day,” according to Newport Classical’s billing. Tickets from $45. 7:30 p.m. Emmanuel Church, 42 Dearborn St. 401-846-1133. Details here and here.


Celebrate over a dozen Rhody oyster farms, plus beer, wine, food trucks and live music by the boardwalk along the Providence River at the 8th Annual Ocean State Oyster Festival Oct. 8. New this year: The Hendrick’s Gin Garden, with live music. The fest collaborates with Nature Conservancy of RI to “reclaim the event’s discarded oyster shells, keeping them out of the landfill and adaptively up-cycling them for reef-building.” Plus, Oysters + beer + live music = I can pretend it’s still August. $10. 1-7p.m. River Walk Park, Providence. Details here and here.



This somehow feels very October: It’s a “Stranger Things” roller skating party at United Skates of America for “Stranger Things Skate.” According to the billing, you’ll enjoy the songs from the show, can hit up Eleven’s Waffle Bar, compete in Eddie’s Air Guitar Contest and more. Dress like your favorite character for a chance to win prizes. #WelcomeToTheUpsidedown. Tickets from $12. Oct. 8, 7-10:30 p.m. 75 New Road, East Providence. Details here.


It’s the last call for “Mean Girls at PPAC.” Fans of the Lindsay Lohan movie: head to Providence to see the play. The hit musical — created by Tina Fey, composer Jeff Richmond (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”), lyricist Nell Benjamin (”Legally Blonde”) and director Casey Nicholaw (“The Book of Mormon”) — runs now through Oct. 9. #SoFetch. From $60. 220 Weybosset St., Providence. 401-421-2787. Details here.


Bike Newport hosts a free 15-mile moonlight bike ride on the full moon of each month. Oct. 9 is Hunter’s Moon, and the plan is to ride 15 miles “by the light of the moon” from downtown Newport to Fort Adams, around the Ocean Loop, and along Bellevue Avenue. Ride starts at 5:45 p.m., it’s recommended to arrive 20 to 30 minutes before the start. Free. 18+ Equality Park Place, Broadway, Newport. 401-619-4900. Details here.


(Sidenote: Um, looks like we’re in for a “dragon’”meteor shower that same night?! Wha? This could be an epic night of sky-watching whether you’re biking or not.)


Prost, Rhody! The Oktoberfests keep coming. This week: Westerly’s Grey Sail Brewing boasts live music, a stein-holding contest, beers, food and prizes for best-dressed. #LederhosenTime. Oct. 9, 3-7 p.m. 63 Canal St. 401-212-7592. Info. here and here.


Nothing stops me on the beach like spotting a massive sand sculpture or seagulls fighting over Smartfood (You crazy birds.) I can’t guarantee a seagull snack fight (well, I almost can) but if you head to Misquamicut Beach right now, I can guarantee you’ll see epic sand sculptures.

Now through Oct. 10, “Atlantis RIsing,” billed as a “first annual international sand sculpture competition,” sees sand-sculptors compete for a cash prize. Vote for your fave. Winners will be announced Oct. 10. Plus food trucks, live music, photo opps, kids’ activities and more. Details here.


If I see those three words, I immediately hear the theme song. Yes, my friends, it’s the show we all grew up on, minus Pat and Vanna, plus Rhode Island.

“Wheel of Fortune LIVE!,” hits PPAC Oct. 11. It’s not televised, but live on stage, hosted by Mark L. Walberg — longtime host of PBS’ Antique Roadshow. Players have the chance to spin a replica of the iconic wheel and solve the puzzles on the tour’s puzzle-board to win cash and prizes, according to Wheel of Fortune Live’s website.


I’d like to solve, Mark: Take me out to the mallgame!… No? Starting from $29. Details here.


Need I say more? It’s the Rhody collab we definitely knew we needed: Edgewood Cheese Shop x LineSider Brewing. Whether you dig cheese, beer or both, mark your calendar for Oct. 12 for five pairings of cheeses and beers, with knowledgeable descriptions from the pros. #BecauseCheeseAndBeer. $35 includes all tastings. 6 p.m. LineSider Brewing 1485 South County Trail, East Greenwich. Details here.


Just when you thought they were gone for the season… We’ve got another Food Truck Night. It’s free admission, just pay for what you eat at Warwick Food Truck Night at Crowne Plaza. Plus live music and beer and wine from Trinity Brewhouse. Oct. 14, 5-7:30 p.m. 801 Greenwich Ave., Warwick. Details here.


Yup, at the Roger Williams Park Zoo Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular — up now through Halloween — you can see thousands of pumpkins aglow with this year’s theme: “Celebrating 75 years of Television.” Open nightly 6-10:30 p.m. Mon.-Thurs.: $18 adult, $15 child. Fri-Sun.: $21 adult, $18 child. 1000 Elmwood Ave., Providence. 401-785-3510. Details here.


Nothing says fall like cider donuts, hayrides and apple-picking. Rhody has all three.

  • Cucumber Hill is full-on fall funhouse: corn maze, hay rides, axe-throwing, nighttime flashlight maze, lantern-lit hayrides, pick-your-own pumpkins, pony rides, food trucks and more. 39 Cucumber Hill Road, Foster. 401-397-7500. Details, prices and hours here.
  • Escobar’s Farm in Portsmouth offers an 8-acre corn maze, hayrides, pumpkin-picking, concessions and more. GPS: 255 Middle Road, Portsmouth. 401-683-1444. Details, rates and hours here.
  • Clark Farms in Matunuck boasts a corn maze, petting zoo, hayrides, pumpkin patch and more. 2984 Commodore Perry Highway. 401-783-8844. Details, rates and hours here.
  • Adams Farm in Cumberland offers a weekend corn maze, farm food truck and hayrides, plus pumpkin patch, farm animals, cornhole, “tire playground” and “hay mountain” for kids and more. 495 Sumner Brown Road. 401-714-4425. Details, rates and hours here.
  • At Johnston’s Salisbury Farms, find pumpkins, popcorns, candy apples, a giant corn maze and more. 11 Peck Hill Road. 401-942-9741. Details, rates and hours here.
  • It’s apple-picking — and candy-apple-eating — time. Check out our list of where to bag Braeburns and score sweet treats here.

Until next week, Rhody: Keep rockin.’

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