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Best things to do in Rhode Island this week: Aug. 18-26

You’ll have the best times! This week, Judy Collins, and coaches (think Cinderella, not sports).

Grammy winner Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit play Bold Point Park in Providence on Aug. 26.Amy Harris/Amy Harris/Invision/AP

Adopt a puppy at a brewery. Try out for a pro basketball team. See both. Judy Collins and Jason Isbell. The events this week in Rhody are fire, my friends. Let’s make like a kid in [insert your favorite Ocean State candy store here] and try all of them.


Folk icon alert! Grammy winning folk legend Judy Collins plays two nights at Newport’s Jane Pickens Theater Aug. 19 and 20. Collins, 83, spoke to Globe Rhode Island recently about breaking up with Stephen Stills, embracing her new look after losing her hair, and discovering Leonard Cohen: “He walked in the door and said, ‘I can’t sing, I don’t know how to play guitar, and I don’t know if this is the song.’ Then he sang me ‘Suzanne.’” #Legend. Tickets from $69. 49 Touro St., Newport. Details here.



Whether you’re obsessed with horses, the Gilded Age, or Cinderella, this is your chance for that horse-drawn carriage. A “Weekend of Coaching” is headed to Newport Aug. 19-21. You’ll see “colorful and historic coaches every day, as they drive through the streets of Newport,” each day, plus: an exhibition on the grounds of The Elms.

Apparently, almost like the Olympics, these authentic 19th-century coaches visit Newport every three years, hosted by The Preservation Society of Newport County. The Elms exhibit starts at 10:30 a.m. Aug. 20. There are also four drives, kicking off Aug. 19 at 10 a.m. Eight-year-old me would have cartoon hearts for pupils right now. Plan where to watch by checking routes here.


Make your mozzarella in a cheese-making class at Middletown’s Simmons Farm. According to the billing, the adventure begins with farm talk, wine and cheese-tasting, and a tour of the “goat parlor where you will meet the ladies who make the milk.” Then it’s all about that cheese. $99. Aug. 20, 3 p.m. 1942 West Main Road, Middletown. Details here.



Think you have what it takes to be a Pirate? Rhode Island’s ABA pro basketball team, The Providence Pirates, is holding open tryouts. Founded in 2019, the Pirates are “focused on providing fun and affordable family entertainment to our Ocean State residents by bringing in top professional talent into the area” according to their website, and compete in the Northeast Region against teams from the New England, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. There is a registration fee, but if you got skills, go get that bread. Note: If you read this here, go try out, and make the team, I will need your autograph. #AirRhody. $135. Aug. 20, 1 p.m. 32 Breakneck Hill Road, Lincoln. Details here. Learn more here.


Paranormal enthusiasts can join the Paranormal Legend Society for “an active paranormal investigation” at historic Smiths Castle in North Kingstown Aug. 20. Bring your own flashlight and snacks. You must be over 18. Orientation begins at 6:30 p.m. Investigation begins at 7 p.m. Intrigued? Learn more here and here.


Deadheads: Get truckin’ over to Askew for Rhody’s Grateful Dead tribute band Violin River. They play a free afternoon show Aug. 20 from 2-5 p.m. #OneMoreSaturdayAfternoon. 150 Chestnut St., Providence. Details here.


Each summer, Little Compton and Tiverton come alive with those blue signs announcing the South Coast Artists Open Studios Tour. The 19th annual tour runs Aug. 20-21. Explore some 75 exhibiting artists in Tiverton, Little Compton, Westport, Mass. and Dartmouth, Mass. Whether you’re interested in landscape oil paintings, metal sculpture, pottery, fiber arts, jewelry, bronze work, glass-blowing, photography, porcelain work, charcoal artwork (…I’ll stop there) you might be stunned at the talent hidden in these quiet coastal towns. Details here.



Like last week’s event at The Trap, we have another adopt-a-puppy x beer collab, and I’m loving this new Rhody trend. This week, head to Narragansett Brewery for a Dog Days adoption event, Aug. 21 from 1-5 p.m. I’ll take a Fox Point and a fox terrier. #WinWin. Free. 271 Tockwotton St., Providence. Details here.


Netflix’s “Stranger Things.” Roller skating. If you’re in the center of that Venn diagram, this is your week, bud. United Skates of America hosts two “Stranger Things” skate nights. (And yes, there will be a waffle bar.) Dress like your fave character to win prizes. Eggos + fake nose bleed = a darn good Eleven. Aug. 20 at 7 p.m., Aug 23 at 6 p.m. Tickets from $10. 75 New Road, East Providence. Details here.


It’s a podcast IRL. “Comedy Bang! Bang!”, the cult fave podcast-turned IFC show, is bringing their LOLs to Columbus Theater Aug. 23, featuring CBB host Scott Aukerman, Paul F. Tompkins, “and the CBB All-Stars,” according to the show billing. The IFC show aired for five seasons, featuring guests like Jon Hamm, Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, and Seth Rogen. Note to “Mr. Show” fans: Aukerman was also a writer and producer on that HBO comedy. Aug 23, 7 p.m. Tickets from $39.75. 270 Broadway, Providence. Details here.



Rhody readers, rejoice.

The Rhode Show and Reading with Robin host a conversation with authors Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, and Karen White about their Rhode Island-set New York Times bestselling novel “The Lost Summers of Newport.” Billed as “the First Annual Biggest Book Club, Smallest State literary event,” the authors speak Aug. 24 at 6:30 p.m. at the Greenwich Odeum, with time afterwards for photos and signings. ($25) If you’re a super-fan, VIP tickets (limited to 75 people) are $125 and include an “intimate pre-show event with the authors, cocktails and apps at County Seat Restaurant and Lounge from 5-6:30 p.m. 59 Main St. East Greenwich. Details here and here. Book synopsis here.

Book lovers, you’ve got options:

That same day, Watch Hill’s luxe Ocean House resort hosts featured author Annabel Monaghan. With Ocean House owner and author, Deborah Goodrich Royce, Monaghan will discuss her buzzy new novel — named a Best Beach Read of Summer by The Washington Post — “Nora Goes Off Script.” Plus wine and light bites. $35. 5 p.m. in the Seaside Ballroom. Copy of book included in cost of ticket. Details here.



Yes, that’s plural. If you plan your week right, you could be eating from a truck three nights this week, Rhody. #LiveItUp. For each event below, it’s free admission; just pay for what you eat and drink. Plus find beer and wine from Trinity Brewhouse.

  • It’s a Food Truck Night at Holy Trinity in Woonsocket Aug. 24. Enjoy live music and BYO blankets and lawn chairs. 1409 Park Ave., Woonsocket. Details here.
  • Ditto at Warwick Food Truck Night Aug. 25 at Crowne Plaza Providence, 801 Greenwich Ave., Warwick.
  • It’s #FoodTruckFriday at Roger Williams Park Aug. 26. Ditto on the above, plus take a carousel ride, hop aboard the train, or explore the playground. 1000 Elmwood Ave., Providence. Details here.


I’m so pumped for this. Americana star/Newport Folk favorite Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit play Bold Point Park Aug. 26. The four-time Grammy winner delivers an epic live show. And playing with him? Providence’s own alt-rockers/Newport faves Deer Tick. Their latest, “Live From Fort Adams” is groovy. My dancing shoes are already on for this #DreamTeam. Tickets from $59.50. Doors 5:30 p.m., show 7 p.m. Details here. Artist info here and here.

Until next week, Rhody: Keep rockin’.

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