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Best things to do in RI this week: Aug. 25- Sept. 1

You’ll have the best times! This week: celebrate National Dog Day, enjoy beers at the zoo, listen to great music, and watch WaterFire.

The What Cheer Flower Farm is located at the old Colonial Knife site in Providence.Courtesy of What Cheer Flower Farm (Custom credit)/Courtesy of What Cheer Flower Farm

See 2,500 dahlias. Eat your way through Newport on a bike. Drink beer in a zoo. Puppies. Music. Rhode Island, we’ve got so much going on this week, I’m gonna make like a kid at a pool party and jump in right now.


Aug. 26 is National Dog Day, and there are a few tail-wagging ways to celebrate very good boys and girls this week.

  • Newport Craft Brewing and Distilling celebrates Aug. 26 with treats for pups while humans can enjoy Wally’s Wieners. Plus: free dog bandanas to all four-legged besties while supplies last. 5-8 p.m. 293 JT Connell Highway, Newport. Details here.
  • Bring Boo Boo to a free Doggie Hike with Optional Swim at Goddard Memorial State Park. Hosted by Furry Fellas Pet Service & Volunteers, pups and their people meet Aug. 28 at 3:30 p.m. for a 3.7 mile loop on relatively easy terrain. The 2-hour walk, with water breaks, ends by the beach for an optional swim. Free, but space is limited. Must register online. 1095 Ives Road, Warwick. Details here.
  • Want a pup? Save One Soul Animal Rescue League in South Kingstown hosts an in-person dog adoption day Aug. 27 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. You might just meet your new best friend. 577 Kingstown Road, Wakefield. 401-360-2258. Details here.
  • Save One Soul Animal Rescue League also hosts a Wakefield Pack Walk on Sept. 1, for folks looking to adopt. According to their website, you’ll join some of their adoptable doggos as they enjoy a casual 2-mile pack walk. 6-8 p.m. Details here.


Dream Team alert: Four-time Grammy winner/Newport Folk favorite Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit plays Bold Point Park Aug. 26 with Providence’s own alt-rockers/Newport faves Deer Tick. My dancing shoes are already on. Tickets from $59.50. Doors 5:30 p.m., show 7 p.m. Details here. Artist info here and here.



Wild animals… 170 types of beer... No, I’m not describing my fan-fiction screenplay for “The Hangover 4.” It’s Brew at the Zoo at Roger Williams Park Zoo. Take a walk on the wild side, Rhody. Sample more than 170 beers from some 80 local, regional and national brewers, plus live music, animal encounters and more at an adult-only night at the zoo. 21+ event. Aug. 27, 5-8 p.m. $70, designated driver tickets $30. 1000 Elmwood Ave., Providence. 401-785-3510. Details here.


Nothing says summer like a night at the drive-in, and I’m soaking it up these flix while I can. Misquamicut continues the streak of screening old-school classics. This week: “The Lost Boys,” Aug. 27 at 9 p.m.; “The Goonies,” Aug. 28 at 9 p.m.; “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure,” Aug. 29 at 8 p.m., and “The Witches of Eastwick” Sept. 2 at 8 p.m. For each, it’s $25 per car. Bring your crew. 316 Atlantic Ave., Westerly. Details here.


Rejoice, my fellow Rhode Islanders, and offer up your Del’s to these floating flames! The most Rhode Island of traditions, a full WaterFire lighting, is Aug. 27, and you know the drill. But two highlights:


Before the lighting, check out a Morris Dancing Medley at the Waterplace Basin Stage 4:15–7:15 pm. Morris dancing originated in England in the 1400s. The evening’s dance will be in the “Border Morris” style (denoting the border of England and Wales) and includes hitting sticks, even rolling pins, rhythmically, according to the event billing.

This also looks eye-catching: Clear Currents, a community paddling event, features some 80 illuminated Japanese koi “temporarily mounted on kayaks that registered participants will paddle up and down the river after sunset. The brightly colored fish will beautifully compliment the 80 wood-burning braziers installed on the river.” Plus: fire spinning, artisans, food and brews. Full details here.


Jamestown is hosting a free Sunflower Family Festival to “celebrate the end of summer and honor the hopes, culture and traditions of Ukraine.” Proceeds will benefit the Jamestown Ukraine Relief Project in support of humanitarian relief and rebuilding efforts in Ukraine.

Kids can make hair wreaths and sunflower pinwheels, paint rocks, create chalk drawings, make pinch-pots, or try face-painting, traditional Ukrainian hair braiding, and more. Kids can add their handprints to a banner for Ukrainian children currently in exile in Poland.

Hear live music from the Korinya Folk Band, Teryn Kuzma, and Rhody musicians. See demonstrations and displays of pysanky (Ukrainian Easter eggs), embroidery, and images of Ukraine. Plus food from Keane’s Wood Fired Catering and Scoops Ice Cream. Free. Aug. 27, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 55 Lawn Ave., Jamestown. Details here.



Practice tree pose in a woodland bird sanctuary. “Yoga for All at the Norman Bird Sanctuary” is pay-what-you-wish, at 9:30 a.m. (I’m more relaxed just writing about it.) Aug. 27 and 31. 583 3rd Beach Road, Middletown. Details here.


See 2,500 dahlias in bloom? I’m in already.

But there’s actually more on the docket on Aug. 27 at the What Cheer Flower Festival in Providence, including snacks, drinks, “floral activities,” live music at sunset among the flowers, live poetry readings, artists “sketching the Festival as it happens,” and original art for sale. Buy tickets by time-slots: with morning tickets (9 a.m.-noon) you can buy mimosas; afternoon tickets (1-4 p.m.) include live poetry, floral ice cream, and free flower tattoos; and sunset (6-9 p.m.) tix includes a complimentary drink and live music. VIP is all-access. Tickets start at $15. 63 Magnolia St., Providence. Details here.


This one’s a bit of a splurge, but if you love to pedal and/or nosh, you can eat and explore your way through Newport with Bike Newport’s “10-Spot Ride” on Aug. 27. Bike at your own pace, route, and comfort level. You’ll see 10 spots, each with “a beautiful garden, ambience, and personality” as well as small bites and live music. According to the event info: “Each ticket-holder is assigned to a starting Spot. When you check in, you’ll receive an event guide which includes a map, GPS codes, and descriptions of the 10 Spots. You’ll also receive an engraved commemorative cup and bamboo flatware for the day, to help minimize trash. From there on, you can design and enjoy your 10-Spot adventure - choosing your own routes.”$120. Tickets limited. 62 Broadway, Newport. 401-619-4900. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Details and tickets here.



Newport isn’t the only summertime folk fest hot spot in Rhody. The Rhode Island Folk Fest in East Providence brings dozens of local musicians to three stages, plus food trucks and art vendors. And it’s free. Highlights include Providence-based clawhammer banjoist Jake Blount, John Lennon prize winner Rachel Sumner, Sidy Maiga, and blues-belter Julie Rhodes. BYO lawn chairs and blankets. Free. Aug. 28, noon to 6 p.m. Rose Larisa Park, East Providence. Details here.


No summer is complete until you’ve enjoyed one epic cook-out, and this one looks on-point. Ragged Island Brewing hosts their first-ever Steak Fry Aug. 28 via Island Girl Catering and New England Grass Fed Beef of Portsmouth. The menu includes: hand-carved grilled sirloins, tropical relish, local tomato and corn salad, Bahamian mac & cheese, fresh-baked rolls, local peach cobbler. Plus live music and cold beer. #Summervibes. Tickets from $50. 54 Bristol Ferry Road, Portsmouth. Details here.


BYO picnic and blanket for sunset views and live music on a mansion lawn. Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum in Bristol hosts The Oh Nos as part of their Music at Sunset series Aug. 31 from 6 to 8 p.m. $45, tickets by the car. 101 Ferry Road, Bristol. Details here.



That’s plural, baby. 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 Food Truck Night at Bristol’s Colt State Park Aug. 31. Epic views, live music, and walking trails. 5-8 p.m. Route 114, Bristol. Details here.
  • It’s #FoodTruckFriday at Roger Williams Park Sept. 2. Plus take a carousel ride, hop aboard the train, or explore the playground. 1000 Elmwood Ave., Providence. Details here.


Attention Plain White T’s fans, beeline to Cranston Sept. 2. The Grammy nominees play a mix of new tracks and hits, like “Hey There Delilah.” (You’re already singing it in your head, aren’t you?) Historic Park Theatre. Doors 7 p.m., show 8 p.m. Tickets from $43. Details here.

Until next week, Rhody: Keep rockin’.

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

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