Home > News > The Pawtucket Arts Festival Celebrates the Past, Present and Future in its 24th Year

The Pawtucket Arts Festival Celebrates the Past, Present and Future in its 24th Year

The Pawtucket Arts Festival Celebrates the Past, Present and Future in its 24th Year

For Immediate release                                                                         Contact: Anthony Ambrosino

August 15th, 2022                                                                                  Arts Festival Director 

                                                                                                                401.728.0500 x329                                                                                                                                                                                                                             FestivalDirector@PawtucketArtsFestival.org

Pawtucket –  Mayor Donald R. Grebien announces that the popular Pawtucket Arts Festival is returning September 9th-18th, for its 24th year

“We are extremely excited to see the Pawtucket Arts Festival return to highlight all of the amazing arts representation in our community,” said Grebien and “This is a special year for us as we have some tremendous anniversaries and partnerships to celebrate.”The Pawtucket Arts Festival celebrates the City’s creative and cultural life by presenting vibrant arts events to Pawtucket residents and visitors to the Blackstone River Valley over 10 days, including dance, music, theater, film, visual and folk-traditional arts that evoke the City’s historic legacy and diverse communities.  

The festival is highlighted by the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra as they perform their legendary “Pops in the Park” free concert at Slater Memorial Park on September 17th. Presented by the Pawtucket Teachers’ Alliance, 2022’s concert marks the 20th performance by the Philharmonic since its festival debut in 2003. 

“This partnership between orchestra and municipality continues to grow, and now includes thriving music education programs in the Pawtucket school system through the Victoria’s Dream Project at Agnes E. Little and, starting this September, Henry J. Winters elementary schools.  Great things can happen when we unite to celebrate the joy that music, music education, and community can bring to our great state.” -RI Phil Executive Director David Beauchesne

The Saturday evening performance will be followed by a spectacular fireworks presentation presented by Bristol County Savings Bank at dusk and preceded with a commemoration of the 45th anniversary of the historic Pawtucket Beach Boys concert that drew over 40,000 people in 1977.

The Philharmonic performance and much more will take place at the Slater Park Fall Festival presented by its new sponsor Coastal1 Credit Union. The fall festival is a celebration of art and culture set on the grounds of historic Slater Memorial Park. The festival's open-air market, opening at 11 a.m., highlights over one hundred crafters, artisans and creators of original handmade items. The surrounding areas are filled with fun, food and entertainment for the whole family, including face painting, crafts and entertainment for the kids, including Family Fun Day presented by Collette Travel, which features activities, rides and games completely free of charge and a brand new event, “Pizza-palooza!” where area pizzerias compete for best Pawtucket Pie! The festival will conclude with the The Times “Best of” award show Live! 

The festival's opening weekend (September 10th & 11th) better known as Downtown LIVE!, presented in association with The Pawtucket Foundation, will feature music, exploration and celebration, which will showcase a broad range of the arts, featuring concerts, arts installations, gallery tours, street performers and culinary events.

Downtown events not to be missed include: Culture Shock, a family friendly community celebration and concert series that includes live music, live art and fun for the whole family, The Blackstone River Revival and ZAP50 Celebration, a full day of fun including music, food trucks,and recognition of the incredible history of Blackstone Valley's biggest environmental movement - ZAP The Blackstone!: the YMCA Community Block Party, which will be highlighting the rich cultures that make up our communities. Empanada Fest, a celebration of the local empanada-making restaurant community in a friendly competition where the participants are the judges! Pawtucket Gallery Tours, presented by the Advisory Commission on Arts and Culture, invites you to hop aboard our free guided art trolley tour and visit participating area galleries or choose your own itinerary, walking or driving to the galleries of your choice. Windows on Pawtucket The Pawtucket Foundation is working with Art League RI presenting this storefront public art gallery that you can walk, bike or drive by with its unique, original artwork on display. The Rhode Island Chinese Dragon Boat Races & Taiwan Day Festival is an extraordinary free event for the whole family to enjoy. Join us at Festival Pier along the Pawtucket River to watch these exciting races in beautiful dragon boats handmade in Taiwan.

Monday through Friday (September 12th-16th) will feature exciting events throughout the City including interactive crafting, exhibits and live performances highlighting not only New England’s tremendous arts talent but the many beautiful locations featured within the Blackstone Valley.

All events are listed on our website at www.PawtucketArtsFestival.org. The 2022 Pawtucket Arts Festival is presented by the City of Pawtucket, The Pawtucket Teachers’ Alliance, Coastal1 Credit Union and The Times.

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"The birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution, Pawtucket is poised to undergo a 21st century evolution into Rhode Island's premier arts and cultural destination, an ideal community to live, work, play, start a business and raise a family."

- Mayor Donald R. Grebien

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