Fall Guide

Harvest Festivals

Fall foodie happenings celebrate heritage, good eats, and libations


Wherever there are four seasons, autumn is a time of celebration. The crop has been harvested, and Rhode Island farmers and fishermen can look back on a plentiful year. Meanwhile, Columbus Day and Oktoberfest give us the chance to feast on hearty Italian and German cuisine. Whatever your palate, fall is one appetizing time of year.

Beervana Festival
Congregate with other beer enthusiasts in Pawtuxet Village for a showcase of 250-plus brews. Learn about the process, meet award-winning local brewers, and sample widely. October 12, Pawtuxet Village

Bowen’s Wharf Seafood Festival
Bowen’s Wharf is the ideal promenade for sampling clam chowder and stuffed quahogs. There’s also a solid set-list of live bands at this free event. October 13-14, Newport

Columbus Day on Federal Hill
Atwells Avenue transforms into a sprawling outdoor street party, with a holiday parade, tricolor flags, and bountiful food. Sample the neighborhood’s renowned restaurants and dance in DePasquale Square. October 6-8, Providence

New England Whiskey Festival
“Grand Tasting” is right: this festival gathers distilleries from across the country at the Twin River Casino for cocktail competitions and live entertainment. September 29, Lincoln

Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival
One of the most elegant events of the year is the Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival, where celebrity sommeliers host tastings in palatial seaside homes, thanks largely to the Newport Preservation Society. September 20-23, Newport

Oktoberfest at Bold Point Park
For a Bavarian buffet of crackling meat and local brews, head to Bold Point Park, where you can feast and polka-dance to your heart’s content. Investing in a “Prost Pass” will land you a private beer bar and complementary bratwurst. October 6, East Providence

Oktoberfest at the German-American Club
Dancing, sausage, and dirndl-clad Mädchen are the hallmark of this Oktoberfest, taking place in the brewing capital of Rhode Island. September 29 and 30, Pawtucket

Oktoberfest at Redlefsen’s
The East Bay restaurant celebrates Bavarian culture with beer, accordion music, and folk dancing. Wednesdays and Thursdays through end of October, Bristol

Smith’s Castle Colonial Harvest Festival
History buffs will always enjoy a visit to Smith’s Castle, and the harvest festival adds family games, live music, and apple crisp. October 13, North Kingstown

Taste of Block Island
The ultimate tour of New Shoreham food, lodging, and culture returns for its 16th year. Like an island-wide open house, this event helps mainlanders get oriented – and well fed. September 21-23, New Shoreham

Wakefield Oktoberfest
Everyone’s favorite German holiday joins forces with Wakefield’s acclaimed RiverFire series. Browse the stalls of 200 vendors, and try the apple strudel, smoked wurst, and, yes, beer. October 6, Wakefield

Westerly-Pawcatuck Columbus Day
One of the biggest RI parades all year, this 70-year homage to Italian culture is also your excuse to stick around and try Westerly’s robust dining scene. October 7, Westerly