An annual gathering bringing together some of the state’s finest vendors specializing in crustaceans, mollusks, and fish, the Rhode Island Seafood Festival is just one way Providence keeps summer going after Labor Day. Though usually on the weekend after the holiday, this year’s event makes sure festival-goers and vendors alike won’t have to choose between seafood feasting and PVDFest (now on September 8-10) by pushing the foodie fest back a weekend to September 16-17.
Other than the change in date, organizer TJ McNulty says, “We feel that we have a winning recipe and are not keen on changing things just to make them different.” Most vendors return year over year to the event that has evolved from modest roots. “This started out of chance,” continues McNulty. “A friend of mine attended a food festival in Connecticut and said it was great and I suggested we do a seafood one at the (then) newly renovated India Point Park, and it just kinda happened from there.”
Now, 12 years later, the waterside park is the place to be for traditional New England seafood like lobster roll, oysters, stuffies, and clam cakes – washed down with an ice-cold Del’s lemonade. While you can’t go wrong with the classics, the fest boasts diversity in the snacks of the sea their vendors are offering, too.
“There is the fan-favorite Scallop Roll from the Shuckin’ Truck that’s not a menu item you see often, and it’s incredible,” says McNulty. “Red’s Street Kitchen does a whole bunch of unique menu items like their Crab Roll and Seafood Gumbo that are amazing.” You’ll also find lobster grilled cheese, poke bowls, and even eats for landlubbers, like burgers from Sunset Farm. Arrive hungry and be ready to eat your way through the day. September 16-17, rain or shine, RISeafoodFest.com
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