Charlestown Seafood Festival grows over 4 decades

CHARLESTOWN, R.I. (WLNE) — Heather Paliotta is the one and only employee at the Charlestown Chamber of Commerce.

She’s also the woman tasked with growing the Charlestown Seafood Festival to almost 40,000 visitors.

“I think it put Charlestown on the map, that’s my opinion,” Paliotta said. “It’s the best event, people just love it. It’s a family friendly event.”

The festival features more than 100 food vendors with dozens specializing in seafood.

“The lobster dinners, the steamers, the corn, the potatoes, and I love the lobster grilled cheese,” Paliotta said. “There’s steak and cheese, fried dough, chicken nuggets, french fries, cotton candy, kettle corn, and strawberry shortcake.”

While no one should leave hungry, there are also the craft vendors selling Rhode Island-centric flare including sea glass jewelry as well as entertainment like live music, fireworks, and much more highlighting all the Ocean State has to offer.

While the event is a lot of fun, it also serves a larger purpose.

“We give out $3,000 in scholarship to Chariho students every year,” Paliotta said. “We very rarely say no to donations”

The festival started nearly four decades ago as a one day, seven vendor event.

Over the years Paliotta has grown it 20 times larger.

And with the expansion she says millions of dollars have gone straight back into the community.

A full list of events can be found on the festival’s website.

Categories: News, Rhode Island