Providence kicks off signature arts festival

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — PVDFest is this weekend — and Mayor Brett Smiley is preparing to kick off the signature arts festival.

PVDFest runs for three days, starting on Sept. 8. In the past, it took place in June.

Smiley highlighted all the details of the festival at 10 a.m. Thursday.

“There are over 500 artists, five stages with more than 30 food vendors, and over 200 artisan vendors,” Smiley said. “And it’s all happening right here for free Friday through Sunday.”

Last week, PVDFest released an interactive map and schedule.

In June, Smiley said the festival would be a lot different. It was moved from downtown to the I-195 Innovation Park and will be a co-festival with a WaterFire lighting and a headline event.

“This is going to be a great opportunity for families, friends, and people from all over the region and across the country to come and take part in enjoying our arts here in the city of Providence,” Smiley said.

The Democrat initially said block parties were no longer allowed because Providence police don’t have the staffing needed to keep people safe. He reconsidered and said businesses can have one on the first night of PVDFest.

The festival has been a longtime staple for the Providence community, whether you’re a returning festivalgoer or it’s just your first time.

“I have a few friends and a few professors [who have] talked about it, but I haven’t been to it myself,” Johnson & Wales student Henry Dolan said. “I would like to go, it would be super fun. I’ll see if I can get some friends together.”

PVD Fest is free to the public and runs through Sept. 10.

The festival will culminate with a ceremony at 2 p.m. Sunday, where Smiley will declare Sept. 10 Edward Bannister Day and unveil a statue of the legendary 1800s artist.

Categories: News