PVDFest: Thousands swarm capital city’s streets for iconic outdoor festival

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — Providence’s Department of Art, Culture and Tourism hosted the annual outdoor arts festival, PVDFest this weekend. The festival was last held in 2019.

The three day festival featured live music, dancing, food, and local art vendors. Thousands of people swarmed the capital City’s streets to make the most of the summer staple.

“It’s very fun,” said 10-year-old Kasin Kelly. “There’s a lot of people here.”

Food trucks, a parade, and hundreds of artists and vendors took over Providence’s downtown. Festival-goers all told ABC 6 News the same thing: they were excited tp feel some normalcy with the event they know and love.

“When you’re an artist, a lot of times you’re in a studio, and you’re working by yourself to get your work done,” said Deb Hickey, a local artist who said she was excited to feel the vibrancy of PVDFest return.

Public safety officials on Friday assured the public that their safety was top priority. Providence Col. Hugh Clements said the department is using local and federal resources to ensure the public’s safety.

“We have a good plan,” the colonel told ABC 6 on Friday. “With all that being said, there’s the unknown as well, so we’re prepared.”

Also top of mind for law enforcement, a shooting incident at PVDFest back in 2019. With nearly 70,000 people nearby, a 24-year-old man fired shots into the air. He was later arrested and charged.

Clements said PVDFest will also end earlier than it has in the past, in order to deter the nightlife and club scene from trickling into the festival.

“The overlap with the nightclub scene can be problematic, and we know that,’ he said.

The festival runs from Friday through Sunday.

Categories: News, Providence, Regional News, Rhode Island