PAWTUCKET – The Pawtucket Arts Festival proudly announces the remarkable milestone of its 25th annual celebration, scheduled to captivate audiences from September 1st to September 10th, 2023. With a legacy of a quarter-century, this year’s festival promises an extraordinary array of artistic events and activities, showcasing the enduring spirit of creativity that has not only fueled the festival’s success but that of its home city of Pawtucket.
Since its inaugural edition in 1998, the Pawtucket Arts Festival has been a beacon of culture, illuminating Pawtucket and its surroundings with a vibrant tapestry of artistic expression. Drawing attendees from across the Blackstone Valley and beyond, the festival serves as an illuminating platform to experience the region’s cultural heritage and imaginative fervor.
The 25th installment of the festival boasts an exhilarating lineup of events, spotlighting live music, thought-provoking art exhibitions, and captivating theater productions. Among the multifaceted celebrations is the much-anticipated “Pawtucket’s Flavor Fest,” an exquisite week-long culinary celebration that will run alongside the arts festivities. Just as culinary arts share a symbiotic relationship with traditional forms of art, this gastronomic extravaganza will demonstrate the intersection of creativity, culture, and community.
“It is with immense pride and gratitude that we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Pawtucket Arts Festival,” expressed Pawtucket Mayor Donald R. Grebien. “Sustaining an event of this caliber for a quarter-century is a testament to our city’s dedication to the arts and the tremendous support of our community. We eagerly anticipate yet another exceptional year of festivities, embodying the very essence of Pawtucket’s artistic soul.”
Festival director Anthony Ambrosino, now in his 5th year, added, “It’s incredible the amount of work and planning that goes into the festival each year by the city, our sponsors and most importantly the artists. It’s truly a team effort. Our community is passionate about these events and it shows.”
True to its legacy, the festival will once again enchant audiences with an eclectic fusion of local talents and renowned artists book-ended over two fun-filled weekends. The opening weekend, September 1st – 3rd, known as Downtown LIVE! in the downtown area of Pawtucket will feature everything from Chinese Dragon Boat Races and Taiwan Day Festival and the popular Cape Verde cultural celebration Kretcheu, to McCoy’s Final inning where three thousand people will be let onto the field at McCoy Stadium to watch the city’s annual fireworks display there one last time.
Flavor Fest Chair Anthony Hebert announced that the popular Culture Shock block party would be served up alongside the growing Empanada Fest on September 2nd, in a true melding of both culinary and performance programming. Chachi Carvalho, the creative force behind Culture Shock had this to say, “The combination of two culturally relevant celebrations in the heart of the city is the recipe for success! We are thrilled to pair Culture Shock with Empanada Fest this year and extend the love, joy, and celebration of all of the beautiful people that make Pawtucket such a unique place to live, work, and play! This year’s lineup is epic, and we can not wait to rock downtown with live music, food, art, and culture!”
The festival will once again culminate during its second weekend at Slater Memorial Park with the legendary “Pops in the Park” free concert, as the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra takes the stage on September 9th. Presented by the Pawtucket Teachers Alliance the concert is followed by a spectacular fireworks display courtesy of Bristol County Saving Bank.
Families and children are also in for a treat, as the festival presents an array of interactive workshops, creativity sessions, and delightful performances, cultivating creativity and imagination across generations as Collette Travel, the Pawtucket YMCA and The Empowerment Factory present several events during the 10 day festival including Family Fun Day that closes out the festival on September 10th at Slater Park. Featuring free bounce houses, face painting and interactive programs it’s a dream for parents and kids alike.
The Pawtucket Arts Festival’s legacy thrives through the unwavering backing of sponsors and partners, including the City of Pawtucket and its incredible residents.
In alignment with the significance of a 25-year milestone, the festival is set to embody the silver anniversary theme, symbolizing creativity, wisdom, and harmony. As the festival marks this remarkable achievement, it not only celebrates its own endurance but also recognizes the artists, volunteers, and supporters who have contributed to its legacy.
For comprehensive details about the festival, including an extensive schedule of events and activities, please visit the Pawtucket Arts Festival website at www.pawtucketartsfestival.org