2019 PVDFest kicks off Thursday night in downtown Providence

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PVD Fest, the free four day festival in downtown Providence, kicks off its 5th year Thursday, June 6 at 6:30PM with the “Bike the Night” event with Mayor Jorge Elorza. The bike ride will lead attendees through the city to the Fox Point neighborhood, ending outside Hot Club. Participants will be provided a PVDFest flashlight to use in the first-ever Citywide Goodnight Lights happening at 8:30PM. Festival goers across the city are encouraged to participate in this citywide act of kindness, bringing PVDFest to the patients at Hasbro Children’s Hospital.

See the full schedule of events HERE.

From art installations, to musical performances, to world-renowned eats- there is something exciting for every attendee. This year’s festival continues this tradition, offering diverse family-friendly events and activities like the Children’s Mini Maker Space presented by the Providence Children’s Museum; the Providence Mini Maker Faire curated by AS220; the fan-favorite PVDFest Parade processions; and the FirstWorks curated Pre-Parade Hat and Sash Making Workshop with Celebrity Costume Designer Machine Dazzle.

Once again, the Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy has curated Family Fun Day in Burnside Park for an entire day of arts and cultural programming that is fun for attendees of every age. In the heart of the festival’s footprint, participants are encouraged to celebrate World Oceans Day at the “ImaginOCEAN” Center next to the Brandon’s Beach play area in Burnside Park with Bonnie Combs and Jen Long, 3D Resident Artists at The Avenue Concept and the RecyCLEAN Project. Explore our ocean by taking in oceanic light and sound installations while making your own ocean and environmental art with kids of all ages.

If oceans aren’t for you, stick around the park for an open drum circle with Malian percussionist Sidy Maiga at 12:30PM or catch “Songs with Ricky Rainbow Beard” at 3:30PM. When you’re done—experience some of your favorite children’s stories through Art in the Park “STORYROOMS” and step into the books like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Where the Wild Things Are and Goodnight Moon, or stay for Providence Children’s Film Festival shorts and illuminations until 10PM!

For more story-telling performances, the city’s very own Turnaround Arts: Providence will showcase work from their spring musicals. Don’t miss Providence Public School students premier their take on classics including (Gilbert Stuart Middle School) Hairspray, Jr.; (Roger Williams Middle School) Beauty & The Beast, Jr.; (DelSesto Middle School) Willie Wonka, Jr.; (Esek Hopkins) Annie, Jr. at the Providence Mini Maker Faire on Mouton Lane from 12PM to 2PM on Saturday, June 8.

FirstWorks Arts Learning students from across the state will also be performing on Saturday, June 8, drawing on their in-school and at-the-theater experiences with world-class artists brought by FirstWorks to inspire these rising stars of Rhode Island. Highlights include Classical High School theater club performing the Japanese folk tale Urashima Taro on the Arcade Stage, 35 Weybosset Street, at 12PM; Cranston-based siblings Eden, Elliott, Harrison, and Helena Fisher performing on violin and viola at Washington and Union Street from 1PM – 1:30PM; Juanita Sanchez High School dance students performing an original choreographed piece at the 77 Eddy Street Stage Pop-Up from 1:30PM – 2PM; and student performing groups from Pell Elementary School in Newport, Classical High School, and Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts (TAPA) from 4PM – 6:30PM at the Summer House on Kennedy Plaza. TAPA students will also be performing at 79 Washington Street from 6:30PM -7PM and on the Mural Stage at 120 Mathewson Street.

Local community arts organization AS220 encourages festival-goers to make their own memories and memorabilia at the Providence Mini Maker Faire by pursuing their creative interests in a playful, interactive way. Participants will have the opportunity make their own projects using the provided family-fun working stations that include access to printmaking, 3D printing and a photo booth. On the Saturday and Sunday of the festival, engineers, artists, crafters, and all creative types will display their projects along Moulton Lane.

Dancing in the streets is an iconic part of PVDFest, and this year, we are providing more opportunities to dance all weekend long through PVDFest Parades which will inject the festival footprint with several inspirational processions. Working with local artists, the captains and grand marshals, each will bring their own unique twist to individual parades. One of these opportunities will be kicking off at 4PM at 255 Westminster Street in front of the Children’s Mini Maker Space, making noise and dancing all the way to Burnside Park. Families are encouraged to stay on the look-out all weekend long for these processions, and be ready to jump in!

For more fun, festival-goers are invited to dazzle up a hat and sash in preparation for the parade processions at a Pre-Parade Hat and Sash Making Workshop with Celebrity Costume Designer Machine Dazzle. Curated by founding partner FirstWorks, festival goers of all ages will have the unique opportunity to DIY with the renowned celebrity costume designer before dancing in the streets once more.

More events will be added and schedules are subject to change; full schedule times and locations will be released this week. For up-to-date information on PVDFest events visit www.pvdfest.com.

Scheduled family-friendly events at PVDFest:

PVDFest Bike the Night

DATE: Thursday, June 6

TIME: 6PM, ride starting at 7:15PM

LOCATION: starting at Burnside Park, riding to Hot Club
DESCRIPTION: Join Mayor Jorge Elorza and the Rhode Island Bicycle Coalition (RIBike) for a very special PVDFest edition of #BiketheNight! This year, we’re riding with RIBike and JUMP to the Hot Club for Providence’s first-ever Citywide Good Night Lights celebration. No bike? No problem! JUMP will have 100 bikes ready to ride outside of Burnside Park at 6PM. Bright and festive gear is encouraged!

Riders should arrive at Burnside no later than 6:30PM and prepared to leave by 7PM.

Citywide Goodnight Lights
DATE: Thursday, June 6


LOCATION: Hot Club, 25 Bridge St

DESCRIPTION: Help us kick-off PVDFest with a city-wide act of kindness! Continuing the Providence tradition of wishing the children at Hasbro Hospital goodnight, PVDFest will host its first-ever Citywide Good Night Lights on Thursday of the festival. At the conclusion of the Citywide Bike Ride at Hot Club, festival goers will flash lights across the Narragansett Bay.

Regardless of location, people across the city are encouraged to also participate and record their act of kindness using the #1000ActsPVD. Each participant will be counted towards this year’s 1000 Acts of Kindness initiative.

Turnaround Arts: Providence Showcase

DATE: Thursday, June 8

TIME: 12PM to 2PM

LOCATION: Providence Mini Maker Faire, 2- 24 Mouton Lane

DESCRIPTION: Returning for the second year in a row, Providence Public School students will perform renditions of their school spring musicals in the Turnaround Arts: Providence Showcase. As part of Turnaround’s mission to use the arts to invigorate student learning, performances by students will include portions of Hairspray, Beauty & The Beast, and Willie Wonka.

Pre-Parade Hat and Sash Making Workshop with Costume Designer, Machine Dazzle

DATE: Saturday, June 8

TIME: 12PM – 4PM

LOCATION: Dark Lady Bar, 19 Snow Street

DESCRIPTION: Budding designers of all walks of life are invited to participate in the FirstWorks Pre-Parade Hat and Sash-Making Workshop that will be led by celebrity costume designer Machine Dazzle. All materials will be provided, so there is no excuse for missing this exciting opportunity to jazz up your PVDFest look! Stop by before jumping into a pop-up parade!

FirstWorks Arts Learning Rising Stars Student Performances:
DATE: Saturday, June 8

TIME: 4PM – 4:30PM, Pell Elem. (Newport) Dancers
4:30PM – 5:00PM, Pell Elem. (Newport) Guitar Club
5:30PM – 6:00PM, Classical HS Step Team
6PM – 6:30PM, TAPA Dance

LOCATION: Kennedy Plaza Summer House Stage

DESCRIPTION: FirstWorks Arts Learning students from across the state will be performing on Saturday, June 8, drawing on their in-school and at-the-theater experiences with world-class artists brought by FirstWorks to inspire these rising stars of Rhode Island.

Additional FirstWorks Arts Learning performances happening Saturday across the festival footprint includes:

Washington & Union St. Stage, 1PM – 1:30PM, Fisher family violinists
77 Eddy Street stage Pop-Up Stage, 1:30PM – 2PM, Sanchez High School Dancers
Arcade Stage, 11AM – 12:15PM, Classical HS Theatre Club performing Urashima
79 Washington Street Strand Stage, 6:30PM – 7PM, TAPA Music

Borscht Workshop with Ukranian quartet DakhaBrakha

DATE: Saturday, June 8


LOCATION: City Hall, 25 Dorrance Street

DESCRIPTION: Curated by FirstWorks, PVDFest welcomes you to color your PVDFest purple with the Ukranian world music quartet DakhaBrakha. In addition to performing an unmatchable transnational concert experience, DakhaBrakha will lead a comedic Borscht-making demonstration and tasting. From Kyiv, Ukraine, DakhaBrakha’s performance reflects fundamental elements of sound and soul that create a world of unexpected new music. Created in 2004 at the Kyiv Center of Contemporary Art by theatre director Vladyslav Troiskyi, DakhaBrakha gives off nothing but originality and authenticity. Even their name, DakhaBrakha meaning “give/take” in the old Ukrainian language, is original, outstanding, and authentic. This performance is for all ages.

Providence Mini Maker Faire

DATE: Saturday, June 8 and Sunday, June 9

TIME: 12PM – 6PM, 12PM – 4PM

LOCATION: AS220, 115 Empire Street

DESCRIPTION: Providence’s maker community will be elevated through this year’s Mini Maker Faire, offering participants the opportunity to pursue creative interests in a playful, interactive way. Once again in partnership with AS220, Saturday’s festivities will include 30 booths and family-fun working stations to encourage participants to think, tinker and explore making their own memories at this year’s event.

PVDFest Parades

DATE: All weekend long!

TIME: Stay on the lookout!

LOCATION: Everywhere!

DESCRIPTION: Dancing in the streets is an iconic part of PVDFest; a fan-favorite for participants and observers alike. This year’s PVDFest Parade will inject the festival footprint with several inspirational processions, working with local artists, captains and grand marshals, who each bring their own unique twist to each parade. Participants and spectators should keep your eye out for these processions Saturday afternoon and be prepared to jump in!