The Weekend Rundown: June 8-11

Relive the moment that Rhode Island sparked a revolution, marvel at Scottish feats of strength and more this weekend


June 8-11: It’s a laugh a minute at the First Annual Ocean State Improv Festival, held by the Contemporary Theater Company in Wakefield. Performers will convene from all over the country and abroad, with one thing in common: the ability to make laughs out of nothing.

June 8: Lend a paw to your four-legged friends in need at Animal Rescue Rhode Island’s Paws to Party fundraiser at Aqua at the Providence Marriott. Enjoy cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and live music, all knowing that you're helping adorable dogs and cats find a home. Who knows, you may even end up adopting your new best friend. 

June 9-10: Barbecue is staging a coup in what has traditionally been a clam cakes and chowder kind of state. This weekend, the 2nd Annual Ocean State BBQ Festival makes a smoky return to the Steel Yard. Wash down some locally smoked godness with a local brew and live music. 

June 9-11: The British Motorcar Festival is taking its third annual cruise to Colt State Park. Ogle some of the finest cars ever produced on the other side of the pond as collectors from all around show off their sweet rides. The weekend isn’t just for gear heads and will include a Friday night street party in Independence Park featuring classic tunes from the British Invasion, British attire and fancy hat competitions and even a visit from the Queen Mum herself. If you’ve got a slick British car, join in. If not, marvel at the fleet of pristine automobiles. 

June 10: Exeter’s Tomaquag Museum preserves the heritage of Rhode Island’s native population. Celebrate Strawberry Thanksgiving with them this month, when there will be storytelling, games, tours, and a native arts market.

June 10: Don your kilt for the Rhode Island Scottish Highland Festival, happening in Richmond. The celebration of all things traditionally Scottish includes a kilt contest, competitions to throw incredibly heavy objects (like trees and hammers) and Scottish music and dance.

June 10-11:
Long before the Boston Tea Party swooped in and took credit for starting the Revolutionary War, there was a drunken band of colonists in Rhode Island who decided to show their dissatisfaction with Mother England in a big way. A big, flaming way: They set fire to the HMS Gaspee, a British customs schooner in Pawtuxet Cove. Every year, Pawtuxet Village celebrates the Gaspee Affair with Gaspee Days a celebration that includes a 5k, a huge parade, a colonial encampment, live music in the park and the main event: a ceremonial burning of the Gaspee at Gaspee Point. Take that, taxation without representation.

June 10:
If you’ve always been curious about the apartment buildings downtown, but not quite curious enough to plunk down a bunch of security deposits, The Downtown Living Tour is for you. The Providence Foundation’s annual exploration gives you insider access to exclusive living spaces like the Providence G, the Arcade and the Westminster Lofts, with shuttle service in between.

June 11: Support local artists by heading to the third annual Barrington Art Festival. Booths will be set up at the Historic Town Hall Government Center, and the work on display will include everything from oil and acrylic painting, drawings and photography to woodwork, ceramics and jewelry. Whether you’re browsing the talent or looking for something for yourself, there will be something there for everyone.