For the smallest state in the union, Rhode Island is big on flavor, boasting some of the most talented chefs around. The unique culinary curiosities and perennial favorites will be served up at this weekend’s 35th Annual Taste of Rhode Island at the Newport Yachting Center. From clam rolls to coffee milk, doughboys and other deep-fried delights, the festival is two days of belly-busting fun featuring live music, cooking demonstrations, local brews, children’s games and more. Admission is just $10 and the food and drink is inexpensive once inside.
In nearby Middletown, the 35th Annual Norman Bird Sanctuary Harvest Fair embraces autumn with a blanket of crisp, colorful leaves underfoot. Traditional highlights include The Monkey Bridge, pony rides, a scarecrow contest, the Mabel Express (an age-old barrel train ride) and the infamous but entertaining mudpit! Artisans from around the island and beyond have their wares for sale and it’s the perfect place to find one of a kind jewelry, accessories, clothing, children’s gifts and more. While the Taste of Rhode Island features the gastronomic handiwork of chefs, restaurants and caterers statewide, the Harvest Fair showcases the skills of local kitchen enthusiast who bring homemade pies, cupcakes, breads, cookies, cakes, candy apples, jams and jellies. This weekend might be your only excuse to don an elastic waistband!