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River Festival to Bring RiverFire, Food, Art, Music to Downtown Wakefield

“An Oktoberfest Celebration”

Live music, dancing, original art, craft beers, food and fun are on tap for “The Wakefield River Festival, an Oktoberfest Celebration,” set for noon to 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, in downtown Wakefield.

The Wakefield Village Association’s annual event, this year sponsored by South County Hospital, features entertainment and appearances by New England Patriots cheerleaders, Big Nazo performers, TropiGals dancers, Pat Patriot, the Rhody Ram, and a karate exhibition. Kid’s activities include pumpkin carving, face painting, magician and more. A portion of Main Street, from Robinson Street to Kenyon Avenue, will be closed to vehicles until 6 p.m. to make way for the fun.

Entertainment from 5 to 9 p.m. will include the bands Take It To The Bridge, a funk/rock cover band, The Water Project and its surf/rock/reggae sounds and 33 Camden, a rhythm and blues rock fusion band.

In keeping with Oktoberfest, festival-goers can enjoy pretzels, bratwurst and craft beers from the best local breweries.

Wakefield Village Association president Ken Tetzner, owner of Phil’s Main Street Grill, says there’s no cost for festival-goers, but money raised through sponsorships and vendor fees will go toward beautifying the Saugatucket River and improving access to the river. The association also aims to build on the already-strong sense of community in downtown Wakefield, where residents enjoy the shops, restaurants, local theater and bike trail along the river.

“It’s part of what makes South County so unique, and we’re proud to host these events so people can enjoy what they’ve got in their own backyard,” said Chris Simpson, director of the Contemporary Theater Company.

The river festival is a natural extension of the Wakefield Village Association’s popular Thursday night RiverFire + ArtWalk events, which brought music, art and floating firelight downtown all summer.

Event sponsor South County Hospital has been a huge help, Tetzner said. “We couldn’t get this off the ground without them.”

Nonperishable food items will be accepted at the festival to benefit the Jonnycake Center of Peace Dale food drive.

Learn more at wakefieldriverfest.com.


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