6 Reasons to Bring Your Kids to the Providence International Arts Festival
With 15 stages of entertainment, 6 outdoor bars, 18 participating venues, and the party going well into the wee hours of Saturday, June 13, there is no shortage of reasons for parents (without their kids) to celebrate at the Providence International Arts Festival. But this free all-day spectacular offers plenty of fun for the whole family—so save the babysitting money for another time. Here are only six of the many reasons you should bring your kids Downtown for the Creative Capital’s new signature event.
1. They can march in a parade.
Everybody loves marching in a parade, and everybody’s welcome in this one. Just before the official opening ceremonies on Saturday, June 13, artists, performers, dancers, community groups and families like yours will gather for a spectacular procession from one side of Downtown into the heart of the festival at Kennedy Plaza. Stay tuned to our website for more details, and don’t forget to wear your most festive outfit.
2. Squonk! (Now that we’ve got your attention…)
This multimedia troupe from Pittsburgh rolls into town with its latest show, Pneumatica, an outdoor musical spectacle about air, made of air and powered by air. With whirling doo-dads, inflatable thing-a-ma-jigs and an infectious live soundtrack, it’s sure to dazzle kids and adults alike.
3. They won’t seem out of place if their shorts are showin’.
“Your Shorts Are Showin’” is an eclectic selection of shorts, including narrative films, documentaries, animation and more presented by the Providence Children’s Film Festival. Parents can trust the good folks at PCFF to choose only the best kids’ entertainment – you know, the kind that grown-ups can actually enjoy too.
4. Fanciful creatures will abound.
Walk around the festival grounds from Washington Street to Kennedy Plaza and kids will find plenty to delight their imaginations. Providence-based Tape Art will design huge, colorful CatFish on the buildings around Kennedy Plaza. Local artist Alicia Uth will use spraypaint to create fun, animal-like creatures – and provide a blank canvas for people to draw their own – along the Washington Street corridor. The acrobatic nymphs of Wise Fool New Mexico’s circus arts extravaganza will astound audiences with feats of physical derring-do. Indonesian-inspired puppets will come to life in the windows of the URI Providence Library. There will be something fun and fanciful waiting around nearly every corner.
5. Kids are getting creative too.
The students in DownCity Design’s after school programs are transforming Adrian Hall Way (next to Trinity Rep/Trinity Brewhouse) with a unique piece of furniture designed to make it a nicer plate for both people looking to sit and have a nice lunch or skateboarders who want to flaunt their moves. Students from the Rhode Island Philharmonic’s innovative music school will showcase their chops in a performance by the Music School Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Improvisers Combo. Public school kids will get hand-on with the world’s largest stringed instrument with a special educational program featuring inventor William Close and his Earth Harp. With a little inspiration and the right opportunities, one day these same kids could be headlining a future Providence International Arts Festival.
6. They can become iron welders.
OK, not really. But the day after the big celebration Downtown, the Steel Yard will close out the festival with its third annual Fire Camp. At this free, family-friendly event kids can learn all about the industrial arts, witness a live iron pour, and even create their own cast iron piece. Just purchase a sand mold, scratch a design into it, and the good folks at the Steel Yard will pour in molten iron (kids are definitely not allowed to do that part) so that your kids can impress their friends with their newfound ironworking skills.