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Monday, August 5, 2013

Summertime Weekend offers Great Ethnic Culture, Nature Connections and Live Entertainment

Discover the captivating heritage, places and spaces, plus live music concerts, over the August 17-18 weekend in Rhode Island’s Blackstone River Valley.

Southern New England’s close to home summertime destination offers unique and enjoyable destinations connecting residents and visitors to people and communities reflecting a real American story.

The weekend’s event showcase festive local ethnicity, a milestone celebration, interpretive nature and some of the best musical acts in the northeastern US.

Local Greek Celebration
The 86th Annual Grecian Festival happens Friday-Sunday, August 16-18, on the grounds of the Assumption Greek Orthodox Church, 97 Walcott Street, Pawtucket, RI.

Celebrate local Greek heritage and culture at one of the largest festivals in the region. Activities include: Grecian cuisine, live cultural dance and music, an open air marketplace, family events, games and more.

The festival runs Friday, August 16, 5-10 pm; Saturday, August 17, 12 noon-10 pm and Sunday, August 18, 12 noon-9 pm.

More details are online at www.greekfestivalri.com

Exploring an American Heritage River
Friday, August 16, 4-8 pm, the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council (BVTC) welcomes everyone to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the only riverboat still cruising the waters of the Blackstone River, as the tour boat Blackstone Valley Explorer marks two decades in operation.

The fun happens at the riverboat site, Central Falls Landing, located at the junction of Broad Street & Madeira Avenue, Central Falls, RI.

This special celebration will feature food, music, boat rides, and celebration ceremony!

Built in 1993 by Blount Marine in Warren, RI, the Blackstone Valley Explorer is a 9-ton, 40 passenger flat bottomed boat perfectly designed for teaching, educating, and entertaining. It serves school children, community groups, professional organizations, families, and seniors. Piloted by Coast Guard licensed Captains and equipped with trained tour guides, it is fully handicapped accessible and is the only boat of its kind on the Blackstone River.

In 1998, the US government designated the Blackstone as one of a dozen American Heritage Rivers, because of the river’s history in powering the American Industrial Revolution, which began in the Blackstone River Valley 220 years ago.

Today, the area where the riverboat cruises are held, the Lonsdale Marshlands, is a unique urban oasis filled with hidden natural wonders. Once polluted, the Blackstone River has recovered beautifully!  On our cruises you may see swan, herons, geese, ducks, turtles, hawks and beautiful plants and trees!

The tour guide explains the ecology of the river and surrounding wetlands interspersed with stories about the people and history of the region. If you have never cruised on the Riverboat “Explorer” it is something you must do; and if you have, you can join with us again and again because every time you go on the river, you see something new!

Come help us celebrate twenty years of cruising on the Blackstone River, reconnecting people with a beautiful place right in their own backyards! Tickets for the celebration are just $20/person. Call now for tickets at 401-724-2200 or go to www.rivertourblackstone.com

Discovering nature
Saturday, August 17, at 11 am, the Glocester Land Trust is offering a Guided Walking Tour of Sprague Farm, located on Pine Orchard Road, Chepachet, RI.

Participants will get to learn the background of the property that was once a working family farm. Now, the site is used as an open space with rustic trails and remnants of former farm buildings and pastures.

For more about the walking tour and the location, go to the website at http://www.glocesterlandtrust.org/locations/sprague-farm

Jazz and Blues in Woonsocket!
Over the weekend, Chan’s Eggrolls & Jazz Concert Series, at 267 Main Street, Woonsocket, RI, presents a quartet of exciting jazz and blues performers playing Thursday-Sunday, August 15-18.

Chan's has presented some of the best known local and international blues, jazz, folk and other musical artists. In addition, a weekly "open jazz night" provides anyone with musical talent to play on stage by themselves, with other participants or occasionally, a celebrity artist.
Thursday night, August 15, at 8 pm, guitarist Al Monti rocks the stage, always a popular favorite artist.

Friday night, August 16, at 8 pm, catch the vibrant high energy sounds from Sax Gordon Beadle with Mike Tucker & Friends.

Saturday night, August 17, at 8 pm, the Jerry Portnoy Blues Quartet featuring Ricky King Russell hits the stage. See this performer who has played with legends like Eric Clapton.

Sunday night, August 18, at 8 pm, award winning blues-rock singer/guitarist Larry McCray performs.

Tickets for all these shows are available now by calling Chan’s at 401-765-1900 or online at www.chanseggrollsandjazz.com


Also, visit www.tourblackstone.com for more daily events and visitor information.
Questions and comments on the Blackstone River Valley can be e-mailed at BVTourism@aol.com

For a complete listing of all events happening throughout the year in the Blackstone River Valley, visit our Calendar of Events on the web at www.eventblackstone.com

This interactive website is freshly updated daily and offers direct links to detailed information on each public event posted in the Calendar of Events.

Additional visitor information is available by contacting the Blackstone Valley RI Visitor Center, located at 175 Main Street, Pawtucket, RI 02860 Telephone 401-724-2200. Call for hours of operation.

Traveler Information Centers also located at the Blackstone River State Park Visitor Center, off Interstate Route 295 north, Lincoln, RI and at the Museum of Work & Culture at Market Square, Woonsocket, RI. Call 401-724-2200 for locations, operating hours and directions.