After COVID forced its cancellation, Scituate Art Festival to return this weekend


NORTH SCITUATE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Scituate Art Festival is making a comeback this year after it was forced to cancel last year’s annual event due to the pandemic.

Vendors and artisans could be seen putting the final touches on their booths Friday afternoon in preparation for the holiday weekend.

Ralph Groves of the Scituate Lions Club tells 12 News it’s great to be back.

“Certainly the pandemic has crushed all the private non-profits in town,” Groves said. “We rely on this as part of our major fundraising event.”

Fundraising is why the Scituate Art Festival was created in the first place. It was organized as an effort to maintain the town’s congregational church.

“Each year we put money into it to ensure it’s painted correctly, a new roof perhaps, from time to time, any of the maintenance that goes beyond the capability of the town,” Reggie Centracchio, chairman of the festival’s entertainment committee said.

Recognizing that the pandemic isn’t over yet, this year the festival is partnering with the R.I. Department of Health to host a free vaccine clinic during each day of the festival.

“Every year, somebody appears with either a weather vane or something that is unique to the artisans and the arts and crafts, and that becomes a real hotcake and people buy it until it’s all gone,” he said. “That’s one particular drawing, so I’m hopeful that that will serve the same purpose with people coming here and saying, ‘We’re enjoying this whole thing, give me a shot, too.'”

The Pfizer vaccine will be available at the clinics this weekend. Participants will also receive assistance registering to receive their second dose, which should be administered three weeks after their first dose. Third doses will also be available to eligible Rhode Islanders.

Those who wish to get vaccinated are encouraged to schedule an appointment ahead of time online:

Every person who gets vaccinated at the clinic will receive a voucher for a free item from the food court.

Centracchio estimates around 100,000 people will attend the festival throughout its three-day run. All visitors will be required to social distance, however, since the festival is outdoors, masks are optional.

“It’s basically back to normal, the best we can,” Centracchio said.

The Scituate Art Festival runs Saturday though Monday, rain or shine. Centracchio recommended arriving mid-morning to secure a good parking spot.

The Scituate Art Festival isn’t the only draw this weekend.

Woonsocket’s Autumn Fest, the largest fall festival in Northern Rhode Island, is also expected to bring in 100,000 attendees.

The Woonsocket festival will also be offering Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and Moderna vaccines at clinics on Saturday from 2-8 p.m., Sunday from 12-3 p.m. and Monday from 12-3 p.m.

The 29th Annual Columbus Day Festival is also taking place on Federal Hill in Providence this weekend.

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