Misquamicut Fallfest is back this weekend, and this year it has a few new twists

Misquamicut Fallfest is back this weekend, and this year it has a few new twists


WESTERLY — From Kate Taylor, sister of James, and Terry Sylvester of popular 1960s British singing sensations The Hollies, to Westerly native Bobby Christina and the Cadillac Horns and the homegrown group known as The Beach Band, musicians of every stripe have performed at the annual Misquamicut Fallfest, the three-day celebration that attracts thousands of visitors to Westerly’s waterfront each September.

This year, for the festival’s seventh anniversary, legendary East Coast rock ’n’ rollers John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band will take to the main stage Saturday night for a 9 p.m. concert. On Friday night, Rubix Cube, a group called the most original ’80s tribute band of all time, arrives in town for an 8:30 p.m. show. Earlier in the evening, Rhode Island’s Jesse Liam Band will perform from 6:15 to 8 p.m.

As much of a centerpiece as the music has been over the years, it’s only one piece of the shoreline extravaganza. There’s plenty of other entertainment in store, including magic shows, mimes, Ferris wheel rides, demonstrations and lots and lots of food — some 400 worth at the “Food Truck Rodeo.”

Caswell Cooke Jr., executive director of the Misquamicut Business Association, who is also a member of The Beach Band, said he’s looking forward to this year’s show for a number of reasons.

“I’m excited about opening for John Cafferty,” said Cooke, who plays guitar and sings for the seven-piece band. “And I’m really excited about two cool new events this year.”

In conjunction with National Electric Car Week, Cooke said, this year’s Fallfest will feature the Electric Vehicle Show, which will be situated at the front gate alongside the Classic Car Show on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Cooke said admission to the fair is free for drivers who agree to take test drives and fill out short surveys.

“It’ll be a nice test drive around Winnapaug Pond,” he said, “and free admission for the whole family.”

The second event Cooke is excited about is Sunday’s Antique Fire Truck Muster, scheduled to take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the east bend of the state beach parking lot.

Each of the 10 antique trucks requires 25 people to operate the hand pumps, Cooke said.

“That means we’ll have 250 participants firing off the hoses,” he said. “And those trucks are from the 1850s ... they’re horse-and-carriage fire trucks.”

Included in the muster, he added, will be a contest to see which fire pump can squirt the farthest.

Other Fallfest highlights include:


More than a dozen food vendors will line up for the Food Truck Rodeo and serve festival favorites from chowder to sausage and peppers, fried dough, gelato, tacos, kettle corn, pizza and local seafood dishes.

Roving fun

Entertainers who will be walking around include fire jugglers, the Pied Piper of Percussion, magigians, and Peter Pan and Tinkerbell.


Princess dresses, toy helicopters, hair wraps, handbags, T-shirts, jewelry, bamboo clothes, housewares and more will be for sale in merchants’ booths.

For a full list of fair activities, see today’s Guide section, or visit misquamicut.org.



Where: Misquamicut State Beach, Westerly

When: Friday, from 5 to 11 p.m., Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tickets: Buy general admission tickets* online at Eventbrite.com for a discount. General admission tickets also available at the gate for $8. Kids under 4 and parking are free.

*Headline concerts included in general admission.

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