Community Calendar

Community Artists Program
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Charlestown

10 a.m. - 11 a.m. Westerly

RI Blood Drive
11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Westerly

RI Blood Drive
3 p.m. - 7 p.m. Carolina

Chess Club
6 p.m. - 7:45 p.m. Westerly

Sunset Concert Series
6 p.m. - 8 p.m. Westerly

Trivia Night
6 p.m. - 8 p.m. Westerly

Shakespeare in the Park
8 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Westerly

Free Movies on the Beach
8:30 p.m. - 10 p.m. Misquamicut

RI Blood Drive
9 a.m. - Noon Westerly

... View all of today's events

Stay Connected


Clouds can’t stop crowds at SpringFest

WESTERLY — Maybe it was the gray skies or the slight chill in the air, but SpringFest 2014 opened to a very sparse crowd. Still, the show went on.

Cirque de Solo, a.k.a. Linda Peck of Northfield, Mass., performed her juggling, balancing, one-woman circus promptly at 5 p.m., truly solo, in front of a tent of empty chairs.

“When I have an audience, it’s even better,” she said, sporting a bright smile and a bubble wand. A performing veteran of 30 years, even Peck’s sunny personality and hot pink irridescent suit wasn’t enough to chase away the threatening clouds.

People did eventually come to the fourth annual SpringFest, the unofficial opening of beach season in Misquamicut, and by 6 p.m. they were lining up outside the ticket booth. Located in the state beach parking lot, it’s an old-fashioned festival with rides, games, food, and entertainment.

Jody Scalise of Charlemont, Mass., performing as Motion Man, was similary unfazed by the low turnout early in the evening.

“I’m just happy to perform,” Scalise said during a break between his 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. shows. “I always do my show, no matter what. Sometimes I have 300 people, sometimes I have 50 people, sometimes I have three.”

Among Scalise’s early audience were a pair of kinetic little boys and two young ladies from Westerly, Emma Jarvis, 12, and Amber Lucente, 13. Both said Scalise was “pretty cool.”

The National Guard display was attracting a considerably older crowd with its climbing tower. Sgt. Ronald Spears, the Westerly recruiter, said the climbing walls are always popular. “It’s free, so might as well,” he said.

Spears, a 1999 graduate of Chariho High School, said sometimes people will stand around looking at the tower until one person is brave enough to try it. After that, they all try to conquer it.

“They go from not at all to challenging themselves,” said Spears.

The rides at SpringFest ranged from gentle kiddie rides to the are-you-kidding-that-would-make-me-vomit variety. Food offerings included gyros and apple crisp, alongside more traditional fair food like fried dough, french fries and — of course — the iconic Del’s lemonade.

The most unusual food vendor was Oikos yogurt, which handed out free samples from a vehicle shaped like a trio of yogurt containers. Other vendors also dotted the festival’s landscape, selling a variety of goods and services from jewelry and clothing to Internet service and help for aching backs.

By 6 p.m., fire juggler Keith Leaf of Long Island had attracted a crowd of about 30 people as he began his act, and the visitors were lining up at the front gate.

SpringFest continues today with a new entertainment schedule. There is a classic car show at 11 a.m., a chowder cookoff at 2 p.m. and a wrestling SlamFest at 8 p.m. For fans of Disney’s “Frozen,” there will also be a roving Princess Anna at 4 p.m.

Tickets are $7, and children under 4 are free. For more information, visit


Back to Westerly
Top Stories of the Week

WWII veteran gets new home, with a little help from …
WESTERLY — Surrounded by family members, a plate of chicken cacciatore, stuffed peppers and spaghetti, and a glass of wine, John “Shorty” Terranova settled into … more ...

Father, son dead in I-95 truck crash …
This story has been edited to identify the home state of the driver as Iowa. STONINGTON — Police say a father and son died in … more ...

Westerly woman identified as Providence garage jumper …
WESTERLY — A 35-year-old local resident has been identified as the woman who died after jumping off a railing at the Providence Mall garage. Trudy … more ...

New parish priest wants to be community ‘solution center’ …
HOPKINTON — Michael Colello doesn’t want to be known as just another cookie-cutter parish priest. He wants to be known as a down-to-earth, relatable guy … more ...

Police Logs: Sunday, July 26, 2015 …
Stonington Joseph P. Miranti, 58, of 98 W. Broad St., Apt. 10, was charged Friday with violation of probation, failure to submit to fingerprinting, and … more ...