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Block Island Events 2016

Sponsored by various Block Island businesses and the local community, we are excited to start another Block Island season full of new and returning events! With a variety of weekend retreats, road races, holiday parades and music festivals, there is an activity happening on the island that will suit your interests.

Check back frequently for updates…

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May | June | July | August | September | November


glass float project

4th Annual Block Island Glass Float Project

Date: Starting in June

Quick to become a Block Island seasonal event, the Block Island Glass Float Project returns for its 5th year! Eben Horton, the artist, hand crafts all 550 of the glass orbs used in this project. Starting in May, all 550 glass orbs will be hidden throughout the island, along the beaches and throughout the island’s trails. Each float will be dated, numbered and stamped with the shape of the island. All floats are clear glass, all except fourteen special orbs that were created using colored glass, and one using gold leaf. Finder’s keepers! If you find one of the hidden glass orbs, they are yours to keep! So grab a Block Island map and make a full day into an island scavenger hunt. More information about the Glass Float Project, please see the Block Island Tourism Council’s website below.

Website: Glass Float Project

Southeast Lighthouse Tour

Date: May-October

One of the most striking vistas you’ll see on Block Island is the view from the top of Southeast Lighthouse, an architecturally distinctive gem on the southern shore of the island.
On first sight of the brick keeper’s cottage and attached tower, you may wonder why the tower looks so short—barely exceeding the peaked roof of the cottage. Because the structure is built high atop the Mohegan Bluffs, the light can be seen over 200 feet above the water, clearly visible to boats and ships approaching the island.

It’s a testament to the will and determination of the locals that the structure is still standing and open to visitors. Due to erosion over the years, the lighthouse in 1990 stood only 55 yards from the edge of the cliffs. A group of Islanders determined to save the lighthouse from toppling into the sea formed the Block Island Southeast Lighthouse Foundation and raised the necessary funds to move the structure another 300 feet inland where it safely stands today.

The Lighthouse is open weekends from Memorial Day, daily from late June to Labor Day, then weekends to Columbus Day, from 10am to 4pm. There’s no charge to visit the small museum and store, but if tower tours are offered when you arrive (available as staffing permits), it’s worth the modest cost of $10 ($5 for children and seniors). You’ll learn all about the story of the Lighthouse, from shipwrecks along Block Island shores to architecture and construction, relocation and renovations along the way.

Phone: 401-466-3200 | Link:

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northern light fibers

North Light Fibers Annual Knitting Retreat

Date: May 13-May 15

The North Light Fibers 5th Annual Knitting Retreat with Deborah Newton, Norah Gaughan and Mary Jane Mucklestone. This all-inclusive retreat is for three days and two nights with three world class knitting designers/teachers and includes everything from the ferry tickets and yarn for homework to fine dinners and beautiful hotels. Deborah Newton will make two presentations about inspirations and finishing while Norah Gaughan and Mary Jane Mucklestone will lead classes on Cables and color work.

Phone: 401-466-2050 | Link: North Light Fibers

Annual Shad Bloom 10K Trail Run

Date: May 14 | Time: 1:00pm
Come participate in this returning Block Island event, sponsored by the Block Island Recreation Department. Event will start and end at the Block Island School located off of High Street. The course loops around through the island’s protected hiking trails on the scenic southern part of the island. Racers may sign up for the event and check out the race course using the links below.

Phone: (401) 466-3223 | Link: Shad Bloom 10K

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Date: June 11th | Time: 1pm

These days, pro chefs and home cooks alike are adding bacon as the headline ingredient in everything from ice cream to salads to barbecue and brownies. If you get jiggy at the flavor of piggy, head over to the third annual Block Island Bacon Fest at Poor People’s Pub. The joint will be smokin’ as pro chefs from island restaurants and accomplished home cooks pull out all the creative stops in honor of America’s current culinary obsession. The event benefits the Block Island Conservancy, dedicated to the preservation of open space on the island.

Phone: 401-466-8533 | Link:

A Bite of Block Island

Date: June 12th | Time: 4pm-6pm

Food show sponsored by The Block Island Times.

Phone: 401-466-2222 | Link:

Annual Block Island Restaurant Week

Date: June 12-June 17

Come experience the local flavor with a week of Block Island dining! With over 20 of Block Island’s most popular restaurants, pubs, and hotels participating in this event, vacationers can experience a variety of breakfast, lunch, and dinner specials offered at a discounted price. With three-course lunches starting as low as $10 and dinners starting at $20, this is a can’t-miss event! Please check the Block Island Chamber of Commerce website for an updated list of participating restaurants.

Phone: 1-800-383-BIRI (2474) | Link:

bi music festival

15th Annual Block Island Music Festival

Date: June 14-June 19

It’s the Battle of the Bands! Block Island will be holding its annual Block Island Music Festival for the fifteenth straight year, hosted by Captain Nick’s Rock N’ Roll Bar (one of the island’s premier clubs and live music venues). This week long event will showcase close to fifty bands and musicians from across the North East to perform live music over a six day period. Admission to the event is strictly 21+, however children may attend from 5pm-9pm with parental supervision.

Phone: (401) 466-5670 | Link:

Block Island Race Week

Date: June 20-June 24

Block Island Race Week in June is an exciting event for racers who love competing in a week long series in Block Island Sound.


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Block Island Fireworks Show

Date: July 3

Kick off the Fourth of July with a bang! The Block Island Fireworks Display will be launched at the Town Beach Pavilion at sundown (approximately 9pm) on July 3rd. Fireworks can easily be viewed from many locations on the island.

Fourth of July Parade

Date: July 4 | Time: 11am

A Block Island Tradition-Come celebrate your Fourth of July with the annual Block Island Fourth of July Parade! The event will start promptly at 11am in New Harbor, and will make its way to the end location in Old Harbor. Find a spot along the parade route, and enjoy the show as floats, bands, clowns, and other marchers make their way across the island.

Block Island “Blues On The Block”

Date: July 6, 20 & August 3 | Time: 6pm

Block Island’s annual “Blues on the Block” concert series kicks off its 2016 season at the Fred Benson Town Beach at 6pm. What a better way to end your day than with some relaxing music on the beach? Admission is FREE so come bring your beach chairs and listen to some great music performed by some of New England’s local artists and musicians.

Block Island Wedding Show

Date: July 10 | Time: 12pm-3pm | Location: The Sullivan House

Located at one of the island’s most popular wedding venues, The Sullivan House, the Block Island Bridal Show is there to provide you with the convenience of meeting all of the island’s and other local wedding vendors right under one roof. The day’s events will be full of entertainment and opportunities to get a true taste of this unique island as you plan your wedding in a fun and relaxed island atmosphere. Please enjoy live music, as well as excellent food and drinks while you meet some of the wedding Photographers, Planners, Hair Stylists, and Florists who will be there to assist you in planning your wedding.

Link: Pre-Register For Tickets Here

Block Island Arts and Crafts Guild Fair

Date: July 10 & 24 | Time: 9am-2pm | Location: Block Island Historical Society

If you’d like to take home an artistic reminder of beautiful Block Island, one of the best spots to browse and buy takes place outside of the Block Island Historical Society. Several times each summer, the lawn becomes a showplace and marketplace for members of the Block Island Arts and Crafts Guild. Choose among paintings, photographs, sculpture, jewelry, fabric arts, candles, and more. All of the items are handmade by local artists and would make a perfect keepsake for yourself or a gift for the folks back home.

Phone: 401-466-2982 | Link:

Block Island Sunset Cruise

Date: July 19 | Time: 630pm

Twenty-five years ago, The Nature Conservancy opened its office on Block Island. We invite everyone to celebrate this exciting anniversary with us on a ferry cruise around the island! With the sun setting and a full moon rising, it’s guaranteed to be a magical evening aboard the Anna C.

Phone: 401-466-2129 | Link: Ticketing


Date: July 31 | Time: All day

If you love live music and believe in the preservation of open lands for all to enjoy, does Block Island have a concert for you! Described as “Music on a Mission,” Conserfest has become an annual event that brings together musicians and artists to celebrate the natural beauty of Block Island — and to bring awareness to the conservation efforts continuing today.

It’s a full day of fun and music on the beach when the first band kicks off at 10am at Town Beach Pavilion. At 4pm, the party moves to Captain Nick’s Rock n Roll bar at 34 Ocean Ave. At 9pm, head over to the main event at Yellow Kittens on Corn Neck Road, where the music goes on all night long until 1am. (If all this music isn’t enough for you, there’s a special pre-party event at Old Island Pub the night before, starting at 9).

There’s no charge to attend, but feel free to donate generously to keep Block Island as wild and beautiful as it is today for generations to come. Proceeds benefit the Block Island Conservancy, which has been protecting open land on Block Island for more than four decades.


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Block Island Triathlon

Date: August 6

Sponsored by the Block Island Recreation Department, Block Island will be holding its annual Block Island Triathlon for its participants and guests starting at the Fred Benson Town Beach Pavilion at 9am. Triathlon challenges start off with a 1/4 mile swim throughout the waters on the eastern side of the island, followed by a 12mile bike around the island’s scenic western coast, and finally concluding the event with the 4mile run on the eastern beaches. Participants may pre-register for the event and find more information at the link below. There will be an additional ferry leaving Pt. Judith that morning at 6am for guests and those participating.

Link: Information & Registration

Annual House and Garden Tour

Date: August 9 | Time: 9am-1pm

Ever wish you owned your own place on Block Island? Now you can get a glimpse inside some of the island’s prettiest homes and gardens during the 45th Annual Block Island House and Garden Tour, benefiting the Block Island Historical Society Volunteers will be on hand at the homes and gardens to point out features of interest in architecture, design and decor. A major fundraiser for the Historical Society, the event is popular with Islanders and visitors alike. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 day of tour.

Phone: 401-466-2481 | Link:

Block Island Arts and Crafts Guild Fair

Date: August 14 & 28 | Time: 9am-2pm | Location: Block Island Historical Society

If you’d like to take home an artistic reminder of beautiful Block Island, one of the best spots to browse and buy takes place outside of the Block Island Historical Society. Several times each summer, the lawn becomes a showplace and marketplace for members of the Block Island Arts and Crafts Guild. Choose among paintings, photographs, sculpture, jewelry, fabric arts, candles, and more. All of the items are handmade by local artists and would make a perfect keepsake for yourself or a gift for the folks back home.

Phone: 401-466-2982 | Link:

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Lion’s Club Clambake

Date: Sept 3 | Time: 12pm

Lobsters and clams and mussels, oh my. And chowder and corn on the cob and sausage, too. It wouldn’t be Labor Day on Block Island without the annual Lion’s Club Clambake. It all takes place under a tent on the grounds of the charming and historic Narragansett Inn, where you’ll enjoy sweeping views of the ocean and the boats bobbing in New Harbor.

Not a shellfish lover? No worries. The Lions put out a fine spread for the landlubbers too, with yummy hamburgers, hotdogs, and sausage for the carnivores in the crowd.

The Lion’s Club is a group that mixes socializing and service, doing lots of good for the Block Island community all year long. These hard-working folks plan this fundraiser for months in advance, so come on out and bid a fond farewell to the summer with food and fun, music and merriment, raffle drawings and more.


around the block 15k

Run Around the Block

Date: September 10 | Time: 1:30pm

Watch contestants cross the finish line after their 9.3 mile trek throughout the winding blacktop roads stretched across the island. Starting time will be promptly at 1:30pm from the starting line at Fresh Pond on Center Road, and will finish at Champlin’s Marina in New Harbor. For those planning on participating in the event, please click on the link below to be given more information on pre-registration, transportation, and event rules.

Phone: 1-800-BIRI (2474) | Link: Information & Registration

Taste of Block Island

Date: September 16 – September 18

Discover the best Block Island has to offer over this fun, event filled weekend! Island-wide restaurant and shopping discounts, special hotel accommodation packages, and island events are all available to you with the purchase of a $5 button. For more information on weekend events, please visit the Block Island Chamber of Commerce website below.

Phone: 1-800-383-BIRI (2474) | Link: BI Chamber of Commerce

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bi shopping stroll

Photo Credit: Kari Curtis/Block Island Times

Block Island Shopping Stroll

Date: November 25-27

Stop in for some warm cider or hot chocolate as you shop. This Block Island Christmas tradition is not to be missed! Begin your shopping on board our ferry by purchasing a Block Island Ferry ornament at our concession stand. T-shirts, hats and mugs will be 20% OFF during the 3-day event when purchased on board the ferry.

Phone: 1-800-383-BIRI (2474) | Link: BI Chamber of Commerce

Block Island Turkey Trot

Date: November 26 | Time: 1:30pm

Sponsored by the Block Island Chamber of Commerce, Run or walk this 5K that starts at Fred Benson Town Beach. Fun run, great cause, fantastic T-shirt

Phone: 1-800-BIRI (2474) | Link: Information & Registration

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