Hold on to summer at Sam’s Mill Fest

Hold on to summer at Sam’s Mill Fest

Cliff Goodwin and the Mitch Chakour Band perform at a past Sam’s Mill Fest at Old Slater Mill in Pawtucket. This year’s festival takes place on Sunday, Aug. 25, from noon to 6 p.m.

PAWTUCKET – Enjoy summer while it lasts with a free concert, food trucks, artisan vendors, and more, by the Blackstone River in Pawtucket.

The festivities are all part of the 6th annual Sam’s Mill Fest on Sunday, Aug. 25, from noon to 6 p.m., at Old Slater Mill, 67 Roosevelt Ave. in Pawtucket. Admission is free.

The festival is a great opportunity to have a picnic, listen to music, and “enjoy a beautiful green space in downtown Pawtucket,” Lori Urso, executive director of Old Slater Mill, told The Valley Breeze. “Every year we try to give it a little bit of a new flavor.”

The end-of-summer bash brings together artists, makers, historians, park rangers, gardeners, and members of the community, Urso said.

Four musical acts will perform outside under a tent, including headliner Detroit blues-rocker James Montgomery at 4:30 p.m.

“James always brings it 110 percent,” Urso said. “All of the acts are top-notch.”

At noon, guitarist Bruce Bartlett, B-3 organist Marty Rowan, and drummer Marty Richards take the stage to play blues/jazz fusion.

Performing folk/bluegrass/indie are fiddler Kat Parks and guitarist Brad Bensko as the Kat & Brad Band at 1:30 p.m., and at 3 p.m., the Mitch Chakour Band will play R&B.

Twenty-two vendors will be selling their work or hosting demonstrations that day. Half are veterans of the festival and half are new this year, Urso said. The RI Spinners Guild will spin colorful creations while Suzi Ballenger demonstrates how to make paper and Steve Emma canes chairs.

Ocean State Maker Mill will be on hand with stomp rockets to entertain visitors young and old, and local artists will sell handmade items from jewelry to macrame to screen printed work.

Some new vendors this year include Colemama Creations from Connecticut, Live Free Fibers from Jamestown, Silk Tree Farm from Little Compton, and Cedar Ledge Apiaries offering locally sourced honey products.

The University of Rhode Island Master Gardeners will show visitors around their garden aside the 1758 Sylvanus Brown House as well as offer gardening tips and advice.

There are “full, gorgeous end-of-summer blooms” to check out right now, Urso said.

Rhody Roots, GottaQ Smokehouse BBQ, and Mum’s Donuts will have their food trucks parked on Slater Avenue, and Palagis Ice Cream will swing by with frozen treats. Sam’s Gin Mill will serve beverages including its signature SAMgria.

Historians and National Park Service Rangers will be available to answer questions and guide folks through the Slater Mill museum, which is open all day with free admission.

The festival typically draws 600 to 700 people each year, Urso said.

Learning from what visitors like to do and see from past events, she said they’ve really “tightened it up.”

Though Urso said the forecast is “looking absolutely dynamite,” in the case of a light rain, music, seating, and vendors are all under tents.

The event is for all ages and dogs are welcome on leashes or in carriers.

Sam’s Mill Fest is presented in partnership with the city of Pawtucket, the National Park Service, the Carter Fund, and the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. The campus is wheelchair accessible.