Rainy Day Critic: The Scituate Art Festival

Although the forecast looks great, “Rainy Day Critic” Kristin Russo is prepared for anything. Here’s her preview of this weekend’s Scituate Art Festival.

It’s going to rain at least one day over the upcoming Columbus Day weekend. I’m sure of it. How do I know? Regardless of what my weather app tells me, I know it is going to rain because this weekend hosts the 52nd Annual Scituate Art Festival, from Saturday, Oct. 6 to Monday, Oct. 8.

The town is already preparing for the onslaught of thousands that attends the festival each year. If you drive through North Scituate Village, you can see the welcome banner has been hoisted and picnic tables and tents will soon move in. Of the three days of this much-loved, much-anticipated community event, two days are generally bright, warm, and sunny—typical of early fall in New England.

For reasons very closely related to Murphy’s Law, there is always at least one day during festival weekend when it rains so hard it feels like we’re in a rainforest during monsoon season. Usually, a single day’s weather during festival weekend threatens apocalyptic rainstorms that bring Noah’s Ark-type flooding.

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That is the day that you should go to the festival.

Why? Because you’ll have the place to yourself.

The Scituate Art Festival 

The Scituate Art Festival draws thousands of visitors each year, mostly on the sunny days. The festival is a free, family-friendly event that welcomes all, young and old, artist and non-artist, pumpkin spice lover and pumpkin spice hater alike. They all show up. Thousands of people, I tell you. This is no exaggeration. During festival hours, the main road through North Scituate Village is closed to traffic from Route 6 to the Route 6 truck bypass. It is clogged with people.

People show up for the deep-fried Oreos at the Scituate Booster Club booth (mouth-wateringly good), the amazing raffle at the Old Congregational Church (there are some really cool prizes; my son won a Tom Brady rookie card one year) and the hundreds of juried artists showing and selling their work.

Master glass artist Neal Drobnis, who earned his MFA at the Rhode Island School of Design, is a festival fixture. His one-of-a-kind pieces are featured in public and private galleries and collections. His studio is right in Scituate, and festival-goers look forward to seeing his newest work each year. https://www.nealdrobnis.net/

Artists come from far and wide to the event. One of my favorites, Tracy Lizotte from Acton, Maine, creates original watercolors with charming subjects—children, nature, and children enjoying nature. I buy a piece from her every year, and my collection is growing. https://tracylizottestudios.com/

Live bands will serenade you while you peruse antiques and crafts tents or eat from one of the many, many tantalizing food booths. In addition to the aforementioned deep-fried Oreos, there are meatball subs, clam chowder, fried dough with cinnamon and sugar, kettle corn popcorn, and apple dumplings, and, of course, pumpkin spice coffee. This is just the beginning of a long list of deliciousness available at the food court.

Live bands set to perform include the R.I. Rednecks and The Billy Harpin Band on Saturday; Tribeca, Danny, Angie & Chops, and The Reggie Centracchio Quintet on Sunday; and Nightlife Orchestra on Monday.

There is every reason to attend the festival on all three days. There is so much to see and do, you could go every day and not see everything.

But if you can only go one day, choose the rainy day. Most of the crowds stay home, and you can meander and peruse to your heart’s content. Bring a plastic bag to sit on in the drenched food court—you’ll have no trouble finding a seat, but you’ll want it to be dry. Also, bring an umbrella and wear waterproof shoes, and you’ll be perfectly comfortable in the driving rain. Trust me on this. See you there.