What to see, what to eat and where to park

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PROVIDENCE– PVDFest is back after a pandemic-induced two-year break. That means music, art, food, fun and, as Mayor Jorge Elorza says, “lots of dancing in the streets.”

Wondering what to do and where to go? We have what you need.

The stage on the biggest day of PVD Fest 2016, a giant arts and entertainment festival in downtown Providence

When is PVDFest?

The party kicks off downtown Friday at 5 p.m. and continues until 10 p.m. Saturday festivities begin at 12 p.m. and continue until 8 p.m., and Sunday, the final day, will run from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Who will perform at PVDFest?

The administration of Elorza has musical acts wanted straight from New Orleans to bring the iconic Big Easy flair to Providence. The includes the Grammy winner Renaissance marching band and jazz trumpeter Kermit Ruffinswho will be the headliner of the first day alongside the local Group of intergalactic creatures Big NAZOdecked out in alien heads and spacesuits.

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Day two will feature another Grammy winner, Eddie Palmieri and his 11-person salsa band, plus a host of other acts ranging from belly dancers and a drum troupe to a magician and mime.

Lima’s indie band Hit La Rosa will headline day three, which will also feature the Rhode Island National Guard Marching Band, a Chicago dance crew and other performers.

A full calendar of events and artists is available at pvdfest.com.

I’m hungry. What’s to eat?

You’re lucky. A food truck village in Kennedy Plaza will feature local favorites from Blount Clam Shack, Haven Brothers, Newport Creamery and more. Be sure to check the festival website for a full list of foods as options will change daily. However, we know Del’s will be there every day. Sure.

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Where is PVDFest and how do I get there? What about road closures in Providence?

If you plan to drive, be aware of the street closures that will occur throughout the festival. A full list is available at PVDFest FAQs under “Where can I park?” Additionally, see GoProvidence.com to find out where to leave your car.

The city encourages visitors to use alternative modes of transportation to get there. For those using public transport, be sure to check out RIPTAs list of relocated bus stops and circuitous routes online. Attendees are also encouraged to cycle to the event, although the city has requested that bicycles, e-bikes and e-scooters not cross the festival during opening hours due to heavy foot traffic.

What about COVID-19 precautions?

At this point, it will depend on the visitors. The city said “in accordance with state and local guidelines, there will be no vaccination, testing or masking requirements.” This means that wearing a mask will be a personal decision. That being said, COVID-19 is still here. As of Wednesday, Providence and the state as a whole were in medium transition from the virus, according to the Rhode Island Department of Health.

For those interested, a screening and vaccination stand organized by RIDOH and the Asthénis Pharmacy will be located to the right of the Town Hall Stage where the city offers free rapid tests and vaccines on Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., without appointment.

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