The Newport Oyster & Chowder Festival at Bowen's Wharf. Photo provided by Bowen's Wharf Company

Festival season is upon us. Lots of annual fests and more going on this weekend – we’re highlight a few (mostly) free activities around the state. Check out our weekly column “Six Picks: What’s Up in RI this weekend.”

Friday: The Gamm Theatre presents Shakespeare’s King Lear, starring Ian McKellen broadcast live from the National Theatre in London. Considered to be the greatest tragedy ever written, the production is a contemporary re-telling of the classic play. Click here for details.

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Saturday: The Vets in Providence has standup sensation Heather McMahan Saturday night, on “The Comeback Tour.” Known for her podcast, ABSOLUTELY NOT WITH HEATHER MCMAHAN, named one of the Ten Best Podcasts of 2021, the comedian is currently developing a series for NBC televsion. Cick here for details.

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Saturday: The Haus of Codec 2023 Outdoor Marketplace returns to Dexter Park in Providence with over 50 vendors, food trucks and performances and installations from from: QueDulcePvd Spectrum Theatre Ensemble & Pneuhaus. Click here for details.

Saturday and Sunday: The Bristol Vintage Market at Mount Hope Farm in Bristol specializes in high quality repurposed items, antique treasures, and unique artisan creations. Head to the farm this weekend opening at 9AM Saturday and 10AM Sunday. Click here for details.

Saturday and Sunday: The Newport Chowder and Oysterfest is one of the biggest events of the Spring season in the city by the sea. Sample food from over 45 oyster farms, live music with The Copacetics, Julie Rhodes, the Neal McCarthy Band along with local restaurants sharing their fare. Click here for details.

Sunday: Stop by Rolfe Square in Cranston this weekend for family fun and more at the Cranston Spring Street Festival. The event, sponsored in part by the city’s police department, will include over 100 exhibitors, food trucks, a kids tent, and live music. Click here for details.

UPDATE: POSTPONED UNITL August 6: The Hope Street Block Party on the East Side of Providence kicks off Saturday at 11AM with a fashion show, live music, wrestling, street bands, fine shopping, cool demos like glass blowing, a family tent with Ricky Rainbow Beard and more. Click here for details.

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