Memorial Day Weekend serves as the unofficial start of the summer season in these parts, and we’re excited to begin that season with a good forecast and some family-friendly events. Check out Memorial Day parades happening throughout the region (check your local listings), and a few more fun events happening this weekend in our column “Six Picks Events.”

All Weekend: The Rogue Island Comedy Festival begins Thursday, May 25, with a dozen shows at various spots around Aquidneck Island. Catch some great acts, including Napoleon Emill, Mike Cannon, Laura Severse, and festival organizer Doug Key who we interviewed earlier this week here. Click here for details.

All Weekend: Speaking of Rogues, the Gaspee Days Arts and Crafts Festival kicks off the annual celebration of the burning of the British ship the HMS Gaspee in 1772, an incident that preceded the American Revolution. The festival along Narragansett Parkway in Warwick features food, drink and over 100 artisans, community groups, and non-profits. Click here for details.

All Weekend: The final play of the 22-23 season’s at Trinity Rep in Providence tells the classic story of “the demon barber of Fleet Street.” Eight-time winning Tony Award musical Sweeny Todd, directed by Curt Columbus with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, opens this weekend and runs through June 25. Click here for details.

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All Weekend: Don’t miss Wilbury Theatre‘s Goodnight, Sweetheart Goodnight at the Waterfire Arts Center in Providence. The new musical is based on the true story of baroque artist Artemisia Gentileschi, whose work was impacted by the trauma she suffered after being raped by her teacher and family friend. Learn more about the play in our interview with playwright Darcie Dennigan here. Click here for details and tickets to the show.

All Weekend: Boots on the Ground is an annual event at Fort Adams State Park honoring service members lost since 9-11 in the war on terror. Over 7,000 boots and flags are set up in the fort to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. The event is free and open to the public. Click here for details.

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All Summer Long: Hit the beach! Rhode Island state beaches are officially open this weekend through Labor Day. Expect increased traffic and sun seekers all summer long. Reminder: Even though the air temperatures may be on the cooler side, the sun is as bright as mid-July. Cover up and wear sunscreen! Click here for a list of beaches, parking passes and more.

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