A crack rings out from the jousting arena as armored knights clash in the pursuit of honor, while sword-swallowers thrill crowds with their death-defying art, jesters spin windy jokes, and townspeople in 15th-century garb roam the grounds tearing into turkey legs with their teeth. The Connecticut Renaissance Faire hosts these medieval-theme blowouts every year, including the Robin Hood Spring Festival and King Arthur’s Fall Harvest Faire. Under the themed umbrella of each gathering, actors caper about a constructed medieval village, engaging in Old English–flavored conversation and clapping games with fair-goers. In a tented marketplace, vendors sell beaded crafts, art, and tyrannical-king repellent alongside stands serving mead, beer, and other satisfying sundries. Although the shows and events vary at each fair, past spectacles have included archery displays, pub sing-alongs, and costume parades.
Thousands of fashionistas flock to StyleFixx Premier Shopping Events to meet up-and-coming independent fashion designers and browse the latest styles. This year’s displays include the 2012 lines of Hivernage NYC, Bling Boutique, and Cimber Designs. In between shopping sprees, attendees may relax with complimentary beauty treatments such as hair services by Dellaria Salons, makeovers by Virginn Pure Mineral Makeup, and body wraps by good-natured mummies. Once pampered, refreshed guests mingle while sipping free cocktails and munching on samples from Finale Desserts and Haru Sushi, and each partygoer receives a StyleFixx Swag Bag loaded with product samples.
The NCAA women's basketball tournament storms into the Elite Eight round as the Kingston Region’s remaining two teams square off in a crowning battle for a spot in the Final Four. Players juke and shuffle across the Ryan Center’s court, dribbling balls and crumpled office brackets during the home stretch of this season’s madness, which began with 11th-seeded Gonzaga upsetting 6th-seeded Rutgers and 3rd-seeded Miami in back-to-back rounds. The region’s early contests have also produced a record-breaking performance by perennial powerhouse UConn, whose stifling defense held Kansas State to a mere 26 points—an all-time low for the NCAA Tournament. Foregoing plans to sneak into the game inside a player's gym bag, fans can sit in one of two available sections to witness the eventual champion claim their trip to Denver for the tourney’s penultimate showdown.
Now in its 16th season riding the rails, the Newport Dinner Train whisks up to 200 passengers through the lush lands and rich history of Aquidneck Island. A 44-ton diesel engine powers the locomotive, which pulls vintage 1940s dining cars, similar to the ones grandparents had to haul barefoot through the snow on their way to school each morning.
Since 1992, the Providence Latin American Film Festival has been lauded for showcasing Latin American, Portuguese, and Spanish feature films, shorts, documentaries, and animations. This year's lineup of 10 moving pictures explores film as a vehicle for expressing and understanding the Latin American experience, from the documentary No Woman, No Cry on the struggles of pregnant women to Hora Cero, an action-packed heist film set in Venezuela. VIPs have access to every film in the lineup, as well as to art exhibits, panel discussions, filmmaker-led workshops, and popcorn-nibbling lessons. With passes to the opening or closing night's soirees, attendees may carouse with the festival's board of directors, corporate sponsors, and party-hat-wearing projectors while munching on appetizers and celebratory cuisine. The opening-night after-party kicks cinematic things off at Roots Café, where invite holders will receive a drink ticket, and Temple Restaurant hosts the closing-night party.
The Coastal Wine Trail Market gathers together the appellation's nine coastal producers, whose vines speckle hillsides along the southern coasts of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Each winery—Truro Vineyards, Travessia Winery, Coastal Vineyards, Running Brook Winery, Westport Rivers Vineyard & Winery, Sakonnet Vineyards, Greenvale Vineyards, Newport Vineyards, and Langworthy Farm Winery—sends representatives bearing bottles and fully housebroken grapes to the Westport Fairgrounds building. Under exposed beams, they greet guests alongside local chocolate, cheese, bread, and other culinary artisans, including Hearth Artisan Bread, Shy Brother's Farm, City Girl Cupcake, and Hana's Honey. Visitors may learn about and perhaps purchase each producer's favored libations—mostly whites and sparkling wines but a few reds—which are characterized by their growing proximity to the coastline and the dual-climatic influences of Gulf Stream waters and the screams of passing waterskiers.