What started as a plan for a birthday pig roast quickly turned into something much bigger when Uriah Donnelly and friends hosted the Warren Folk’s Festival in July of 2016.
“The idea started because a few friends in town have the same birthday and we were going to have a big pig roast to celebrate,” reveals Donnelly, founding member and executive director of The Collaborative, the nonprofit, volunteer-run arts organization that hosts the event. “That turned into a full-fledged festival pretty quickly as we kept coming up with ideas to make it more fun.” Now, the festival is a free, one-day event with arts and crafts, food, drink, and live music.
“We called it the Warren Folk’s Festival because we wanted to celebrate the town that we all love and the people in it,” says Donnelly. “So, it’s not a folk festival, it’s a folk’s festival, for Warren folks and their friends.”
For its third year, the festival will return on August 5 at Cutler Mill from 12-8pm. There will be dozens of local artists, a kiddie crafts table, the Little Outdoor Giants mobile photobooth, food vendors like Balasco’s Pizzeria and Eli’s Kitchen, a craft beer garden sponsored by Narragansett Brewery, and a musical line up including Haunt the House, The Quahogs, and more. All proceeds go towards operational costs for the organization to continue providing educational, arts-related programs to the community like artist receptions and workshops.
Donnelly lovingly credits the town of Warren for the event’s success: “It’s our festival, but we couldn’t do any of it without the help and support of our community.”