This Sunday, Sept. 24, Itri Park and Cranston Street, will be filled with food trucks, vendors and a variety of entertainment as the Cranston Police Department sponsors its second Fall Festival from …
This Sunday, Sept. 24, Itri Park and Cranston Street, will be filled with food trucks, vendors and a variety of entertainment as the Cranston Police Department sponsors its second Fall Festival from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Community Outreach Captain Justin Dutra, a member of the department since 2001, said the police department held both a spring and fall festival last year and, after a successful spring festival in May, is proud to be following the tradition this year.
Helping Dutra to organize vendors for the festival is Debbie Wood of We Be Jammin. Dutra said that Wood has a vast network of craft vendors from across the state that she can call on, and went on to say that her help has been instrumental in pulling together the event.
“The street from Itri Square down several blocks will be filled with 150 vendors as well as food trucks,” Wood said while joking that it is actually one of her smaller events. “The size of the festival is, of course, decided by your location and the logistics of it, like how many streets you can afford to close down. There will be a DJ playing and live music.”
Wood added that there would be live dance and martial arts demonstrations, and Dutra confirmed that Cranston Police Therapy Dog Cali would be in attendance and doing her job and putting on the canine demonstration that she has brought to several of the previous events the department has hosted.
Performances by entertainment such as the Carolyn Dutra Dancers, the Cranston High School East and West bands and Miss Rhode Island and Miss Teen Rhode Island will be just a small sampling of what is offered, Dutra said.
Children can look forward to a host of costumed character friends ready to make an appearance and entertain during the event, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be other ways to keep children delighted and busy during the festival. Balloon animals and face painting will also be available from booths set up during the celebration.
“We also have My Sons Inflatables (a North Providence company that rents bounce houses, waterslides and obstacle courses) there setting up a whole inflatable park with a bunch of things,” Dutra said. “There will be a dunk tank along with face painting and other activities for kids.”
Adults looking for something geared more strongly towards the older crowd can look forward to the appearance of a beer garden where attendees can purchase a drink to sit back with and enjoy the festivities.
“For parking the city has prepared the big grass lot off of Knightsville manor,” Dutra said for those worried about finding a spot to park and enjoy the festivities. “We’re having that striped and lined so we can have event parking there. Peters School (George J Peters Elementary) will also be available for parking. There will also be plenty of legal parking if people can find it along the side streets.”
If you’re free on Sunday Dutra says he hopes everyone will have a chance to stop in. With a variety of games and prizes, Dutra said that there are plenty of gift cards to be won by spinning a prize wheel if you’re lucky enough, but even if you don’t win a gift card everyone can still expect to win something.
“This one we did in spring was our third event,” Dutra said. “We did two last year that were up off of Sockanosset. They were great, but we outgrew the location. The Rolfe Street event was our third, and it far surpassed anything we thought it was going to be. It was packed shoulder to shoulder all day long.”
Dutra hopes this event is just as popular as the last festival. These festivals are a way for the Cranston Police Department to connect with the people of the city and, hopefully, create a stronger bond between the police and the people they protect.
Though the weather doesn’t look like it will be a problem on Sept. 24, there is still a rain date of Oct. 1 set for the event just in case.