South Kingstown Community
South Kingstown, situated in Washington County, Rhode Island, serves as both a town and the county seat. As of the 2020 census, its population was recorded at 31,931. South Kingstown is the second-largest town in Rhode Island in terms of total geographic area, with New Shoreham taking the top spot, and it ranks as the third largest town in Rhode Island when considering land area, following Exeter and Coventry.
The town is home to a vibrant arts and entertainment scene, featuring notable art galleries like the Hera Gallery in Wakefield, the South County Art Association in Kingston, and occasionally the Courthouse Center for the Arts (CCA) in West Kingston. The theatrical offerings include The Contemporary Theater Company in Wakefield, the Theatre-by-the-Sea in Matunuck, and the CCA. South County Cinema 8 in Wakefield is the sole cinema, having replaced the independently run Campus Cinema in the early 2000s. The town also offers numerous music and entertainment venues, including the University of Rhode Island’s Ryan Center and smaller locations like Lily Pads in Peace Dale and the CCA.
The town shares its borders with neighboring areas: Westerly to the west, Richmond to the north, Hopkinton to the northwest, and South Kingstown to the east. Within the town, you’ll find the village of Charlestown in the southeast, Quonochontaug in the southwest, and Carolina situated along the northern border.
Charlestown boasts Ninigret Park, which was once the location of the Naval Auxiliary Air Station Charlestown. Today, it’s a highly popular destination for recreational sports, featuring a small beachfront, a bike track, sports fields, and tennis courts. The park is also home to the Frosty Drew Nature Center & Observatory. Ninigret Park hosts the majority of large events in Charlestown, including the Charlestown Seafood Festival, the Big Apple Circus, and the Rhythm And Roots music festival.
The Charlestown, RI Chamber of Commerce organizes an annual seafood and lobster festival in the first week of August. Local businesses and vendors set up booths for various seafood-based events. Notably, the Seafood Festival has earned recognition as one of the Top 100 Events in America by the American Tour Bus Association in 1988, 1996, and 2008.
Westerly is a picturesque town located along the southwestern coast of Washington County, Rhode Island. It was first settled by English colonists in 1661 and officially incorporated as a municipality in 1669. This charming beachfront community graces the state’s southern shoreline and was home to 23,359 residents according to the 2020 census.
Westerly comprises several quaint villages, with Downtown Westerly situated along the Pawcatuck River serving as the heart of the town. Here, you can find historical landmarks such as the old town post office, library, YMCA, railroad station, and elegant granite buildings. Wilcox Park adds to the town’s allure.
Throughout the year, Westerly hosts a variety of annual events to delight both residents and visitors. These include the Pawcatuck River Duck Race in April, the Virtu Art Festival in May, Shakespeare in the Park and the Summer Pops presented by the Chorus of Westerly in June, and Riverglow in July. In recent times, the Westerly-Pawcatuck Chamber of Commerce’s events have drawn a considerable crowd, featuring activities like outdoor movies on the beach in July and August, Westerly’s Columbus Day parade in October, and various beachfront gatherings.