"We wanted to celebrate 35 years in a great way," said Tina Go, vice-chair of the festival, as well as the parade co-chair and grand marshall co-chair. Go, who was in the first Autumnfest in 1978 with Stadium Theater's Cathy Levesque (they had a clown act at the time involving dueling banjos) said this year's Autumnfest fireworks will be the most spectacular, eclipsing the city's annual Fourth of July display. "This is our spectacular," Go said.
Friday, Oct. 11 The Rotary Beer Garden opens at 6 p.m. for members of the public 21 and older. Featured acts are Steve Malec and the Electric Flood and Through the Doors.
Saturday, Oct. 12 The weekend starts off at 10 a.m. at WWII Memorial Park with opening ceremonies at the Rotary Stage, followed by hours of dancers, bands and singers culminating with The Autumnfest Doo Wop Spectacular. The headliner act features three performances as the Saturday night headliner: The Legendary Teenagers, The Chiffons, and Dicky Doo and The Dont’s featuring Gerry Granahan, all performing with the Coast-to-Coast band Emceed by Todd Baptista.
- Kidfest performances on a separate stage begin at 10:45 a.m. and run until 5:30 p.m., including a magician, reptile show, clowns, dancers and Zac Richards as Justin Bieber.
- The Autumnfest Kids Challenge, an annual triathlon involving a 250-foot crawl-foot race/half-mile run/half-mile bike race, starts its first heat at 11:05 a.m. at the beach area along East School Street, with the fifth and final heat starting at 12:30 p.m.
- The Rotary Beer Garden is open at 1 to 10 p.m. for members of the public 21 and older. Featured acts are Ruckus and Steve Smith & The Nakeds.
Sunday, Oct. 13 Autumnfest's second day begins at 10 a.m. with another full day and night of entertainment, including polka, rock, soul/R&B, dancers, and The Big Nazo Band at the Rotary Stage, with fireworks at 9 p.m.
- Kidfest performances on a separate stage begin at 11 a.m., including a return of the clowns, reptile show and Zac Richards as Michael Jackson.
- A "Megawar" tug of war competition runs in the beach area of the park from noon till 4 p.m.
- The Rotary Beer Garden is open at 1 to 10 p.m. for members of the public 21 and older. Featured acts are Schwarze Schafe, a German band, and Brass Attack.
Monday, Oct. 14 The day begins at 9:30 a.m., sharp, with the annual Autumnfest Parade, a gigantic, winding 10-division parade running from Diamond Hill Road through the city. The parade boasts several floats from local organizations including the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council, the Knights of Columbus and St. James Baptist Church.
The parade is full of spectacles and surprises for people who crowd along the route on sidewalks, porches and driveways, reclining on cars, blankets and folding chairs. Private cookouts and parties are also held during the parade. "I just think it's pretty cool," said Go.
Back at WWII Park, the Rotary Stage performances begin at 1 p.m. and last through 6 p.m., including a selection of rock, dance and big band acts.
The Kidfest stage starts up at 12:30 p.m. including a clown, magician, reptile show and the return Zac Richards as Justin Bieber.
The Rotary Beer Garden is open at 2 to 6 p.m. for members of the public 21 and older. Monday's act is The Niteflies.