City to cancel popular philharmonic and fireworks. 

PAWTUCKET –  Mayor Donald R. Grebien announces that due to a generous sponsorship donation, the Pawtucket Teachers’ Alliance (PTA) were instrumental in allowing Pawtucket Arts Festival organizers to host its annual Arts Festival this September.  

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic,  Pawtucket was facing cancelation of its large outdoor festival to protect the public.

According to Festival Director Anthony Ambrosino, for 17 years, PTA has tied its $15,000 sponsorship to bringing the Rhode Island Pops Orchestra to PAF’s Slater Park Fall Festival, attracting thousands to the City’s largest Park.“Rather than sponsoring the Pops, the PTA’s Executive Board voted to reallocate their $15,000. Instead of sponsoring the Rhode Island Pops Orchestra they would become the festivals Naming Sponsor, allowing us to provide other arts programming and celebrate our 22nd year,” says Ambrosino. “We also owe a big thank you to Bristol County Savings Bank, who normally sponsor Slater Parks Fireworks presentation immediately following the philharmonic. “They too came through for us and allowed the funding to be used for other events at the festival,” added Ambrosino.

“Since the inception of the Pawtucket Arts Festival in 1999, the Pawtucket Teachers’ Alliance has been the largest sponsor. Their commitment to bringing art and cultural activities to the City is very evident with their lifetime sponsorships to PAF totaling almost $300,000,” says Mayor Donald R. Grebien.“We thank the Pawtucket Teachers’ Alliance for their prominent role in bringing a safe and family-friendly event to all of our residents."

PAF organizers did everything they could to try to bring the popular Pops orchestra back to Slater Park, stated Grebien.  “In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are many obstacles that blocked PAF from staging this event,” said Mayor Grebien. Grebien noted, since this event attracts thousands of people, “There were many logistical difficulties to consider and we still don’t know what the situation will look like come Labor Day. We’re choosing to go with a festival that maintains the spirit of the arts in Pawtucket without putting anyone at risk.”

PTA’s President Ronald Beaupre added: “Many of our members live in Pawtucket and we're committed to making the city a better place to live and work.  We are strongly committed to ensuring the community is thriving, and that our students are provided with educational opportunities they otherwise may not have gotten. We are thrilled to be the naming sponsor of the Pawtucket Arts Festival, the City’s largest event.  By us donating money and the unanimous vote, it shows we want to make sure this community continues to succeed in many ways, including the arts.”