Special Event


First Strike Festival

Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park



Location: LAT/LONG: 41.877821, -71.382484

The Festival will be happening at Old Slater Mill National Historic Landmark

Dates & Times


Saturday, May 21, 2022


11:00 AM


6 hours

Type of Event

Cultural/Craft Demonstration
Guided Tour
Partner Program


On May 21, 2022, the public is invited to the inaugural First Strike Festival at Old Slater Mill in downtown Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Nearly 200 years ago, one hundred women weavers walked out of the textile mills in the village of Pawtucket beginning the first industrial labor strike in America. The National Park Service will offer an exciting lineup of free performances in commemoration of that historic moment in American history, cohosted by the Rhode Island dance company The Haus of Glitter.

Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park will cohost The First Strike Festival with The Haus of Glitter on Saturday, May 21, 2022. Come for a day full of live dance, song, and storytelling from 11am – 5pm. The entire event is free and family friendly. The First Strike Festival is centered around a celebration of spring weather, honoring the struggle for labor rights, acknowledging the complexity of American history, and welcoming rest and peace.

On the main stage, check out performances from the Capeverdean American Community Development Association, Eastern Medicine Singers, Mark Cutler, Mystic Garland Dancers, Rhode Island Black Storytellers and more. Bring a blanket and picnic to enjoy hours of rest, renewal, and history.

Throughout the day, park rangers will offer free tours inside of Slater Mill. Outside, partners from the Old Slater Mill Association, Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor, Blackstone Collaborative, Metamorphosis Dance Company, RI Spinners Guild, RI Master Gardeners, and others will offer fun, family-friendly activities.


Schedule of Performances on the Main Stage:

Emceed by Haus of Glitter

11:00 AM - Mystic Garland Dancers

12:00 PM - Capeverdean American Community Development 

1:00 PM - Mark Cutler

2:00 PM - Rhode Island Black Storytellers

3:00 PM - Eastern Medicine Singers

4:00 PM - Jay Brunelle

Reservation or Registration: No

Contact Information

Andrew Schnetzer
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