Bowen's Wharf has a new event to its roster in 2016: The Newport Oyster Festival will debut on May 20-22, 2016, offering oysters captured from local waterways across Rhode Island, home to upwards of 45 oyster farms.

"Like wine, oysters draw their unique flavors from their environment. Oysters taste like the sea, but the sea tastes different in every bay," writes Oyster guru Rowan Jacobsen in his book and online blog about oystering in North America.

Arrive by land or sea to enjoy oysters from all over Rhode Island, meet the growers and shuckers, plus, enjoy a rare opportunity to find your own pearl within the wide selection of local oyster offerings. The festival's success rides on the coattails of 25 years experience running the Bowen's Wharf Seafood Festival, and hopes to bring together shllfisherman and restaurant owners together again. Tickets will be sold online, and in person, so attendees will enjoy oysters in any form they choose: raw, steamed, roasted, Rockefeller, fried, stewed, all served with flavorful sauces, beverages, and of course, unparalled technique. The new festival will also debut a program called Oysters Gone Wild, brought to fruition by the efforts of a collaboration between the RI Nature Conservancy and area oyster bars and educators. The program works to collect oyster shells in an effort to provide nursery habitats for other shellfish and fish, and protect against shoreline erosion, as the shells act as natural water filters for plants, animals, and people. Restaurants are invited to work with the organization on recycling initiatives by contacting the directly. What to Expect

  • Great oysters (this one could go without saying)
  • Local educators will share insider information on conservation and the oyster industry.
  • Meet the growers themselves while they and their teams of expert shuckers produce thousands of delectable oysters, each with it's own special flavor.
  • Live music and contests.
  • The Pilot House Newport will be offering tickets for water tours as well as tickets and info for how to best explore living history through Newport's Old Quarter, famed Bellevue Avenue, America's Cup Avenue and more.

Check for online ticket sales in the new year at

Around The Wharf

Unique shops and galleries will host special oyster art exhibits, talks, tastings and sell accessories for the novice and the expert.