Annual Special Events
Through the decades, Newport and our surrounding coastal communities have developed such a fantastic social calendar that today, our destination is known as a world-class event venue. Here’s just a snapshot of some of our most anticipated celebrations. See a complete list of our events on our Events page. All events subject to change:
Polar Bear Plunges
Think heading to the beach is only a summertime thing? Think again. Throughout our destination, the bravest (or craziest?) of them all start the New Year off with a plunge into the chilling waters of the sea. Spectators may have as much fun as participants.
Annual Newport Winter Festival
Known as New England’s largest winter extravaganza, the Winter Festival includes more than 150 events for kids and adults alike over a 10-day span.
Newport St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Irish immigrants have played a large role in Newport history including the hundreds of men who helped build historic Fort Adams in the early to mid-1800s and those who worked as servants, maids and household staff at the famed mansions during the Gilded Age. Today, Newport’s Irish heritage is celebrated throughout March cresting with the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the longest running Saint Patrick's Day parade in New England.
Everything is coming up…daffodils! Tens of thousands of brilliant yellow daffodils trumpet the arrival of spring at Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum in Bristol. This longstanding tradition includes afternoon teas and sunset garden parties throughout the month. The Newport Daffodil Days Festival is a 10-day affair among half a million daffodils blooming citywide including a car rally, bike tour of the daffodil fields, garden party, daffy doggie parade, elegant home tour and much more.
Newport Oyster Festival
Savor oysters from local growers and restaurants, meet the oystermen of Rhode Island and learn shucking tips from the experts. Also, you can enjoy warming chowders and local specialties while you wander the Newport waterfront or embark on a local oyster hop at participating restaurants.
Newport Flower Show
This outdoor show is considered to be to one of the largest and best known of its kind with horticultural specimens and floral designs, special garden exhibitions, celebrity guest speakers, free lectures, workshops and demonstrations; children's activities and wonderful shopping experiences at the Oceanside Boutiques and Gardeners' Marketplace at Rosecliff.
Dell Technologies Hall of Fame Open and Music Festivals
The Hall of Fame Tennis Championships features the top ATP World Tour players direct from Wimbledon playing on Newport’s historic grass courts. Later in the month are the lauded Newport Music Festival, Newport Folk Festival.
Newport Jazz Festival & Newport International Polo Series
Be a part of History and attend the acclaimed Newport Jazz Festival the first week of August, following the Newport Folk Festival. Finish the month strong when attending the polo matches at Portsmouth’s Glen Farm are played Saturday evenings in June and continue every weekend through September. Attracting crowds in the thousands, spectators are encouraged to tailgate and arrive early!
Newport International Boat Show
It’s no surprise that the Sailing Capital of the World is host to the one of the largest boat shows in the U.S. Spread across 13 waterfront acres, see and board powerboats and sailboats ranging from 15 to 90 feet as well as boating equipment, systems and boating lifestyle accessories. The show also offered informative seminars, events and hands-on training.
Bowen’s Wharf Seafood Festival
Honoring the "Harvest of the Sea," this two-day event features area restaurants and fishermen serving up stuffed clams, scallops, lobster rolls, chowder, bisque, fish tacos and shucked-to-order oysters and plus plenty of fare for landlubbers. Coastal Living Magazine named it one of the "10 Fabulous Fall Festivals on the Coast.”
Newport Restaurant Week returns featuring vibrant dishes, creative menus and ingredients from local farmers and fishermen at more than 50 dining local hotspots. The 10-day event has become known as an extraordinary opportunity to explore our destination’s diverse culinary scene at special prix-fixe prices: $16 three-course lunches and $35 three-course dinners.
Christmas in Newport
This month-long celebration toasts the non-commercial traditions of the holiday season. White lights illuminate homes, shops, restaurants and the bustling wharves in a ritual meant to represent candlelight from days gone by, when families would wait for their loved ones to return home from their seafaring adventures. Holiday events include tree lightings, Polar Express train rides, historical tours, shopping strolls, concerts and dances, Victorian-era Christmas festivities, culinary fêtes, arts and cultural celebrations and more.