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September 20, 2017

LIST: Public, Private Firework Displays That Will Light Up the Newport Sky in 2017 (UPDATED)


If you love fireworks, this year is shaping up to please you with more than ten firework displays taking place over Newport in 2017.

If you dislike fireworks or have a pet that hates fireworks, hopefully, the following information will be of assistance in preparing you for the displays.

Scheduled Firework Displays (this list was originally published on June 24th, it was last updated on August 16th);

January 1st at 12:01 am – Fireworks for Private Wedding

 A private wedding, scheduled to take place at Belle Mer on Goat Island on December 31st, has plans to host a firework display as the clock hits midnight. Approved by Newport City Council.

July 2nd at 9 pm – Jamestown 4th of July Fireworks (no rain date)

The Fireworks will be fired from a barge in East Ferry. Parking is available along Canonicus Avenue, Narragansett Avenue (and other downtown side streets where parking is not illegal). East Ferry Beach is located on Canonicus Avenue. Enjoy music on the town square starting at 7:30 pm. Approved by Newport City Council.

July 2nd from 9:50 pm to 9:56 pm – Fireworks for Private Wedding (no rain date) 

These fireworks will be shot from a barge off of OceanCliff Resort. Approved by Newport City Council.

July 4th at 9:15 pm for 20 or 30 mins – Newport 4th of July Fireworks Display (rain date – July 5th)

The $27,000 fireworks show begins around 9:15 pm and will be shot off from the North Lawn at Fort Adams State Park. Best viewing is anywhere along Newport Harbor, facing west. Approved by Newport City Council.

July 14th from 9:30 pm to 9:55 pm – Fireworks for Private Event (no rain date)

These fireworks will be shot off from a barge in front of the Marble House. Approved by Newport City Council.

July 15th from 9:30 pm to 9:42 pm – Fireworks for National Governors Association Summer Meeting

These fireworks will be shot off from the front lawn, parking lot at The Eisenhower House. Approved by Newport City Council.

July 22nd from 11:44 pm to 11:59 pm – Fireworks for Private Event (no rain date)

These fireworks will be shot off from Hammersmith Farm. Approved by Newport City Council.

August 5th – Fireworks for Private Event

These fireworks were shot off near Goat Island for an event at Belle Mer. Unlike every other display on this list, this event never went in front of Newport City Council for approval. What’sUpNewp reached out to the City Manager, Mayor, Fire Chief and Fire Marshall on August 14th for comment on this particular event (which could have been illegal), none of those individuals we reached out to has responded to our request for comment/more information at this time.

August 18th from 9:45 pm to 9:46 pm – Private for Wedding (no rain date)

The short fireworks display will be shot off from a pier behind Rosecliff. Approved by Newport City Council.

August 25th from 9:30 pm to 9:40 pm – Private for Wedding Rehearsal (no rain date)

This display will be shot off from a barge off of 670 Bellevue Avenue for a wedding rehearsal. This is pending approval at Newport City Council’s meeting on August 23rd.

August 26th – Salute to Summer Concert & Fireworks Show (no rain date)

Naval Station Newport will host their annual Salute To Summer Concert and Fireworks Show at Dewey Field on August 26th. The show is open to the public and will feature entertainment by Ben O’ Connor, Changes in Latitudes & Navy Band Northeast. Coolers, backpacks, glass bottles, pets, outside food & drinks are not allowed. Food & drink concessions, kid’s area and more!

(All firework displays are obviously dependent on the weather and subject to change. More firework displays may be added as they are submitted to Newport City Council and approved, this list will be updated if more are added.)

There is some concern from environmentalists about firework displays. Many may remember that during the 2015 Volvo Ocean Race Newport Stopover, there were no firework displays because the race believes that it does have a negative impact on the environment. Many other sailing races, regattas and cities across the globe are banning or staying away from using firework displays for celebrations.

“The immediate concern we have had about firework displays is the post-event environmental impact of litter that becomes marine debris. The residual paper, plastic stands and equipment and supplies are an eye sore, and at the same time it is the ‘low hanging fruit’ for issue resolution as it simply requires the permitted entity to make sure they fulfill their post-event obligations,” Dave McLaughlin, Executive Director of Clean Ocean Access told What’sUpNewp. “Speaking of which, all permits that are given in Newport, whether it is for a wedding in a public park or fireworks at the beach, all of them should be required to put in a place a deposit, and submit a complete report assuring that the environmental requirements were addressed after the event.”

Newport City Council will amend Chapter 5.70 of the Codified Ordinances of the City of Newport at their next regularly scheduled Council meeting on June 28th to add “Fireworks Display” to its category of “Special Events” in hopes of holding those responsible for the fireworks display to be good stewards of the environment and city ordidnances. In the updated ordinance, “the property owner, as well as the event sponsor shall be the applicant and sign the license application.”

“However, the other concern is the residual unused fireworks that may litter the coastline and to a much greater exten, it would be the pollution caused by the fireworks in the form or particulate matter in the area as well as chemicals that find their way into the local waters. There have definitely been improvements made in this industry with the transition from chemicals that pose a health hazard to marine and terrestrial life to safer alternatives. Cost is usually the factor that influences whether a permitted agency selects the cheapest-option or the environmentally-friendly option, we certainly would hope for the latter. These pictures from the post-cleanup sort that we performed at Easton’s Beach on January 1, 2015,” McLaughlin said.

For some, they aren’t pleased with the number of firework displays because of how their dogs or farm animals react to it. While others, just want a solid night of sleep and believe the city should limit the number of displays annually.

Certainly, the counter-argument is that firework displays do have a positive impact on the tourism economy. Thousands will line up on the shore for the July 4th display and many more will wait patiently at their favorite restaurant, inn, hotel or spot in Newport to catch the others.

We hope whatever side of the fireworks you are on, that this list will at least educate you on when and where to be prepared for them this summer.

This story will be updated with more information and firework displays if necessary.

This story was originally published on June 24th, it has been updated.

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