Oliver Hazard Perry
The Oliver Hazard Perry

(photo credit Onne van der Wal)

This weekend (October 17-18), attendees at the 25th Annual Bowen’s Wharf Seafood Festival in Newport will enjoy an opportunity to board the 200-foot Tall Ship SSV Oliver Hazard Perry, the Ocean State’s Official Sailing Education Vessel and the first ocean-going full-rigged ship built in America in over a century. The ship will be dockside and open for visits on both Saturday and Sunday while the Seafood Festival, named one of the “10 Fabulous Fall Festivals on the Coast,” by Coastal Living Magazine, offers fabulous fare from a record number of participating restaurants and fine-food vendors plus live music and other waterfront entertainment for the entire family.

“The 25th Annual Bowen’s Wharf Seafood Festival is a free, long-running fall favorite in New England, and it’s thrilling that as part of the festival, the public will have the opportunity to view the Perry up close and visit her on deck and down below,” said Bart Dunbar, president of Bowen’s Wharf Co.

Dunbar, who also is chair of Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island, the non-profit organization behind the ship, said Bowen’s Wharf Co. was the first donor to the ship. (Other donors to the ship who take part in the Seafood Festival include Bannister’s Wharf, Newport Harbor Hotel & Marina and Newport Harbor Corporation.) Its contribution eight years ago allowed for the purchase of the ship’s original steel hull, which was towed to Newport from Canada.

The impressive silhouette of SSV Oliver Hazard Perry includes a towering three-masted rig, the tallest part of which reaches 13 ½ stories high; a total of 19 spars that have been turned from massive Douglas fir trees on the largest spar lathe in North America; seven miles of rope and wire that have been made integral to the ship’s operation by tradesmen trained in both modern and traditional rigging techniques; and 20 sails, both square and fore-and-aft that total 14,000 square feet.

Plan your visit to SSV Oliver Hazard Perry during the published Bowen’s Wharf Seafood Festival hours of 11 to 5 (last boarding begins at 4:30). An interactive craft and storytelling session for kids courtesy of Tyler’s Tall Tales takes place Saturday from 2 to 4:30 and Sunday from 11-1:30. Boarding requires tickets available for purchase near the ship’s gangway at family-friendly prices: $1 for kids ages 12 and under (must be accompanied by an adult) and $5 for 13 and over. Special group prices can be arranged for school and scout groups by calling 401-841-0080 before noon on Friday, October 16. The ship is handicap accessible.

To learn more about SSV Oliver Hazard Perry and its programs, or to donate, go to www.ohpri.org or call +1 401-841-0080.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.

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