Coinciding with the First Annual Newport Oyster Festival, Bowen’s Wharf Co. has announced the launch of the Rhode Island Oyster Trail (R.I.O.T). The official launch of the R.I.O.T will take place at the Opening Night Party of the Newport Oyster Festival on May 20th at 6 p.m. The Trail will celebrate Rhode Island’s aquaculture and promote the heritage and future of this important piece of the economy within the Ocean State.

“Both locals and visitors are continually looking for something that is unique to Rhode Island,” said Bart Dunbar, President of Bowen’s Wharf Company. “The Rhode Island Oyster Trail will highlight oysters from the Ocean State, the farmers that grow them and the restaurants that serve them. Visitors will be connected year-round to something that is a growing part of Rhode Island’s culture and they’ll know that the oysters they order are fresh from our waters, straight from our farmers.”

Mingle with a small group of growers shucking under the lights and festival tents at the Newport Oyster Festival Opening Night Party and official launch of the R.I.O.T. Santa Margherita wine and prosecco will create perfect pairings for a memorable and informational marriage of “merroir” and tasting notes. Featured oysters are: Aquidnecks, Breachways, Chessawanocks, Salt Ponds, Matunucks and Watch Hills.

Tickets are $125 and are limited to 150 people, benefitting the Ocean State Aquaculture Association and SSV Oliver Hazard Perry. Tickets include all-you-can-eat, freshly shucked oysters, open bar with complimentary wine glass. Curated selections of Santa Margherita wine and prosecco pairings will accompany each oyster. With a true ocean (or pond)-to-table experience, guests will be served signature Oyster Festival drinks and a variety of delicacies from the Ocean State’s best chefs at Matunuck Oyster Bar, The Landing, and Cru Café/Russell Morin Catering.

As a member of the R.I.O.T, benefits include a business profile and map location on the new website, use of the R.I.O.T logo, digital marketing and eligibility to participate in trail-related events. To join the R.I.O.T, contact Trixie Wadson at: or call 401.849.2243.

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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 -

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 and 401-662-1653.