The Christmas season begins at the Anchor of the Newport waterfront with the arrival of our tree today! The countdown to Christmas kicks off November 25 with a wharf-wide Holiday Block Party and the City of Newport’s boat parade. The waterfront at Bowen’s Wharf offers exceptional views of the Illuminated Boat Parade which starts at 6:15pm. While the flotilla motors past step into our locally-owned unique boutiques and restaurants for hot cider, in-store specials alongside live music in ‘The North Pole’ with Panoramic View. All are invited to meander through the waterfront and local businesses from 4-8pm, rain or snow, just dress the part! Restaurant reservations should be made early for best viewing.

On Saturday December 3rd, at 6pm sharp, thousands of sparkling lights will illuminate the tree at our historic wharf during the 46th Annual Bowen’s Wharf Christmas Tree Lighting. The whole family can join in caroling, meeting Frosty the Snowman, Santa, and Mrs. Claus at ‘The North Pole’. Make a day of it with lunch or dinner reservations and check off that holiday gift list at our retail shops.

Festivities begin at 4:30 pm with Frosty the Snowman. The Christmas Carol Sing-a-long begins at 5 pm, the Mayor lights the tree at 6 pm immediately followed by Santa and Mrs. Claus arriving by boat (weather permitting). Join us for a magical evening of charm, fun, and good cheer. Restaurants & shops are open before and after the event. Some businesses will offer free refreshments, early afternoon caroling, and shopping specials — all are decorated for the season! Note: The Bowen’s Wharf parking lot will be open until 4 pm the day of the tree lighting.

Two hours of validated parking are available from participating Bowen’s Wharf merchants all season, and there is free parking at designated locations throughout the city of Newport.

Celebrate the traditional sights, sounds and scents of Christmas with us at Bowen’s Wharf during the Newport Holiday Stroll: December 3,4, 10 & 11. Sparkling lights, in-store decorations & promotions, ski repair, demonstrations & restaurant specials. Holidays by the Sea runs through the end of December so Shop, Dine, Stay& Explore in Newport. Complete list of businesses, event & stroll details at Call Bowen’s Wharf Pilot House (401) 849-3478 for tour tickets to mansions, museums, forts and event information.

November 25th, 2016

Time: 4:00-8:00 pm – Watch the boat parade, and shop local this holiday season, enjoy live music and free hot cider. Shop. Dine. Escape to the waterfront this winter!

December 3rd, 2016

Time: 4:30 pm – Frosty the Snowman 5:00 pm – Christmas Carol Sing-A-Long (live music) 6:00 pm – Tree Lighting & Santa arrives FREE ADMISSION!

Founded in the 1740s, Bowen’s Wharf is the anchor of the Newport waterfront. Brick walks, granite quays, and 18th century commercial wharf buildings bring you back to Newport’s earliest beginnings as a thriving seaport in one of the finest natural harbors in New England.

Ryan Belmore is the 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.