Volvo Ocean Race Newport
Photo by Ainhoa Sanchez/Volvo Ocean Race

Call them the “biggest”, “best”, “most popular”, “top” or whatever else you want – we think these are the events you shouldn’t miss in 2018!

Start marking those calendars.

(In chronological order)

1. 30th Annual Newport Winter Festival – February 16 – 25: Featuring over 150 events, the Festival offers a unique winter experience combining food, festivities, music, and fun for all ages. More info at

2. 22nd Annual WINEterfest – February 17 – 18: Celebrate the season at our 22nd Annual WINEterfest Weekend. Two days full of grape stomping, ice wine bar tasting goodness. Enjoy live music from Little Compton Band, while sipping at their infamous Ice Wine Bar and noshing on food created by scratch from our culinary team. Feeling competitive? You could be called to compete in their Grape Stomp Competitions! More info at

3. 62nd Annual Newport Saint Patrick’s Day Parade – March 17: The parade begins at 11 a.m. at City Hall, runs through Washington Square, down Thames Street, and ends at St. Augustine’s Church. More info at

4. Spring & Fall Newport Restaurant Week – March 2 – 11 and November 2 – 11: Newport Restaurant Week takes place both in the spring and in the fall with more than 50 participating restaurants offering extraordinary three-course prix fixe lunches for $16 and three-course prix fixe dinners for $35. More info at

5. 5th Annual Newport Night Run – April 7: The fifth annual Newport Night Run, the only night run in Newport, will be held on Saturday, April 7 and will benefit the Newport Public Education Foundation. More info at

6. 5th Annual Newport Daffodil Days Festival – April 14-22: In 2017 there where over 20 fun events amidst 681,750 bursts of golden-hued daffodils throughout the City by the Sea, 2018 can only get bigger, better and daffier! More info at

7. Annual Newport Craft Beer Festival – April 28: Hand-crafted beers poured by the people who make them! Brought to you by Newport Storm Brewery and Pour Judgement Bar & Grill, at the Great Friends Meeting House (of the Newport Historical Society) in downtown Newport, RI. Proceeds benefit the Rhode Island Brewers Guild. More info at

8. Annual Island National Police Parade – May 6: The parade features over 4,000 law enforcement participants to commemorate National Police Week. Parade starts on West Main Road going towards Newport. More info at

9. Volvo Ocean Race Newport Stopover – May 8 – 20: The Volvo Ocean Race is often described as the longest and toughest professional sporting event in the world, sailing’s toughest team challenge and one of the sport’s Big Three events, alongside the Olympics and America’s Cup. Newport will once again welcome the Volvo Ocean Race and more than 100,000 fans in its 13th edition in May. More info at

10. 3rd Annual Bowen’s Wharf Oyster Festival – May 18 – 20: Bowen’s Wharf will host the 3rd annual Newport Oyster Festival on May 18 – 20 to promote Rhode Island-grown oysters. This will be your big chance to slurp oysters from all over Rhode Island, meet the growers, the shuckers and generally be a part of a feel-good festival where you’ll actually be helping our aquaculture and local environment! More info at

11. 37th Annual Great Chowder Cook-Off – June 2: The legendary Great Chowder Cook-Off is the original and longest-running event of its kind in the nation, and officially kicks off Rhode Island’s summer festivities!  Enjoy endless samples of traditional and exotic creations- over 20 local, national and international competitors. You vote for your favorites and the winners walk away with overflowing prize pots and bragging rights for the year! More info at

12. BankNewport 10 Miler – June 3: The course prominently features Newport’s scenic coastal views and ends with a truly unique finish as participants enter Fort Adams through the north gate and finish on the parade field. More info at

13. Annual Newport Flower Show – June 22 – 24: Gilded Age “cottages” were built with every convenience, designed for entertaining and to represent a lifestyle. Today’s cottages, much like their gilded ancestors, are also about lifestyle.  Join the Preservation Society of Newport County to celebrate the tiniest of homes, which are smart in both technology and style.  Their adjacent gardens are equally thoughtful, livable spaces, both functional and beautiful.  More info at

14. 2018 Dell Technologies Hall of Fame Open – July 15 -22:  Contested on the historic grass tennis courts of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, the tournament is the only event played on grass courts outside of Europe, and it offers the only opportunity to see professional men’s tennis in the Northeast prior to the US Open. More info at

15. 35th Annual Black Ships Festival – July (dates tbd): A Festival celebrating the friendship between Newport and their sister city Shimoda, Japan offering a variety of events emphasizing both Japanese art and culture. More info at

16. Annual Craft Brew Races Newport – July 21: A fun walk/run 5k in Newport followed by a craft beer festival with more than 30 local craft breweries. More info at

17. 59th Annual Newport Folk Festival – July 27 – 29: The Newport Folk Festival, founded by George Wein in 1959, takes place on the grounds at Fort Adams State Park and features three stages of music, food, crafts and a number of displays. More info at

18. 10th Annual Newport Bridgefest – July 30 – August 2: The Newport BridgeFest is a local, live music and music education festival that “bridges” the gap between the prestigious Newport Folk and Jazz Festivals for a continuous 10 days of music in our community. More info at

19. 64th Annual Newport Jazz Festival – August 3 – 5: The festival features three full days of jazz on three unique stages at Fort Adams, one of the Park system’s national treasures situated at the mouth of Newport Harbor with panoramic views of the Newport Bridge and the East Passage. More info at

20. A Weekend of Coaching – August 16 – 19: Authentic 19th century coaches drawn by matched and highly-trained teams of horses visit Newport every three years for a Weekend of Coaching, hosted by The Preservation Society of Newport County.  More info at

21. 48th Annual Newport International Boat Show – September 13 – 16: One of the largest in-water boat shows in the country, NIBS features a full range of powerboats and sailboats from both domestic and international manufacturers. More info at

22. 4 Bridges Ride – September 17: Four bridges. Twenty-six miles. One unique experience. The 4 Bridges Ride is a not-for-profit event that allows cyclists the one-of-a-kind opportunity to bike across Rhode Island’s beautiful bridges. All proceeds from the 4 Bridges Ride are donated to charity. More info at

23. 13th Annual Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival – September 20 – 23: Held in one of the most spectacular settings in America, this remarkable weekend experience features hundreds of wines from around the world, fabulous food, cooking demonstrations by nationally-renowned chefs, live and silent auctions and a gala celebration. More info at

24. 4th Annual Rogue Island Comedy Festival – October 4 – 8: Rhode Island’s only stand-up comedy festival brings the best nationally known comedians to historic Newport! More info at

25. Newport Marathon & Half Marathon – October 7: Thousands will participate in this 13.1 or 26.2 mile run through Aquidneck Island. This seaside USATF certified course showcases the best of Newport and Middletown. More info at

26. 28th Annual Bowen’s Wharf Seafood Festival – October 13 – 14: Historic Bowen’s Wharf in downtown Newport, RI, will host the 28th annual Bowen’s Wharf Seafood Festival, on October 13th and 14th. Named one of the “10 Fabulous Fall Festivals on the Coast,” by Coastal Living Magazine, this event is an open invitation to come back to the waterfront after the rush of the summer season! More info at

27. 8th Annual Citizen’s Bank Pell Bridge Run – October 21: This event is the most unique road race experience in the northeast! Once a year pedestrians are allowed to run or walk across the Claiborne Pell Bridge from Jamestown to Newport. More info at

28. City Of Newport’s Illuminated Boat Parade – November 23: The City of Newport lights up the harbor on Black Friday with dozens of boats participating in the annual illuminated boat parade.

29. 3rd Annual Newport Holiday Stroll – 1st & 2nd weekend of December:  Make your holidays merry and bright in Newport during the festive season by joining us for the Newport Holiday Stroll in December. More info at

30. Bowen’s Wharf 48th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting – December 1: Festivities begin at 4:30 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). More info at

Notable Series in 2018:

The Newport Music Festival Chamber Music Series – January – October: Newport Music Festival continues the tradition of presenting unique chamber music programs, American debuts, world-class artists and gala special events in the Gilded Age summer cottages of Newport, Rhode Island. More Info at

90th Annual Winter Speaker Series – January 6 – February 17: This year marks the 90th Winter Speaker Series at the Newport Art Museum! Spend Saturday afternoons with seven inspiring, enlightening and entertaining speakers this winter. Topics include assessing Trump’s presidency, art in public places, the future of museums, the fate of newspapers in the digital age, and more. The Newport Art Museum’s Winter Speaker Series reveals new creative communities in some of today’s most exciting fields. More info at

newportFILM – Schedule TBD: newportFILM is a year-round, non-profit documentary film series in Newport, Rhode Island that features established and emerging filmmakers and their current documentary films, curated from film festivals around the world. More info at

Newport Polo Series – Schedule TBD: The Newport International Polo Series features teams from around the world & from major US cities competing against USA / Newport.  The coming season promises an exciting lineup of action-packed polo matches, international team debuts and memorable special events for fun on and off the field, supported by an enthusiastic spectator audience. More info at

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.