Following a story that we published this morning explaining what those yarn-wrapped parking meters meant, What’sUpNewp learned that that yarnbombs were removed from all seventeen of the meters in Washington Square throughout the day on Thursday.

The yarn display, called yarnbombs, and the notes tied to them are meant to raise awareness for Lyme Disease. Which affect almost 300,000 people in the United States every year, according to the Center for Disease Control.

Sometime after we took photos of the yarnbombs in Washington Square on Thursday morning, all of the yarnbombs were removed from parking meters in that area. Around 1 pm, What’sUpNewp readers began commenting on our social media posts that they were observing the yarnbombs being removed in Washington Square.

“The meter people are currently cutting them all off”, Stephanie wrote on our Instagram post.

What’sUpNewp went to Washington Square and observed that all of the yarnbombs had in fact been removed from parking meters in Washington Square. Yarnbombs could still be found on meters on Thames Street in front of Brick Alley Pub and beyond.

“I do not know why. I should have been called if there was a concern. We received approval from the City Manager in the Fall of 2017.  I got a phone call today from the City Parking Manager Pat Segerson. He was kind enough to call me and tell me that the Yarnbombs were being cut down.  He did not know the reason why either,” Marian Eastman, Founder and President of Lyme Yarnbombs, Inc told What’sUpNewp on Thursday evening when asked why the yarnbombs had been removed.

“From what little I know, the Chief of Police asked the City Manager if they could be removed. Someone wanted them down. I don’t know who or why. They were not bothering anyone.  They were beautifully handmade and sewn on very neatly. Volunteers have been knitting and crocheting our Lyme Yarnbombs since the Fall of last year as soon as we heard that we got approval. Many of them have chronic Lyme disease and are unable to work or go to school. For them, this was their way of giving back to the community in a positive way. They love to do this for us! We so appreciate them! More volunteers spent hours sewing them onto the parking meters in Newport on April 21. We are very sad to see that 17 yarnbombs were cut off. Again, we would have removed them in a fashion without damaging them if someone would have simply called us. However, it is very odd that we did have permission and now we don’t? I’m confused” Eastman continued.

After reviewing communication from Yarnbombs, Inc to the City of Newport, it appears that the organization never included Washington Square in their request and therefore did not have the approval to have the yarnbombs on meters in Washington Square. Newport City Council received communication seeking permission to sew the lime green sweaters onto Newport parking meters to raise awareness about Lyme disease on September 27, 2017. At that time, Council unanimously voted to receive and refer to city administration for review and approve without any discussion.

The locations for yarnbombs that were applied for and agreed upon by both parties were “Thames Street and Broadway”, according to communication from Yarnbombs, Inc. and the City of Newport. Obviously, Broadway does not have parking meters. The inclusion of Washington Square when placing the yarnbombs on meters appears to be a misunderstanding and oversight by the organization, as Washington Square is neither a part of Thames Street or Broadway.

“All I know is that there were several complaints about the green “stockings” located in a historic district.  Not all were the same color and design as some were striped kelly green and pink, purple and lime green, etc,” Councilor Ceglie wrote to What’sUpNewp on Thursday evening.” We appreciate and support the efforts to raise awareness of Lyme disease.  The rest of the “stockings” in the other areas of the city will remain untouched for the duration requested”.

City Manager Joe Nicholson has not replied to What’sUpNewp’s request for comment and more information.

More from What'sUpNewp


Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.

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.