Newport Waterfront Oyster Festival returns this weekend, here’s what you need to know

The 4th Annual Newport Waterfront Oyster Festival returns to Bowen’s Wharf this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Bowen’s Wharf has announced that newly-crowned Miss Rhode Island, Molly Andrade from Middletown, will make her first official public appearance on Friday May 17, at the Opening Night VIP Benefit Party of the 4th Annual Newport Oyster Festival.

Andrade will be mingling with local RI growers, learning the secrets behind shucking oysters and announcing the winners of the events silent auction! Proceeds from the evening benefit Ocean State Aquaculture Association, The Nature Conservancy of RI and SSV Oliver Hazard Perry Tall Ship. 

Attendees are invited to say hello and learn all about Molly’s plans as the 2019 Miss Rhode Island as well as mingle with the growers to familiarize themselves with the state of aquaculture in the Ocean State.

Tickets can still be purchased to the VIP Party Friday 6-8:30, but will cap out at 200 people.

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More from Bowen’s Wharf on the 4th Annual Newport Oyster Festival;

Sustainable Eating: Eat More Oysters to Rebuild Reefs & Fish Habitats as well as Reduce Waste

Bowen’s Wharf seeks all oyster lovers to help us beat a previous goal by joining The Nature Conservancy of RI and the Ocean State Aquaculture Assocition at the 4th Annual Newport Oyster Festival. Each yearbetween 1.5 and two tons of oyster shell have been collected. In 2019, Bowen’s Wharf celebrates 50 years of waterfront shopping, dining, tours and events and this year the goal for the festivals is to have less of an impact, not more.

Why? Three Reasons.

One, who doesn’ love eating home-grown Rhode Island Oysters? They taste superb, slide down smooth, and are mineral-rich sources of sustainable nourishment. Supporting local growers supports a local food economy.

Two, reef restoration. Juvenile fish are at a very critical life stage. To survive, they require feeding areas that also provide protection from predators. Oyster reefs, salt marshes, and sea grasses are all essential to the survival of young black sea bass, tautog, scup, and flounder. The more shells we can collect at our festivals the more shell becomes available for reefs. The Nature Conservancy and RI DEM pool their resources to fund reef restoration, with support from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Sport Fish Restoration Program and many individual donors. So just by attending and eating, you can support fish habitats.

Three, reducing waste. Nature Conservancy volunteers at our festivals hand-separate all shell from trash and recylables. Less waste is hauled to the state’s landfill/Rhode Island’s Resource Recovery Corporation by our long-time partners, Island Rubbish from Jamestown, RI.

Together we’d like to collect more than three tons of oyster shells. So we invite you to come #eatmoreoysters. 

The weekend of May 17 is resplendent with fresh Rhode Island oysters, bubbly champagne, and a marketplace of good company under the festival tents. Come thirsty so you can sail away to New Zealand, without ever leaving Bowen’s Wharf! From across the seas, Cloudy Bay Vineyards will be making a splash at the 2019 Oyster Festival by bringing their signature wines for us to enjoy. They’ll be joined by Whalers Brewing Co. from Wakefield RI, and reps from Belvedere Vodka.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Fresh oysters are brought in daily from all over Rhode Island.

We kick off the summer on Friday, May 17 with the Opening Night Benefit Party. It’s the first party of the season and features a sparkly night of oysters, champagne, and live music on the waterfront while guests mingle with the growers. Sip a complimentary Moët Mini while you savor locally grown farm-fresh Rhode Island oysters, dinner catered by Scratch Kitchen, and a friendly open bar. 

Tickets are $125 which include all-you-can-eat, freshly-shucked, local oysters and an open bar with signature Oyster Festival cocktails, wine & beer! Chelley Knight & the Daybreaks will entertain us with popular jazz standards. Purchase soon — this VIP event is limited to only 200 guests and ticket sales close May 17 at 5pm. Proceeds benefit The Nature Conservancy of RI, Ocean State Aquaculture Association and Oliver Hazard Perry, RI’s official flagship.  

For more information on growers, and the RI Oyster Trail please visit www.rioystertrail.com  

Saturday & Sunday, May 18 & 19, 2019

The weekend features six live bands, multiple waterfront bars, featuring Whalers beer & creative cocktails with Belvedere Vodka and Ardbeg Whisky and Cloudy Bay Vineyards paired with local cuisine under the festival tents.

Be sure to purchase your tickets for Saturday or Sunday — or both — in advance! Online tickets are $27 each day, which include 6 fresh RI oysters and a beverage. Vouchers for additional oysters will be sold on site for $2/oyster and can be purchased by cash or credit. 

Tickets at the door are $15 but do not include oyster or beverage tickets, or $35 at the door and do include all. Children 12 and under are free and dogs are welcome! 

Not a fan of oysters? The Wharf Pub, Matunuck Oyster Bar, Speakeasy, Diego’s, 22Bowen’s and others will have chefs’ best picks (appetizer sizes) available to purchase and they include non-seafood items too! Popular Bowen’s Wharf eateries like Sprinkles Ice Cream, Anchor Toffee, and The Cookie Jar are joined by Sweet B’s Donuts to sweeten the event.

Meet and mingle with these and over 10 Growers on-site: 

  • Jamestown Oyster Co. 
  • American Mussell Harvesters 
  • Matunuck Oyster Farm 
  • Watch Hill Oysters 
  • Salt Pond Oyster Co. 
  • Behan Family Farm 
  • East Beach Oyster Farm 
  • 401 Oyster 
  • Walrus & Carpenter Oysters 

Start your Sunday morning with Bloody Mary’s (Belvedere Vodka and a bit of wonderful, warming whisky from Ardbeg). The morning melts into the afternoon Shucking Contest where a cold Whalers brew will go down nice.  

Enjoy non-stop live music all weekend!  

Saturday 

  • Chris Vaillancourt Collective (Funk & Rock) — 11-1pm  
  • The Teledynes (Surf Rock) — 1-3pm  
  • Chelley, Bill, & Dyl (Soulful R&B, Rock w/ a touch of country)— 3-6pm  

Sunday 

  • Los Duderinos (Funk, Folk, Jazz, & Rock) — 11-1pm  
  • Cee Cee & the Riders (West Coast & Chicago Blues) — 1-3pm  
  • The Copacetics (Reggae & Ska) 3-5pm  

Bowen’s Wharf Marina Special 

Spend the night at Bowen’s Wharf during the Oyster Festival! Book your slip at Bowen’s Wharf Marina by May 15 and receive two free tickets for Saturday or Sunday to the Oyster Festival! 

Deep water dockage at the anchor of the Newport waterfront. First-class service, accommodate yachts up to 185’ LOA.  

Tickets and more info at https://bowenswharf.com/events/Newport-Waterfront-Oyster-Festival

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