Due to the coronavirus, Bowen’s Wharf Co. has postponed their Newport Oyster & Chowder Festival from May 30th and 31st to July 4th and 5th.

“We want to support our tenants, local aquaculture, agriculture, and local businesses and their employees in getting back on their feet after the crippling effects of this virus,” a Facebook post from Bowen’s Wharf stated on Monday. “Join us July 4-5 to celebrate our independence from COVID-19 with a festival that celebrates all that Bowen’s Wharf Co, Inc stands for; the waterfront, aquaculture, our local businesses, and our community”.

The event has been known as the Bowen’s Wharf Oyster Festival and added chowder to its name and to the festival just this year, it’s fifth annual.

In an announcement on Friday, March 28th, Bart Dunbar, President of Bowen’s Wharf said;

As we watch the news, follow all the guidelines and isolate ourselves from one another for the health and safety of all those around us, we become more aware of what we are missing every day on our bustling Wharf. No longer do we see laughing, smiling visitors walking along the waterfront, patronizing our amazing shops and dining at some of the finest restaurants in the state. We don’t hear the running engines of the delivery trucks that supply our tenants with all their goods, wares and supplies. We don’t hear the vehicles, boats or ships filled with tourists. We don’t see our tenants, their employees and our staff and the joy a quick smile and hello brings to us. What we do hear is silence and we realize the actual effect this pandemic is having on each and every tenant, their employees, their suppliers, our staff, our neighbors, our vendors, our community and our state. Newport has been at the forefront of history since it was founded in 1639. I propose we make it the forefront of history again by revamping the Newport Oyster and Chowder Festival once this crisis has passed.

I propose, once the federal, state, local and medical authorities gives us the green light we hold a Newport Oyster and Chowder Festival Celebration. We want to support our tenants, local aquaculture, agriculture and local businesses and their employees in getting back on their feet. And what better way to accomplish that goal than to have a celebration on our country’s date of independence, July 4th. I am proposing we hold the festival on July 4th and 5th of this year to celebrate our independence from a virus that has attempted to cripple our local economy by having a festival that celebrates all that Bowen’s Wharf Co, Inc stands for; the waterfront, aquaculture, our local businesses and our community.

On this same note the Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island will be at Bowen’s Wharf in the true spirit of keeping history alive at the waterfront. The OHPRI along with the city’s annual fireworks display will make this a weekend to remember as well as an opportunity to help everyone in the supply chain realize some much needed relief from economic hardships.

I hope you will all join me in this effort to revitalize our local economy by participating, sponsoring or patronizing our event. We look forward to being able to celebrate with everyone once again on our beautiful waterfront.


Bartlett S. Dunbar, President
Bowen’s Wharf Co., Inc.”

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. Although not the founder or original owner, Belmore has been with What'sUpNewp since its early beginnings in 2012.

Belmore was born in Providence, Rhode Island; grew up and graduated high school in Coventry, Rhode Island; and lived in Newport, Rhode Island for more than ten years. He 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 and his wife, Jen, as well as their two dogs (Aero and June), recently moved to Alexandria, Virginia. Belmore travels back and forth to Newport every couple of weeks to cover events, work on story ideas, to meet with What'sUpNewp's on-the-ground contributors, to visit friends, and to eat as much seafood as possible.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.