2019 Newport International Boat Show (Photo courtesy of Newport Exhibition Group)

Newport, RI – Newport Exhibition Group today confirmed with What’s Up Newp that public guidance for COVID-19 has compelled the cancellation of the 2020 Newport International Boat Show.

The show was scheduled to take place September 17 through 20, 2020 at the Newport Yachting Center.

Due to spikes in new cases of COVID-19 across the United States, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo, stated on Monday that, although Phase III of re-opening would have included no cap on the number of people at outdoor events, she is revising that to 250 people as a precaution.

Specifically, Governor Raimondo laid out on Monday the following guidance for Phase 3 in regards to social gatherings and public events;

  • Social gatherings: Social gatherings can be no larger than 25 people indoors or 50 people outdoors. For social gatherings like weddings where there is a licensed caterer involved (which makes the setting more like a restaurant) gatherings can be as large as 50 people indoors or up to 100 people outdoors.
  • Public events: Public events can be up to 125 people indoors or up to 250 people outdoors. Any organizers planning to host a group of more than 100 people will need to submit plans to Commerce RI.

“The adjusted and stricter COVID guidance regarding events announced today from the State was a strong indicator to us that we cannot move forward with a major event in this environment,” said Paul O’Reilly, CEO, Newport Restaurant Group and owner of the Newport International Boat Show. in a statement.

A subsidiary of Newport Restaurant Group, Newport Exhibition Group owns and produces the annual Newport International Boat Show.

“There are just too many unknowns at this point and a very high probability that the show will not be allowed to move forward and, even if it was, it would be in a format that would clearly not be valued by our exhibitors and attendees. Therefore, we are shifting our focus to the 2021 show,” O’Reilly stated.

On May 24th, What’s Up Newp reported that the Newport International Boat Show was among events across Rhode Island looking for special dispensation from Governor Gina Raimondo, hoping that she would approve holding the event, which typically attracts upwards of 30,000 visitors over four days in September.

During her June 29th press conference Governor Raimondo stated, “RI and CT are the only two states where numbers are not rising at this time. I want to see it continue that way.”  

 For more information, visit: www.newportboatshow.com