bowens wharf christmas tree lighting

Bowen’s Wharf today announced that the 50th Annual Bowen’s Wharf Tree Lighting has been postponed to Sunday, 12/6 due to the inclement weather forecast for tomorrow.

“While the event will be primarily virtual, the conditions would have prevented an effective and clear live stream. If you could please update your online calendars accordingly and direct people to our Facebook event page for more details that would be great:,” Bowen’s Wharf said in a statement.

Original Story: Nov. 19

The Bowen’s Wharf Merchants Association will host a reimagined 50th Annual Bowen’s Wharf Tree Lighting on Saturday, December 5th, 2020. Due to the circumstances and current restrictions on large in-person gatherings amidst the ongoing pandemic, the brief ceremony and countdown will be live-streamed on social media for all to enjoy from the comforts of home.

The program will be available to watch on the Bowen’s Wharf Facebook and Instagram pages, where a City Official will light the tree at 6 p.m. to mark the official beginning of the holiday season at Bowen’s Wharf! The 30-foot Norway spruce will come from Pachet Brook Tree Farm in Tiverton and remain lit until early February, so while the event will be scaled down this year, all are encouraged to come see the spectacular tree and visit the wharf’s festively decorated restaurants and retail merchants throughout the season.

Bart Dunbar, President of Bowen’s Wharf Company, who began the long-established tradition in 1971 is happy to see it continue, even if it meant adjusting initial plans for the milestone occasion. “While it’s not the grand celebration we originally had in mind, we feel it is more important than ever to share the spirit of the holiday season with the community and create memories with loved ones – even from home.”

Admission is free and Bowen’s Wharf restaurants and shops will be open for holiday specials. For those who choose to attend in person, please note that there will be no live musical performances or visits with Santa and the City of Newport’s face covering mandate will be closely monitored and enforced.

Bowen’s Wharf is also partnering with Lite Rock 105 and The Newport Harbor Hotel to give away a “Shop Local, Stay Local” prize package, where one winner will receive a $500 gift certificate to Bowen’s Wharf and complimentary one-night stay at the hotel next door. The sweepstakes kicks off on Monday, November 23rd and entries can be submitted here.

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.