The City of Newport announced at 10:23 am that the annual Newport Illuminated Boat Parade will be postponed to Saturday, December 3.

“We’re sorry to report that due to expected gale force winds, tonight’s Illuminated Boat Parade has been rescheduled to Saturday, Dec. 3rd at 6:15 p.m., weather permitting,” the City says in the press release. “The decision to reschedule the popular holiday tradition was made out of an abundance of caution after the National Weather Service issued a Small Craft Advisory for Narragansett Bay beginning at 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 25th until 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 26th”.

The City says that those who signed up to participate in this year’s parade are invited to join in the festivities next weekend.” Please note that the Newport Yacht Club will NOT be open for public viewing, however, the Harbormaster’s Office will accept non-perishable food items for the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center food pantry all week long during normal business hours”.

The Newport Harbormaster’s Office, along with the event organizers, appreciates your understanding and wish you a happy, safe holiday weekend, according to the City.

Original Story

The 25th Annual Newport Illuminated Boat Parade is scheduled to take place on Friday, November 25, at 6 pm.

Spectators can view the dazzling display of nautical holiday spirit from many points on the Newport waterfront as the decorated vessels circumnavigate Newport Harbor.  

The City of Newport shares on its website that the parade this year the parade is named in honor of former Newport harbormaster Tim Mills, who passed away suddenly in 2020.   Tim was a longtime advocate of the boat parade from its inaugural event in 1997 when he participated as boat owner and then as leader of the community event.

Viewing of the parade is free of charge, making this a great family event to get into the spirit of the holiday season.  Parade boats will rendezvous just south of the Goat Island Causeway and then proceed east passing Newport Yacht Club. Boats will then travel south along the downtown waterfront and then turn west to pass the Kings Park area. Fort Adams and then finish at the Goat Island Causeway.  

The best vantage points for spectators include Newport Yacht Club, Perrotti Park, Bowen’s Wharf, Bannister’s Wharf, and points around Newport Harbor, according to the City.

“This year, the parade committee is delighted to have chosen Margaret Mary “Muffin” Dubuc, as Parade Marshall,” states Harbormaster Stephen Land in a statement.  “Muffin, a local Newporter and avid sailor, was commodore of the Goat Island Yacht Club, a volunteer and fundraiser for many historic sailing events and regattas, and a consummate friend of the Newport waterfront.  The parade itself will feature a variety of watercraft that call Narragansett Bay home, including leisure boats of all sizes, commercial boats, fishing boats, and U.S. Coast Guard and Navy vessels,” added Land.

Magnificently decorated vessels will compete for first-place awards in the following categories: Best Decorated Sailboat (commercial and recreational), Best Decorated Powerboat (commercial and recreational), Best Decorated Fishing Boat, and arguably, the parade’s most entertaining category, The Tim Mills Team Spirit Award newly named this year.  After the parade, an awards ceremony will immediately follow at The Newport Yacht Club, and the first-place prize winners will be announced. 

Organizers encourage participants and spectators to bring a non-perishable food item to donate to the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center.  Items will be collected at the Newport Yacht Club.

Any organization, business, or boat owner that would like to participate in the 25th Annual Newport Illuminated Boat Parade should contact Sara Mariani at the Newport Harbormasters office at (401) 845-5815. Participants are asked to REGISTER FOR BOAT PARADE ONLINE by 12:00 p.m. on November 25.  If the weather is questionable on the day of the parade, a recorded message will be available at (401) 845-5815. 

The event is sponsored by The City of Newport, The Newport Yacht Club, and Discover Newport.

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...