The Magic of Newport in Winter

Photo of ice sculpture, Winter Festival 2009 Newport Winter Festival 2009

It’s no secret that Newport, RI with its lovely seascapes, upscale shops and warm weather attractions is an enormously popular summer destination. Bustling boulevards from Bellevue Ave. to Thames Street are evidence of its summertime appeal. If you were to ask the locals the best time to enjoy Newport, however, you might be surprised to hear them say, “Winter.”

True, Newport offers ample entertainment for all ages in the summer months, but while warm weather attracts tourists, the off season is a time to celebrate the natives. Popular winter events include mansion tours, ice skating at the Newport Yachting Center and the infamous St. Patty’s Day Parade, which happens to fall directly on St. Patrick’s Day this year. What I’m anticipating the most this season is my first ever Newport Winter Festival experience. It has been the main topic of conversation among my native island friends for the past couple weeks, and from what I hear, this is a weeklong extravaganza you should not miss.

The festival commences on Friday, February 17th and runs through Sunday, February 26th with ongoing activities and restaurant specials to boot! I’ve been told this festival offers a unique winter experience combining food, music, and entertainment, with fun for all ages. I am especially excited to “Relive the Revolution” with the cast of Broadway’s Beatlemania. This is a sellout show every year, and buying a festival button affords you the opportunity to purchase a ticket at a discounted rate.

But, discounted ticket prices aren’t the festival’s only button buying incentives. Several area businesses offer discounts to button bearers for the entire week. Restaurants, including Brick Alley Pub, Christie’s, Diego’s and Lucia’s, will offer food and drink specials, while other area businesses including The Black Dog General Store, Vintage to Vogue and the Newport Mansion stores will offer discounts on their merchandise as well.

I will most definitely stop in to see Sherry, owner of Cosmetic Cosmos located at 387 Thames St. She is offering, in my opinion, one of the best values to be had during the festival: makeovers for only $15 with button! I had the pleasure of meeting Sherry a couple years ago when visiting Newport at the beginning of the summer. Suffering from my Vermont induced pale skin problem, lol, I stopped into Cosmetic Cosmos for what we women often refer to as “a little pick me up.” Sherry was an absolute sweetheart, but an amazing business woman as well. She has had the opportunity to work with some of today’s most captivating celebrities, and her makeover was worth every penny. I would highly recommend taking advantage of her festival incentive. Ladies, I can assure you you won’t be disappointed; take my advice and let Sherry wipe away your winter blues.

With so much fun to be had, it’s hard to know just where and how to kickoff this weeklong event. The good news is, Newport is making it easy for us as they’ve dedicated an entire website to the festival. Check out the link below to access a full schedule of events. We may not have snow yet, but don’t let that stop you. I’ve marked my calendar, and I hope to see you there!