Christmas Comes by Boat to Bowen's Wharf

Bowen’s Wharf Welcomes Christmas to New England

Newport’s Holiday Shopping Destination Announces Festivities

Sail into the most magical time of the year! Two festivities launch Newport’s Holidays by the Sea: the 20th Annual Illuminated Boat Parade & Bowen’s Wharf Block Party followed by the 47th Annual Bowen’s Wharf Christmas Tree Lighting. 

A 30-foot tree was delivered to Bowen’s Wharf and the waterfront will soon be bathed in holiday lights with businesses open late into the evening for Christmas shopping.

“On Friday, November 24th at 6:15 p.m. spectators can view the dazzling display of nautical holiday spirit along Newport Harbor’s waterfront from Bowen’s Wharf, Bannister’s Wharf, and points around Newport Harbor,” says Tim Mills, City of Newport Harbormaster.

The Bowen’s Wharf Merchants’ Association will present live Caribbean Christmas music performed at “The North Pole” by steel pan percussionist Aaron Abrahamson Cote & Panoramic View. Our shops and galleries will be open until 8pm (restaurants later) with in-store promotions, random acts of cheer, and decorated with evergreens, sparkling white lights and all that the City-by-the-Sea offers.

Reservations for waterview dining are encouraged and should be made directly with the restaurants. Viewing of the parade outdoors, and the Block Party, are free of charge, making this a great family event to get into the spirit of the holiday season. Some businesses will offer free refreshments.

On Saturday, December 2nd Frosty the Snowman will arrive at 4:30 pm, followed by the Christmas Carol Sing-a-long at 5 pm for the 47th Annual Bowen’s Wharf Christmas Tree Lighting. The Mayor of Newport lights the 30-foot tree promptly at 6 pm immediately followed by the cheerful arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus by boat, weather permitting (or by magic)! Music will continue until every child has had a chance to whisper their Christmas wishes to Santa at “The North Pole.”

Join us for a magical evening of charm, fun, and caroling on the waterfront at historic Bowen’s Wharf. Shops & galleries are open before, and after the event until 8pm. The summer favorite, Sprinkles Ice Cream, will open specially with hot chocolate, hot dogs and elfish fare. Voted BEST CHRISTMAS LIGHTS in Rhode Island in 2017 by Travel & Leisure Bowen's Wharf is hoping to take top honors again this year.

Throughout December doors will be open late on many evenings in conjunction with the Newport Holiday Stroll and ongoing Holidays by the Sea activities.

Two hours of validated parking are available from participating Bowen’s Wharf merchants through the holidays. 

SHOP HOURS (different for restaurants):

Holiday Hours: November 24, 2017 to December 24, 2017 (store hours vary on 24th)

Fridays and Saturdays: 10am - 8pm
Sunday through Thursday: 10am - 5pm

Bowen’s Wharf 47th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting (FREE admission)

Saturday, December 2, 2017

13 Bowen’s Wharf

Newport RI

Please note, the Bowen’s Wharf parking lot will close at 4 pm the day of the tree lighting. 

4:30 pm - Frosty the Snowman

5:00 pm - Christmas Carol Sing-A-Long (live music)

6:00 pm - Tree Lighting, Santa & Mrs. Claus arrive

City of Newport's 20th Annual Newport Harbor Illuminated Boat Parade 

6pm (boats travel in a clockwise direction starting south of the Goat Island Causeway)

Contact Tim Mills, Harbormaster, 401-845-5815,

Newport Holiday Stroll

Friday-Sunday December 1-3 & Friday-Sunday December 8-10. Newport Skating Center opens, puppet shows, VIP shopping tours, 15% off discount at participating restaurants with retail purchase receipt. for details.

For holiday and winter event details, business directory and more photos or video, visit and our social media channels. Our Pilot House sells tickets for walking tours, Save the Bay Seal Tours, local museums and much more. 401-849-3478.