After the holidays, things in Newport slow down quite a bit as the town gets ready for the new season. Many attractions and restaurants close down for a winter break or some renovations. However, don’t write off Newport in the winter, especially February, when the February Winter Festival takes over for 10 days.
The Newport Winter Festival offers a variety of great events as well as restaurant and retail discounts to those who purchase a festival bracelet. The bracelet costs $10 and can be purchased online or picked up at a variety of places in Newport, such as the Visitors Center. You can still participate in Winter Festival Events without a bracelet, but you won’t get the great discounts that come with it. The Festival will be held from February 13th, through the 22nd and includes over 150 events.
The Festival brings a variety of events to Newport from contests, to comedy, so there will be something for everyone.
Each Saturday during the festival, there will be a different cook-off. On the 14th, the 20th Annual Samuel Adams Chili Cook-Off will be held at the Newport Harbor Hotel. Various restaurants, catering companies, and the local fire department will bring their best chili creations to see who makes the best chili in town. The following Saturday, the 21st, the Hyatt Regency will be holding the 4th annual Chicken Wing Cook-Off, where you can vote on which local restaurant serves up the best wings.
There are also a variety of drink contests, such as the Tropical Drink Contest on Sunday, the 15th at the Gas Lamp Grille, the Martini Contest at the Barking Crab on the 18th and the Best Hot Drink Contest at the Red Parrot on the 19th.
For those who enjoy wine or a nice cocktail outside, Newport Winery is holding its annual “Wine-ter-fest” on the 14th and 15th. Guests can enjoy the outside wine bar while tasting a variety of Newport Vineyard wines, cheeses, chocolates and other edibles from local purveyors. If that isn’t enough, the Hyatt Regency will have its Polar Pineapples on the weekends – an outdoor ice bar for those brave enough to endure the cold, while those who prefer the warmth can enjoy complimentary hot chocolate inside.
For those visiting with children there is a child fair at the Hyatt on the 15th and 16th with music, face painting, art, crafts and more. OceanCliff is hosting a Princess Party on the 18th. Anna and Elsa from Frozen will be there for a “royal” afternoon. Festival Day will be held at Easton’s Beach on the last day of the Festival, the 22nd. There will be a Children’s Block Hunt, Sand Sculpture Contest, and a Polar Plunge for those brave enough.
For those who are looking for music and entertainment, there will be a few concerts throughout the Festival, as well as an Illusionist and Comedy Show. All shows will be held at the Hyatt Regency on Goat Island. Beatlemania kicks things off on the 13th There will also be an Eagles tribute band, “Another Tequila Sunrise” on the 14th, as well as a Jimmy Buffet tribute band, “Changes in Latitude,” on the 21st. David Garrity, a professional illusionist will be entertaining on the 19th and on the 20th the Winter Festival Comedy Show with Kevin Meany and Kerri Louise will have people laughing all night long.
The Winter Festival bracelet also gets you great discounts and deals at your favorite restaurants, attractions and stores such as: free small plate appetizer at Deigo’s, 15% discount at Cupcake Charlie’s, free nacho sampling at The Brick Alley pub Tuesday – Friday 2-4pm, 20% off lunch, dinner and afternoon tea at the Hotel Viking, $2 off admission to the Newport Mansions, $2 off Seal Watching Tours, 15% off wine purchased at Greenvale Vineyards, 15% off at Bailey T’s Resortwear and much, much more.
For a complete list of discounts and all events, check out the Festival Website.