New England's largest Winter extravaganza returns next month. The 31th Annual Newport Winter Festival will feature 10 days of non-stop music, food and fun from February 15th - February 24th. We can think of no better place to celebrate the winter season than our City by the Sea. Here's a rundown of what to expect at this year’s festivities.
What is the Newport Winter Festival?
From a Chili Cook-Off to Beach Polo to Ice Sculpture Demonstrations, the 10-day Newport Winter Festival is jam-packed with activities and entertainment for all ages. Just how much is there to do during this eagerly-awaited annual celebration of all things winter and Newport? More than 150 events to be exact.
The festival has a pretty well kept secret. Discount bracelets are available for purchase. The winter festival bracelet promotion continues to be so popular that they remain a part of the festivities. “Brace Yourself” with a commemorative souvenir bracelet for just $10, and receive $500 in discounts at all official festival events as well as at more than 50 local stores and restaurants.
10 Days of Festivities, Food and Fun
Not sure where to begin when it comes to scheduling your visit? The Newport Winter Festival’s Featured Events are the perfect place to start.
This year, the action kicks off on Friday February 15th with Polar Pineapples at Gurney’s and The Eagles Experience. Head across town to Gurney’s on Friday afternoon for its 4th Annual 'Polar Pineapples', for an ice bar and fire pit experience with views of Newport Harbor. Later that night, take in The Eagles Experience, one of the most authentic tribute show to the Eagles available anywhere.
Saturday, February 17th brings a packed day of events, starting off with the 24rd Annual Chili Cook-Off presented by Samuel Adams. Choose who cooks the best chili in town while enjoying unique Sam Adams specials. As soon as you're all filled up on chili, head over to the Long Wharf Mall for an Ice Sculpting Demonstration presented by Bailey T’s. The ice sculptures will be on display until they melt so make sure not to arrive too late. Evening entertainment includes two options: a magic show by captivating illusionist Lyn Dillies and/or Changes in Latitude, the country’s premier tribute band to Jimmy Buffet.
Throughout the week, enjoy numerous discounts throughout town by using your discount bracelet. A Sam Adams Beer dinner at The Mooring with a special selection of beers and a delectable tasting menu highlights the midweek festivities. Discover Newport also has its annual Newport Burger Bender during the Winter Festival. Over 30 burgers from our local Newport restaurants participate in this yearly "best burger" tradition. The Chanler has officially submitted a burger called "The Chanler Bing Burger". Our burger starts with three slices of thick cut bacon which is diced then mashed into premium ground beef before being perfectly seared on a pretzel bread bun. It's topped with Monterey Jack cheese, house-made BBQ sauce, onion and lettuce. Additional weekday events will be announced as the Festival gets closer.
The final weekend of the Newport Winter Festival kicks off with the Winter Festival Comedy Show featuring Nick Griffin with special guest Ray Harrington on Friday, February 22nd. The next morning, the 23rd Annual Mac & Cheese Smackdown takes place with area restaurants competing to see who makes the best comfort food. Who doesn’t love mac & cheese?
Beach Polo, presented by Newport International Polo Series, is the highlight on the weekend schedule. On both Saturday, February 23rd and Sunday, February 24th, this unique experience takes place at Second Beach or Sachuest Beach, a short 6 minute drive from The Chanler. Newport Polo's exhibition matches will feature teams competing each day in a match composed of 4 chukkers (periods of play) for a duration of 1+ hour. After the match concludes, head to The Chanler for Aprés Polo on both Saturday and Sunday. Celebrate and meet the Polo players and enjoy food & refreshments available on The Chanler’s Terrace.
There’s even a brand new event for this year’s festival. A country concert with Ben O’Connor is scheduled on Saturday, February 23rd. O'Connor has built a reputation in both New York City where he performed at the Luke Bryan/Brett Young after party and in Rhode Island due to it being his home state. Don’t miss the chance to take in our local music talent.
Winter’s not going away anytime soon, so why not make the most of it by getting in on the event touted as, “New England’s Largest Winter Extravaganza”? Of course, after all that non-stop fun, you’ll need a place to put your feet up and where better than The Chanler? Book your stay today and enjoy the most relaxing winter retreat in Newport.