Need to Know Newport, RI: Week of July 20


The Rose Island lighthouse is open daily for guided tours. Photo by John6536 via flickr by CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Hey, Newport, here’s what you need to know to start your week!


• The Newport Music Festival continues through July 26, with 66 classical concerts scheduled in remarkable venues across Newport, including the Breakers, Elms, and Jane Pickens Theater. Fantastic performances by internationally renowned musicians range from Bach to Bernstein. Ticket prices vary; download a brochure for the complete schedule.

• Each July, Island Moving Co. brings a residency company to Newport for two weeks for its Great Friends Dance Festival. The result is 10 days of unique performances, which runs through Saturday, July 25 at the Great Friends Meeting House. Tickets are $25, or $20 for students and seniors, and can be purchased online.

• On Tuesday, July 21, Rough Point, the storied home of Doris Duke, will hold its Landscape History and Garden Tour, which details the distinguished history of the property’s amazing grounds, from farmland to premiere vacation spot. Initially laid out by Frederick Law Olmstead, the estate offers exquisite gardens and breathtaking views. The tour, which is held twice each month in summer, begins at 5:30 p.m. Admission is $10; register online.

• Grab the kids for a morning of grooving with the Toe Jam Puppet Band in the Quarry Meadow at Ballard Park on Wednesday, July 22. Bubbles, hula hoops, squirt guns, and costumes are all part of the group’s interactive performances, which also combine original songs, shadow puppetry, and storytelling. The concert is free and begins at 10 a.m., with seating on the grass.

• Also at Ballard Park on Wednesday, July 22, classic-rock cover band Meehan Krous will perform at 7 p.m., playing songs by the Eagles, Beatles, Crosby, Still & Nash, Neil Young, and others.

• Forty 1 North will host a Wine + Bees Fermentation Class on Wednesday, July 22. On hand will be Chelsea Thoumsin, founder of the Pollinator Project, an organization raising awareness about the decline of honeybee colonies. Selected wines are from regions that have a long history of beekeeping. The cost is $35 for nonmembers and includes a wine tasting and light food pairing. Reservations are required; email Alex Barz at

• On Thursday, July 23, newportFILM Outdoors screens The Diplomat, a documentary about the remarkable life and legacy of Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, whose 50-year career spanned the eras from Vietnam to Afghanistan. The film begins at sunset (approximately 8:45 p.m.) on the lawn of the Redwood Library and Athenæum, followed by a Q&A with director David Holbrooke, the Ambassador’s eldest son. An r.s.v.p. is required; suggested donation is $5.

The Newport Antiques Show returns to St. George’s School this weekend in Middletown. A Gala Preview Party kicks off the event on Thursday, July 23 from 6 till 9 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online and start at $150, which also includes unlimited admission for the entire weekend.

Newport Folk Festival is this weekend, people! Doors at Fort Adams open on Friday morning, but the activity starts off-site on July 23 with the Watkins Family Hour at the Jane Pickens Theater. The intimate concert begins at 8:30 p.m., featuring Sara Watkins, Sean Watkins, Fiona Apple, and more. Lucky for you, there are still a few tickets left. Need some help planning your Folk Fest activities? Check out our Local’s Guide to the Newport Folk Festival.

• Did you know? The Rose Island lighthouse is open daily for guided tours 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. between July 1 and Labor Day. Pack a picnic and spend the day exploring the beaches, wildlife, and Fort Hamilton barracks on the tiny island just south of the Newport Bridge. Take the Jamestown Newport Ferry or your kayak over. (FYI: There’s no dockage for boat tie-up.) A $5 landing fee will be collected once you’re ashore.

For more stuff to do, check out our events calendar.

Kara DiCamillo loves eating, traveling, shopping, and everything outdoors. She is an active volunteer in her Newport, Rhode Island community and has backpacked Mt. Washington in New Hampshire too many times to count. Kara started her online writing career with TreeHugger in 2005 and currently contributes to several websites focusing on lifestyle, food, and travel.

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