Need to Know Newport, RI: Weekend of July 17

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The Black Ships Festival returns to Newport, beginning Friday, July 17 with an opening ceremony. Photo by Chris via flickr CC BY-NC 2.0.

July is moving right along, and there’s a lot of great stuff happening around Newport! Here’s what you need to know to start your weekend.

• The 32nd Annual Black Ships Festival begins today, Friday, July 17, with opening ceremonies in Touro Park at 10:30 a.m. The weekend-long festival celebrates Japanese culture with art, crafts, martial arts exhibitions, sake, sushi, sumo wrestling, and – everyone’s favorite – Taiko drumming. The festival commemorates the efforts of Commodore Matthew C. Perry of Newport, who negotiated the first treaty between the U.S. and Japan in 1854, bringing the two countries together as trading partners. Check the calendar of events for a list of happenings, which includes a gala held at Marble House on Saturday, July 18.

• The Monster Shark Tournament which returns to Newport on Friday, July 17 and Saturday, July 18, is considered by many to be the premier tournament in the Northeast. (Others thinks it’s a colossal environmental fail.) Fans can catch the weigh-in action at Casey’s Marina in downtown Newport, 2–7 p.m. Friday and 2–6:30 p.m. Saturday.

• 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 began yesterday (Thursday, July 15) and run through Saturday, July 25 at the Great Friends Meeting House. Tickets are $25 or $20 for students and seniors, and can be purchased online.

• Get ready for some great tennis, because the semi-finals and finals of the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships will be held Saturday, July 18 and Sunday, July 19. New inductees to the International Tennis Hall of Fame will also be honored in a ceremony on Saturday at noon. Hall of Famers Billie Jean King, Stan Smith, and Pam Shriver will be on hand to cheer them on.

• For those who prefer to temper their exercise with little indulgence, the Craft Brew Races – a 5k road race and local craft beer festival – may be for you. Run or walk the race on Saturday, July 18, which begins at the effortless hour of noon at Fort Adams. Or just join in the post-race festivities, featuring 20-plus regional breweries, immediately following the race. Register online or onsite for both events.

• This weekend in polo, Washington D.C. makes its debut against our home team on Saturday, July 18 at 5 p.m. Spread a picnic on the lawn or reserve your seat in the Alex and Ani Pavilion for an action-packed afternoon.

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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