What You Need to Know in Newport, RI: Week of May 4

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The Oliver Hazard Perry, above, a newly built tall ship and sailing school vessel, will be docked at Fort Adams for the duration of the Volvo Ocean Race Newport Stopover.

Here’s what you need to know about Newport and environs to start your week.

• The big news, of course, is that the Volvo Ocean Race Newport Stopover is under way. The Race Village opens to the public today, May 5, at 3 p.m., with the opening ceremony scheduled for 4 p.m. Newport band Chelley, Bill & Dyl will play at 4:30.

• Entry to the VOR Race Village is free of charge through May 17. Parking is free May 5-8; costs $10 May 9–13; and $20 May 14–17 … unless you drive a Volvo — then you park for free. Parking passes are available for purchase ahead of time. Two ferries will also be running – the Newport Harbor Shuttle, which will run from Perrotti Park, and the Newport Jamestown Ferry. Each costs $10 roundtrip. A shuttle bus will also leave from the Gateway Center. More transportation logistics are listed here.

• Bicycle parking is available at the Race Village at no cost. Thanks to Bike Newport, two park-and-bike locations — at Bike Newport on Broadway and at the YMCA in Middletown — are also available with free parking. Get more details here.

• Local band Honky Tonk Nights plays at the VOR Race Village from 4–7 p.m. on Friday May 8.

• The 4th Annual Craft Beer Festival will be held in Newport May 8–9 at Newport Storm Brewery and the Great Friends Meeting House. Sample fancy brews from near and far at this event, which benefits the Rhode Island Brewers Guild.

• At the Heineken Reggae Rally, part of the VOR music series, The Ravers, Mighty Mystic, and John Brown’s Body will play inside the fort quad at Fort Adams, from 6-10 p.m.

• Sunday, May 10 is Mother’s Day, so shop for your gifts and order your flowers now! (If you forget, though, we’ve got your back: This guide to shopping for bouquets from the grocery store will save you.)

• Have you seen the new WaterBrothers website? It’s gorgeous.

• Friendly reminder: Parking meters and resident sticker parking are in effect as of last Friday.

• Carnival opens May 6 at First Beach. Grab some cotton candy and wheeeee! through May 10.

Newport in Bloom — the group of citizens responsible for beautifying the city with container gardens (nope, the city doesn’t do that) — will hold it’s annual plant sale Saturday, May 9, from 9 a.m. to noon. This year, the don’t-miss event will be held at the Elks Lodge where gardeners will find locally grown herbs, annuals, perennials, flowering shrubs, hanging baskets, and, most importantly, dahlia bulbs.

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

Meaghan O'Neill is a writer, editor, blogger wrangler, and the founder of Puddingstone Post. She was formerly editor-in-chief of TreeHugger, Discovery Channel online, and TLC's Parentables. Her writing has appeared in numerous print and online publications, and her book, Ready, Set, Green: 8 Weeks to Modern Eco-Living (Villard/Random House) was published in 2008. She lives in Newport, RI with her family.

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