“A clean, vibrant waterfront and close community ties are very important to me,” says Beatrice “Trixie” Wadson, head of marketing for Bowen’s Wharf, the collection of waterfront stores and businesses in Newport that’s a popular gathering place for locals and visitors alike. In her job, she’s an advocate for the businesses of the wharf, but also a community leader who plans events that are not only fun, but benefit the community. At the Newport Oyster Festival, taking place from May 18-20, the opening night party will benefit three local organizations: Nature Conservancy of RI, Ocean State Aquaculture Association and the educational tall ship Oliver Hazard Perry RI.
“I love the variability of every day,” Trixie says. “Marketing historic Bowen’s Wharf is fun and never the same: a boutique marina, over 20 small-businesses, and a full year of events. It’s challenging managing the many stories we can tell, and the myriad ways we can tell them - but challenging in a good way.” Among the stores in Bowen’s Wharf are the flagship locations of Kiel James Patrick and Anchor Toffee Co., and other locally owned stores like Soap & Water, Kristen Coates and Newport Scrimshanders, mixed in with beloved restaurants like 22 Bowen’s Wharf, Fluke Wine, Bar & Kitchen and Diego’s. It’s also the landing place for parasailing, sightseeing and fishing cruises at their marina, and their Pilot House information hub sells tickets to Newport attractions year-round.
“While sales drive the businesses, we believe Bowen’s Wharf is so unique that we create events for people to come enjoy the waterfront in the off-season too.” Bowen’s Wharf will be in bloom during Daffodil Days, April 14-22, and will host the ribbon cutting ceremony on opening day. The Oyster Festival in May brings together more than 13 oyster farms for a real taste of the Ocean State, with live music all weekend. In the summer and fall will be the Newport Wooden Boat Show, their Columbus Day Sidewalk Sale and the 28th Annual Bowen’s Wharf Seafood Festival. For the holidays, there’s the annual Christmas Tree Lighting and Bowen’s Wharf Block Party during the Newport Holiday Stroll. “We have guests from all across the world,” Trixie says, “and it’s important to us that we make everyone feel welcome.”