Black Ships Festival to return to Newport, Bristol

The Black Ships Festival features cultural experiences like martial arts performances, art, and music. (Japan-America Society of Rhode Island)

NEWPORT, R.I. (WLNE) — The Black Ships Festival will return to Newport and Bristol next month.

The Japan-America Society of Rhode Island announced Wednesday the festival that celebrates the cultural ties between Japan and the United States will be held from Friday, Aug. 11 to Sunday, Aug. 13.

The festival will feature cultural events like martial arts performances, art, and music.

Organizers provided the following schedule of festivities:

  • Opening ceremony — Friday, Aug. 11 at 10 a.m. at Rockwell Park in Bristol to commemorate the voyage of Cdre. Matthew Perry in 1853.
  • Sushi sake sails — Friday, Aug. 11 at 2 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 13 at noon at Goat Island Marina in Newport. People will sail out to Newport Harbor and sip sake and try sushi for $75 per person.
  • Taiko drum performance — Friday, Aug. 11 at 6:30 p.m. at Rockwell Park in Bristol. Taiko drumming traditionally combines music and dance.
  • Cultural marketplace fair — Saturday, Aug. 12 from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Independence Park in Bristol. The fair will include arts and entertainment and martial arts performances as well as shopping and food.
  • Black Ships festival gala — Saturday, Aug. 12 from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. at Ochre Court in Newport. Performances, dancing, and a sit-down dinner for $200 per person.
  • Commodore Matthew C. Perry Memorial Ceremony — Sunday, Aug. 13 at 9:30 a.m. at Island Cemetery in Newport to mark the 40th year of the celebration with a traditional wreath ceremony.

The Black Ships Festival is one of several cultural experiences the JASRI organizes each year.

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