Tourists, local businesses prepare for wet holiday weekend

NEWPORT, R.I. (WLNE) – When you think Memorial Day, you think beaches, boats and barbecues.

This holiday will be the first without COVID restrictions in more than a year.

“We’ve been going out a little bit and it feels pretty much back to normal which is great,” said Maddison Mayberry of West Springfield, Mass. She was one of the many visitors in Newport on Friday afternoon.

But expected rainfall may wash away many plans this weekend.

With cooler temperatures and rain in the forecast, sailboat tours like Sightsailing of Newport and other outdoor establishments looking for increased business could be out of luck.

“Rain on weekends always put the kabosh on a lot of things and for us, sightsailing, we don’t sail in the pouring rain,” Sightsailing of Newport owner John Hirschler said.

Hirschler and his sail team saw a decent rush Friday afternoon. The majority of his tours were booked for the day.

“I think people are looking at the forecast on their smart phones and realizing that today’s the day to get out on the water no doubt,” Hirschler said.

While the forecast doesn’t look so great for Saturday and Sunday, local businesses like The Black Pearl and The Landing Restaurant in Newport are ready to accommodate with retractable awnings and tents.

“We’ll be able to deal with it we have a lot of room inside the landing and lobster bar, and we can bring people inside and have fun there,” bar manager Frank Silvia said.

Black Pearl manager Caroline Fallon said she still expects a good turnout Saturday and Sunday.

“People will be here regardless and it’s New England and we roll with the weather it’s part of living up here,” she said.

Categories: News, Regional News, Rhode Island