NEWPORT — Newport’s first Hot Cocoa Saturday kicked off over the weekend, and despite the cold weather organizers say the new winter event is off to a great start.
Local businesses offered numerous activities for visitors downtown on Saturday, including free pool at The Warehouse, mini reiki and face painting at Main Tattoo, and Around the World Sound Bath with Guided Meditation at Inspired Yoga.
Though the temperature was near zero, downtown businesses reported that having a day of activities and specials planned was enough to encourage people out.
Rad Rags reported that the store was busy all day long, and Michelle Richardi, co-owner of Lago and The Warehouse, said that they were so pleased they’ll be offering free pool all day long for the next one.
In February, Hot Cocoa Saturday will coincide with The Winter Festival sponsored by The City of Newport.
There will be sledding and snow tunnels at Prouty Beach, ice and snow sculpture contests, and broomball and shootouts at the hockey rink.
Kingdom Games will be running the Winter Swim off the docks at East Side Restaurant, with 135 participants coming from around the world to participate in events held in the 25-meter pool cut in the ice on Lake Memphremagog.
“Most of our downtown and waterfront plaza businesses will be participating by offering another round of Hot Cocoa Saturday,” Rick Ufford-Chase, Community Engagement Specialist for Newport City Downtown Development, said.
Jay Peak Resort will offer a free shuttle all afternoon long from Prouty Beach to Gardiner and the Waterfront to Main Street, and the City will cap things off with fireworks at the end of the day.
Organizers say what makes this so fun is the way everyone is stepping up to make Newport come alive again with events like these.