Make this winter one to remember with a visit to Newport for the biggest party on the Oregon Coast! For 45 years, Newport Seafood & Wine Festival has been welcoming both locals and visitors to sample some of the best regional wines available anywhere. Immerse yourself amidst crafts and music in the festival atmosphere, sampling wines with family and friends while selecting a variety of seafood fresh from the Pacific Ocean! The festival is one of the largest of its kind in the country and is known as “The Original and Still the Best” for good reason!
Since 1977, Newport Seafood & Wine Festival has drawn revelers from near and far. So many, in fact, that in recent years the population of our small coastal town has grown from 10,000 people to well over 25,000 for the four-day event. Newport Seafood & Wine Festival will take place from February 23-26 in 2023 and will be located in a huge tent next to the Rogue Brewery in South Beach. Over 150 vendors selling wine, food, and crafts will be offering their goods during the four-day festival.
The first Seafood & Wine Festival was much smaller and was held in the local National Guard Armory to promote Newport’s seafood industry, while also bringing visitors to the coast during a normally slow time of the year. The next year, Mo Niemi of Mo’s Restaurant helped increase the size of the event by combining thirteen wineries with musical acts and arts and crafts booths. By 1980, attendance was up to 8,000, and the location was moved to the dry moorage building in South Beach. The event continued to grow and expanded to a three-day event. In 1987 a Commercial Wine Competition was added.
Today, the four-day event draws thousands of visitors to Newport during the last full weekend of February. Seafood vendors, craftspeople, musicians, and more than 80 Northwest wineries all under a tented venue adjacent to the Rogue Brewery in South Beach provide the best winter festival on the Oregon Coast! More than 300 volunteers, a dedicated volunteer committee, and local support from city and county agencies make this annual event possible. Chinook Winds Casino Resort is our presenting sponsor and has generously supported the event for the past twelve years.
The festival also offers the longest-running wine competition in the Northwest, open to all participating wine vendors. A panel of five distinguished wine experts judge the prestigious Commercial Wine Competition at the beginning of February, awarding bronze, silver, and gold medals, and one Best in Show award. Medal-winning wines are included in the official festival guide, so event attendees can purchase them while at the event. In addition, the festival includes an Amateur Wine Competition, where amateur winemakers submit their wines for feedback and judging.
The 2023 Seafood & Wine Festival will introduce some new offerings which will include an outdoor food truck area, a beer garden, and a stage with demonstrations, talks with winemakers, and live entertainment. The festival is also “going green” and will be compost-focused to reduce waste from vendors and attendees. The Newport Seafood & Wine Festival Wine Club will begin this year for the first time, where wine club members will receive quarterly wine boxes with wines featured at the Newport Seafood & Wine Festival that include gold-medal winning wines from the Commercial Wine Competition.
You may purchase tickets for the entire festival or for each day at the gate (depending on capacity), or online in advance here. By planning ahead and purchasing online tickets, you’ll be assured entrance into the event without having to stand in line at the gate. Parking at the event is limited, but a free shuttle will be available regularly throughout the festival and will make many convenient stops around town. Nearby lodging is also available, but reservations fill up fast, so plan your stay as far in advance as possible. Don’t forget to bring warm clothes, raincoats, and umbrellas in case it rains. The festival is only for adults 21 and older, so make sure that you bring a valid ID. We look forward to welcoming you to the party!