The worlds most exciting ocean race will make its North American stopover in Newport, RI. The boats, the sailors, the entertainment, in-port racing and family activities will take place May 5 - 17, 2015. This information is ideal for those who own or manage a business in or near Newport, RI. IMPORTANT DATES When is the Volvo Ocean Race coming to Newport? -Official dates of the Newport Stopover are May 5-17. -Trucks carrying the entire race infrastructure are coming into Newport April 16-18. -We're expecting boats to arrive May 5 through May 9. You can sign up to receive text alerts for the arrivals at www.volvooceanracenewport.com. WELCOMING PARTY! - The entire community is invited to come out and help welcome these international sailors to Newport. A flotilla of boats will leave Fort Adams no matter what time the day or night! Sign up for text alerts on the Volvo Ocean Race website. - The Race Village will be open through the entirety of the stopover: May 5-17. Once the boats arrive, guests will be able to see them docked at the pier at Fort Adams State Park, enjoy close up views of the racing action, and commentary of on-the-water activities, watch the operations of the sail loft, team bases and team exhibitions; experience entertainment, food, interactive exhibits for all ages, Try Sailing, watch a short film in the Ocean Theater and see race prize giving ceremonies. There will be youth sailing races and high performance exhibition sailing on both weekends. Schools are invited to visit throughout the week. Most days through May 13, the village is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. From May 14-17, the hours will be extended. - The "Exploration Zone," officially opening May 9, features 22 interactive exhibits on marine life, sailing, ocean conservation, wind, water and weather experiences, and marine technology. - The action heats up May 14 through May 17 with exhibition regattas and in-port racing. On May 17, the Leg Restart Dock-Out Show, will be from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., followed by the official Leg Restart at 2 p.m. Thousands of spectators are expected at the shore line to cheer on the fleet as they wind their way on a race course starting off of Fort Adams. Next stop: Lisbon! TRANSPORTATION How will visitors get there? -Drive Visitors can drive and park at Fort Adams. There will be a $10 parking fee from May 5 - May 13. From May 14-17, the parking fee will be $20 per day; if you drive a Volvo, parking will be free, courtesy of Viti Volvo. -ADA Accessible Parking Will be available at Fort Adams with an accessible shuttle bus available to ride to the front entrance of the Race Village. There will be no fee for this shuttle bus. -By land, sea, bus and bicycle. Please note: City of Newport parking lots, which include the parking garage at the Newport Visitors Center and the Mary Street lot, will be charging effective May 1 and parking meters will be in effect. -Bicycle As this is a "green event," organizers ask that as many people as possible ride their bikes to Fort Adams. There will be a bike rack set-up for peddlers. BYOB - bring your own bike lock! -Bus It's not confirmed, but RIPTA may add a bus to travel from downtown Newport to Fort Adams for the duration of the event. -Water Taxis Available from Perrotti Park The Newport Harbor Shuttle will provide continuous service daily between Perrotti Park and Fort Adams beginning at 8 a.m. Cost is $10/round trip. -From JamestownThe Newport/Jamestown Ferry will also operate an enlarged schedule of trips to take the shuttle between islands. SPECIAL EVENTS May 5: Race Village opens at 3 p.m. Local and state dignitaries will speak at the Opening Ceremonies at 4 p.m. The public is welcome and there should be plenty of parking, all free. May 5, 8, 13, 15 &16: "Dock Party" with live music featuring local bands from New England. Location near Heineken Docks. May 16 & 17: Inside the Fort there will be zip lines, a climbing wall, a giant Jenga game, paddle boats, and obstacle course for little feet and an interactive mural. (All Free) May 9: Exploration Zone opens and stays open through May 17 May 9 & 14: Pancake breakfast, Yoga on Mother's Day, bubble soccer (Free) May 13: newportFILM showing of a documentary (Free) May 9 to 14: Two concerts featuring national performers are in the final planning stages. The concerts will take place the evenings of Saturday, May 9 and Thursday, May 14, respectively. These will be ticketed events and available through the website. Please note: event information will be continuously updated HERE LODGING Is it true that lodging is sold out on Aquidneck Island? Rooms are available at local hotels, inns, bed and breakfasts. Use the BOOK A ROOM search feature on DiscoverNewport.org to find local lodging options. GET INVOLVED What is the retail/restaurant program? There are two ways your store and/or restaurant can officially participate in the Volvo Ocean Race Newport Stopover celebration and help send the "Welcome to Newport" message: the VIP program, which offers a discount and/or an incentive for VOR VIPs to shop or dine in your establishment, and the Store Front/Restaurant Window Competition. This initiative is being led by the Newport County Chamber of Commerce but businesses DO NOT have to be chamber members to participate. For details and materials, contact Jane Roggero at the Newport County Chamber via Jane@NewportChamber.com. Are there other ways I can welcome the Volvo Ocean Race to Newport? Yes. While Volvo Ocean Race Newport encourages you to participate in the VIP program and/or window competition mentioned above, if that's "knot" your speed, decorate your business however you please. Encourage employees to wear Volvo Ocean Race Gear (available at Team 1 Newport). Creatively decorate your windows, restaurant and menus, entryways and more with sailboats, sails, anchors and nautical d_cor. Check the Volvo Ocean Race website and salute the fleet, or choose a team (Hint: Team SCA, the all-female crew, embraces magenta and the onboard reporter, Corinna Halloran, is from Middletown; and Team Alvimedica is the official "hometown team" with Bristol's Charlie Enright as the skipper of a crew that also includes two Newport sailors: Nick Dana and Amory Ross - the embedded reporter on the black and orange boat. Learn more about each team at www.VolvoOceanRace.com and/or download the app. Volunteer -The Race Village will need a tremendous volunteer team with many opportunities for people of all ages to help. If you are interested in volunteering some time to make this a great stopover for the teams and for visitors, visit the website. -There are many openings for event helpers, media center assistants, dock hands, accreditation center, translators, game managers, children's activity guides and many more positions. Join the volunteer team and be part of this world class event. Follow the Race -Download the app at www.volovoceanrace.com. You will find up-to-the-minute tracker as the boats round Cape Horn, enter the Atlantic and head north to Itajai, Brazil. From Brazil, it's the pathway homeward to Newport. -Watch NBC Sports Channel - check your listings for times and dates. -Outside Television - check your listings for Monday night show times. -WJAR TV - Watch our media partner channel 10 for the promotional spots and integration with their programming as we get closer to the stopover. -Tune-in to Coast 93.3 FM and WADK for interviews and messages on the stopover. -Watch the Newport Daily News for their stories on the race as our newspaper media partner. Come to the Stopover! -Stroll the incredible Race Village starting on May 5. Explore the team compounds and boatyard; enjoy music, food, entertainment and tons of activities for the kids. -Try Sailing - Sail Newport will take guests sailing every day of the stopover. These free tours of Brenton Cove and Newport Harbor will show why we love sailing! No experience is necessary; Sail Newport will provide skippers and life jackets. Bring the whole family! -Spectator Boat Tickets are available for May 14, 15 and 17 and on the event website. -VIP Hospitality Tickets are available for the Ocean Race Club, watch the racing from a comfortable private lunch club with gourmet food and bar, tickets available on the website. -School VisitsEncourage your children's teacher(s) to schedule a field trip to the race village and the educational Exploration Zone. Contact at Sail Newport: firstname.lastname@example.org. Staff Training Want to get your entire staff excited about the Volvo Ocean Race? A Discover Newport representative will come to your property to brief your staff on all things Volvo Ocean Race so they can be ready for the big event and the visiting clientele.