'Black Ship' festival splits over dispute with Newport mayor
Jun. 13, 2018
NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) — An alleged dispute has split the "Black Ships" festival into two in Rhode Island this year.
The Newport Daily News reports the city of Newport has hosted the Black Ships Festival with the Japan-America Society for over three decades. The festival celebrates Newport's Japanese sister city, Shimoda, along with Commodore Matthew Perry's 1853 visit to Japan.
Organization officials have decided to move the festival to Bristol. They claim Newport Mayor Harry Winthrop "verbally attacked" society president Spencer Viner last year.
They also ask that Newport stop using the "Black Ships" name.
Winthrop denies the claims and says the city will continue the festival.
The City of Newport Black Ships Festival is scheduled for July 12-15 in Newport. Bristol will host the Black Ships Festival July 12-15.
Information from: The Newport Daily News.