Celebrating its 26th year, the Black Ships Festival descends on Newport July 16-19 bringing with it a host of entertaining events and festivities—many of which are free and open to the public. In between the shops at Brick Market Place you’ll find Japanese tea tastings at Tea on Thames, sushi demonstrations at Sushi-Go, sumo wrestlers meet and greets, and ninja, anime, samurai sword, stick fighting, painting, calligraphy and martial art demonstrations. Amid all of the activity at Brick Market, check out one of the best shopping sites in Newport, more than 4 acres in fact, of one-of-a-kind shops. While the Thames Street side of Brick Market Place has ample visibility, the back row, Goddard Row, hosts a string of less discovered shopping gems including: Green Envy, an eco-friendly boutique with fair trade clothing, accessories and gifts; Jason & Co., a must-see shop known for the coveted Pandora and Trollbeads jewelry, exquisite coastal accents and home accessories; Portobello Jewelers collection of estate, antique and contemporary stunners; Gelissimo’s sootless candles and other unconventional finds, all made in the U.S.A. Check out these and the rest of the Black Ships events for an international experience right here in the City-by-the-Sea.