There’s a super big week ahead! A forecast of somewhat temperate weather in spite of the posted season, combined with the kick-off of the 30th annual Newport Winter Fest signals an inviting time for visitors and residents alike.
Check out the following listings and previews of the busy season ahead for residents and visitors alike.
TOUR GUIDES TIP OF THE WEEK: Planning for the season’s biggest events is well underway and your presence and expertise will be in big demand. Continue to update your tour capabilities and strengthen your knowledge about the history of our city and its residents. Spring is near and summer is coming!
TOURISM JOBS – JOB FAIRS & RECRUITING ARE IN SEASON
Now is the time to plan to secure a job in the growing visitor and tourism business in our wonderful city. Several big job fairs are planned for the coming six weeks or so. There is some expansion happening among the various tour operators. There may be a few new tours launched. There are also some major events coming to Newport in the next few months that will need additional people to support all the visitors. Job openings include tour guides, greeters, boat crew, ticket sales, and a variety of support staff.
- There is still time to check in with the Newport Winter Festival (Feb 16-25) for work and volunteer opportunities. Full information available from Winter Festival Office: 401/847-7666.
- Newport Hospitality is looking for greeters and a variety of support staff to help host the upcoming Volvo Ocean Race Newport event that begins May 8th. For more information, call 401/848-2264.
- Historic Tours of Newport seeks an experienced Trolley Driver/Tour Narrator. $17-$24/hour. www.historictoursofnewport.com or call 401/855-1942.
- The Preservation Society of Newport County is seeking a Special Events Assistant, as well as Ticket Sales Associates, Team Leaders and Associate Team Leaders for their mansion properties (newportmansions.org). The Society will also hold an open Job Fair on Tuesday, February 27. 4 pm – 7 pm at 424 Bellevue Avenue, Newport.
- Sightsailing of Newport accepts applications for its jobs year round. Check their website for guidance on applying for sailing jobs, front desk staff, and office positions at Sightsailing.com/employment.
REMEMBER: Most of the city’s largest tour and cruise businesses accept job applications year-round.
JUST ADDED! NEWPORT SECRET GARDEN TOURS – SEPTEMBER 7-9
Here’s one of Newport’s great events to share with your guests to encourage them to return here after the busy summer season. The September Newport Secret Garden Tours will offer ten incredible private gardens for the public to visit and enjoy. This self-guided tour program will raise funds for the Art Education programs in the island’s public schools. Tickets may be purchased in advance online at www.secretgardens.org for a discounted rate of $20.
REMINDER ABOUT THE CITY’S BIGGEST HIRING EVENT: Make a note to attend the Newport County Chamber Of Commerce Annual Expo & Job Fair 2018 on March 20th. Meanwhile, be open to the temporary jobs available this month and next that may lead to a fuller schedule of work. Watch for new job postings at www.WhatsUpNewp.com web site and at www.Facebook.com/NewportTourGuidesandGreeters.
SPEAKERS & PRESENTATIONS THIS MONTH
Check out the wide selection of lectures, exhibits, talks, classes, and workshops to add to your knowledge and increase your understanding of the people and history of greater Newport.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 15 – THE LIFE & GARDENS OF BEATRIX FARRAND
At 6 pm at Rosecliff, Emmy-award-winning documentary filmmaker Karyl Evans will screen this 40-minute production about the life and gardens of Beatrix Farrand (1872-1959), the early 20th century’s most successful female landscape architect. Members: $15/ General Public $20. Reservations at newportmansions.org/learn
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 15 – SEAN O’BRIEN IS DR. HUNTER
On Thursday, February 15, 2018, at 5:30 pm, the Newport Historical Society will recreate aspects of Dr. Hunter’s talk when they host an 18th-century medical lecture. Dr. Hunter, portrayed by first-person interpreter Seán O’Brien, will share insight on the latest medical knowledge from England while discussing remedies and cures that are available at his 18th-century apothecary shop. A selection of Dr. Hunter’s products, made by Caswell-Massey, will be available for purchase. This event takes place at the Colony House on Washington Square, the same location where the medical lectures originally took place. General admission costs $5 per person or $1 for Newport Historical Society members along with active duty and retired military.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 16 – Newport Winter Festival Begins
Opening Day: 30th Annual Newport Winter Festival. Ask about volunteer and possible work opportunities. There are more than 150 events with food fun & music. This event runs through Sunday, February 25th. More information available from Winter Festival Office: 401/847-7666.
Sunday, FEBRUARY 18 – MOTORS & MIMOSAS
Motors & Mimosas will be the theme at the Audrain Auto Museum (222 Bellevue Avenue, Newport; 401/856-4420) in partnership with La Forge Casino Restaurant. Visitors will enjoy mimosas and pastries while viewing the current exhibit, Grand Touring Cars Through the Decades. Tickets: $15. 10 am – 12 noon
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 19 – FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 23 – WINTERFEST STORYTIME – THE BREAKERS STABLE
Encourage your guests to take part in this free story & craft event for children and their families. Two times daily: 9:30am & 1:30pm. Part of the Newport Winterfest. This is a great opportunity to see and experience The Breakers Stable & Carriage House, 53 Coggeshall Avenue, Newport, RI. Reserve at newportmansions.org/learn, or call 401/847-1851.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 22 – BLACK HERITAGE MONTH LECTURE – ROSECLIFF
Keith Stokes, noted historian and Vice-President of the 1696 Heritage Society, will bring his lecture, “Gilded Age Newport in Color: The African Heritage Experience in Early Newport,” to Rosecliff, 548 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, from 6:00-7: 00 pm. Preservation Society members – $10; General Public: $15. Register in advance: newportmansions.org/learn, or call 401/847-1851.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 22 – SAIL NEWPORT PRESENTS: VOLVO OCEAN RACE NEWPORT UPDATE
Big Screen Presentation: The latest Volvo Ocean Race Videos. Live call with Team Brunel on the leg from Hong Kong to Auckland. Plans for the only North American Stopover in Newport this May. 6:00 pm, Jane Pickens Theater, Washington Square, Newport. TICKETS: $5/ Under 21; $15/Members; $20/Non-members; $25/at the door. Proceeds support Sail Newport’s Volvo Ocean race efforts.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 24 – Educational Program: 10 AM – 1 PM
In the mid-18th century, Newport was the fifth wealthiest city in colonial America. What jobs were people doing that helped the city become so successful? Join the Newport Historical Society to learn how people made their living. During this colonial career fair, costumed interpreters will represent different occupations that would have been present in this seaport. Jobs range from tradespeople like a printer, milliner and leather worker to merchants such as a toy seller and store owner, along with food service jobs such as a baker, brewer, coffeehouse owner and tavern keeper. This program takes place at the Colony House on Washington Square. Admission is free, donations are welcome.
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 25 – PIERRE CARDIN EXHIBIT CLOSES AT ROSECLIFF
The internationally-renowned Pierre Cardin: 70 Years of Innovation exhibition has been resident at Rosecliff mansion for the past seven months. Originally scheduled to close on January 1st, the exhibit’s popularity has caused an extension through February 25th. Go experience this one-of-a-kind exhibit before it closes.
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 27 – JOB FAIR – NEWPORT MANSIONS®
The Preservation Society of Newport County Job Fair will be held from 4 pm – 7 pm at the society’s headquarters at 424 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, RI. Applications will be available. Hiring leaders will also be on-site to meet applicants and answer questions. More info at www.newportmansions.org
The Breakers continues offering the new guided tour first launched in 2017 — “Beneath the Breakers” — throughout the winter. Tours begin every hour on the half hour from 9:30 am – 3:30 pm and are one hour in length. At The Elms, their world-famous guided “Servant Life Tour” is offered throughout the winter at 10:30 am, 12 noon, 2 pm, and 3:30 pm.
UPCOMING NOTEWORTHY EVENTS: MARCH & APRIL
Tell your guests about these upcoming special events and lectures. It’s a great way to help them extend their current time here or plan a return visit to the City-by-the-Sea. Attend and you’ll learn a lot, too.
THURSDAY, MARCH 8 – HIDDEN PRESENCE: GOD’S LITTLE ACRE & BEYOND
Historian & author Glenn Knoblock will discuss some of the African American historic burial grounds and cemeteries in the region and in particular, God’s Little Acre in Newport. This lecture will take place at the Newport Historical Society Resource Center, 82 Touro Street, Newport; 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm. $5 per person; $1 for members, active & retired military personnel with ID. Please RSVP online at NewportHistory.org or call 401/841-8770.
FRIDAY, MARCH 9 – MUSEUM OF NEWPORT IRISH HISTORY OPENINGS
The Museum of Newport Irish History [newportirishhistory.org] will offer special opening hours (Noon to 6 pm) for six days during Irish Heritage Month in March, beginning on Friday, March 9th. The museum at 648 Lower Thames Street in Newport will be open March 9, 10, 11, 16, 17 and 18. The regular season starts with a grand re-opening Memorial Day Weekend, beginning on Saturday, May 26th. Learn here about Irish immigration to Newport County and the key aspects of Irish influence and contributions to life in Newport.
THURSDAY, MARCH 15 – THE NATURAL WORLD OF WINNIE-THE-POOH
Kathryn Aalto, author and landscape architect, will discuss her book and share her thoughts on the intersection of nature and culture in Winnie-the-Pooh. 6 pm at The Elms. Members: $10/General Public $15. Advance reservations required at newportmansions.org/learn, or call 401/847-1851.
SATURDAY, MARCH 17 – St. Patrick’s Day Parade – 11 AM
At 11 am, the 62nd Annual Newport Rhode Island Saint Patrick’s Day Parade will step off in front of Newport City Hall on Broadway. There will numerous events and activities at Newport’s many bars and restaurants all along the parade route and elsewhere in the city.
TUESDAY, MARCH 20 – Expo & Job Fair – 4 PM – 7 PM
NEWPORT COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ANNUAL EXPO & JOB FAIR 2018. Gurney’s Newport Resort & Marina. One Goat Island, Newport, RI 02840. Info: 401/847-1600
SATURDAY, MARCH 24 – Exhibit Opening
Bohemian Beauty: The Aesthetic Movement & Oscar Wilde’s Newport. Opening day: March 24. A new exhibition at Rosecliff. Open daily through November 4th. 9am until 5pm. Additional information available at: newportmansions.org
THURSDAY, APRIL 5 – Rough Point Re-Opens
The Newport Restoration Foundation’s (NRF) historic Rough Point mansion will re-open on Thursday, April 5th for Guided Tours. The Foundation will celebrate its 50th anniversary this year. This year its exhibitions, as posted on its website (newportrestoration.org) will be: “‘To Preserve and Restore’: Newport Restoration Foundation at 50,” and “A Hand in Design: Exquisite Drawings of Jewelry and Architecture for Doris Duke.” a collaboration between NRF and David Webb New York, jewelry designer to Duke and many other prominent figures from 1948 to the present.” Rough Point will be open for tours through November 11th. Don’t miss this.
THURSDAY, APRIL 26 – SUNDAY, APRIL 29 – THE NEWPORT SYMPOSIUM
This year’s 26th Annual Newport Symposium focus is Great Collectors: Taste, Passion & Patronage. The event has a new venue this year, the Jane Pickens Theater. For a list of the speakers, admission, and full schedule, visit NewportMansions.org/learn.
COMING SUMMER EVENTS: JUNE, JULY & AUGUST
Share these dates and events with your guests and visitors. Sell and promote our future activities and invite everyone to return here again and again.
THE NEWPORT FLOWER SHOW COTTAGES SMART & SMALL – JUNE 22-24
The annual flower show adds the current trend of tiny homes and combines them both as livable spaces, functional & beautiful, and the prettiest plants and flowers ever. Rosecliff. Information & tickets: NewportFlowerShow.org
THE NEWPORT SHOW ∙ JULY 28-29, 2018
The annual Newport Antiques Show has a new name this year, The Newport Show. This luxury show will, as it has since 2007, feature antique furniture, fine art, jewelry, and unique vintage items from more than 40 dealers. Watch for more details about this show in the coming months. The Newport Show will again be held at the St. George’s School Ice Rink, 375 Purgatory Road, Middletown, RI, and will run July 28 and 29, 2018. Updates at www.TheNewportShow.com. Proceeds benefit the Newport Historical Society and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Newport County.
WEEKEND OF COACHING – AUGUST 16-19
Every three years, aficionados of horse-drawn 19th century road coaches gather in Newport for a big summer Weekend of Coaching. This year marks the third year since the last event. During the weekend of August 16-19, 2018 the Preservation Society of Newport County will host the biggest Weekend of Coaching ever. The weekend will feature driving exhibitions, viewing of the historic coaches as they drive around the streets of Newport, and tickets to a formal dinner dance at the Breakers on Saturday, August 18th. The weekend is led by Honorary Chair Linda Lindh with co-chairs Kenneth Lindh and Beverly Little. Ted Eayrs is the Chair of Coaching. Event updates and ticket information is available at www.newportmansions.org/events/a-weekend-of-coaching
BOOKS & PUBLICATIONS
The best leaders, guides, and managers of historic sites, mansions, and tour companies read constantly to know the most about the places they work and to learn the latest research about the places they talk about to their guests.
Here is a brand new book to read, learn from, and share.
THE WORLD OF DOWNTON ABBEY. By Jessica Fellowes. London: Harper Collins, 2011. For everyone who loves visiting, touring, and marveling the mansions of Newport, there is the TV program that has helped draw millions of visitors to the City-by-the-Sea – “Downton Abbey.” This singular dramatic program, coming years after the breakthrough British series, “Upstairs, Downstairs,” opened the life of one family and their servants living in a unique time with all the travails of change, WWI, and a multitude of personal dramas. This book is lavishly illustrated with cast and historical photographs, charts, menus, period posters, tricks of the trade used by the servants, and a full chapter of behind-the-scenes insights about the filming of the program. Best of all are the chapters on the meanings behind the show’s visual style, production design, clothing and fashions, word pronunciation, and the lifestyle of the servants from that time. Throughout its 300+ pages, The World of Downton Abbey reveals the rivalries and mysteries and unlocks all the many secrets and history of the rich family life in the magical world created by writer-director, Julian Fellowes.
PROUDFOOT is a documentary film producer, tour guide, and author of The Official 2018 Newport Tour Guides & Greeters Handbook (Shoreline Press (RI), 2017).