Our site doesn’t have a paywall and all of our content and newsletters are always free to read.
Instead, reader support and advertising from local businesses power our locally owned, independent newsroom. If you like what we do, a contribution of $8/month means more than you’d think, and any amount helps.
We’ve survived a most unusual and stormy winter, so can Spring finally and truly be far behind? YES! We’ve already spied the first crocuses and colorful yellow petals popping out of the frozen ground! It’s another reminder that Daffodil Days are coming soon to Newport (April 14-22). This is such a beautiful season to be in our City-by-the-Sea. The sky is brighter, the air is warming, the nights are shorter, and we’re heading toward the day with the greatest number of hours of sun to shine on Newport this year (June 21st). Enjoy every moment of this beautiful season!
TOUR GUIDES TIP OF THE WEEK
A Key Personal Quality for successful tour guides is KNOWLEDGE. There are two types of knowledge to have. One is job knowledge, knowing everything about the specific job you have and what it entails and how to do it well. The second type of knowledge is to know about the history and people and places in the neighborhood and city where you work. In Newport, there is an initial steep learning curve in this place boasting more than 350 years of history, but it can be accomplished. A diligent investment in reading, attending lectures and exhibits, asking questions, and visiting our historic sites will pay off in many ways for your work as a tour guide or greeter. You’ll be more valuable, more in demand, and you’ll have the confidence to share your knowledge and enthusiasm about our history with the thousands of people arriving to discover our City-by-the-Sea. Welcome Spring and Keep Learning!
NEW LISTINGS AND EVENTS: For more information to prepare you to be the best tour guide & greeter ever, read and learn about the following updated listings and previews of the busy season ahead for residents and visitors alike.
TOURISM JOBS – PREPARE TO BE HIRED
April is nearly here and the search is on for good quality people to fill the numerous positions for tour guides, greeters, harbor cruise staff, ticket sellers, bus drivers, and support staff. If you are ready, get going and find a perfect match for your interests and skills so you can spend the upcoming season working in the City-by-the-Sea!
- Newport Daffodil Days Festival: Volunteers needed for a variety of activities and events. Get Daffy and join the fun. Check in at www.facebook.com/Newportdaffydays/.
- Gansett Cruises: Check in with the Gansett Cruises crew for current job openings. A fun company with two great boats in Newport Harbor. Go to: gansettcruises.com
- Newport Vineyards Job Fair: Variety of jobs: Hosts, Bussers, Bartenders, more. April 4: 6-7:30 pm, Meadow Room. 909 East Main Road, Middletown, RI.
- Sightsailing of Newport seeks summer sailing crew and outdoor front desk reservations & sales staff. www.sightsailing.com
- National Museum of American Illustration seeks a part-time summer Art Museum Intern; May-September, 2018. Applicants should apply through Indeed.com.
- The Preservation Society of Newport County has several job openings, including Associate Tour Guide (part-time), Special Events Attendant (part-time), Admissions Associate-Ticket Sales (part-time), as well as Sales Associates in the museum shops. Check with them directly (newportmansions.org) for current information about job openings for the upcoming season.
- 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.
REMEMBER: Most of the city’s largest tour and cruise businesses accept job applications year-round.
SPEAKERS & SPECIAL EVENTS THIS WEEK
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.
NOW — SOMETHING TRULY SPECIAL
Go visit the newest exhibit at the Galleries at Rosecliff, Bohemian Beauty: The Aesthetic Movement & Oscar Wilde’s Newport. Preservation Society Curator Ashley Householder has gathered a breathtaking collection of furniture, ceramics, wallpaper, clothing, accessories, and ephemera about the aesthetic movement (1870-1890) and the era’s major promoter, Oscar Wilde (1854-1900). The colors, patterns, and shapes of this “art for art’s sake” movement and the influence of Irish writer, playwright, and impresario Wilde will whisk you away to another time. Go and see this unique and truly wonderful exhibit. Open daily through November 4th. 9am until 5pm. Additional information available at: newportmansions.org
SATURDAY, MARCH 31 – EASTER EGG HUNT & BRUNCH AT ROSECLIFF
The Easter Bunny visits Rosecliff for the annual Easter Egg Hunt & Brunch. Bring the children to scramble for candy-filled eggs on the oceanfront lawn and pose for photos with the Bunny. After the hunt, step inside for a scrumptious brunch.
10 am. Reservations: 401/847-1000, ext. 140.
SUNDAY, APRIL 1 – EASTER SUNDAY
Yes, even on this Holy Day, the City-by-the-Sea will be hopping! Tell your guests to plan ahead if they want to enjoy breakfast or brunch in one of the city’s fabulous restaurants. And assure them the mansions and other attractions WILL be open on their regular Sunday schedules.
COMING IN APRIL & MAY
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 5 – LECTURE: “GRAPPLING WITH LEGACY”
The Newport Historical Society and Emmanuel Church will host author Sylvia Brown, a descendant of Rhode Island’s famous Brown family (think “Brown University”) for an interesting lecture at Emmanuel Church (42 Dearborn Street, Newport) at 5:30 pm. The evening is titled, Grappling with Legacy: A Lecture with Sylvia Brown on Rhode Island’s Brown Family and the American Philanthropic Impulse. Admission is free. Donations accepted. RSVP: 401/841-8770.
THURSDAY, APRIL 12 – MUSICAL PIONEERS: HAYDN, BACEWICZ AND GEORGE WALKER
A program of chamber works will be presented by the Newport String Project on April 12th at 7 pm at Old Colony House (82 Touro Street, Newport). Also hosted by the Newport Historical Society. Admission by donation. Info: newportstringproject.org
SATURDAY, APRIL 14- SUNDAY, APRIL 22, 2018 – NEWPORT DAFFODIL DAYS FESTIVAL
This is the 5th Annual Newport Daffodil Days Festival that is the highlight of Newport’s Spring season. Visitors and residents will thrill to the 866,500 daffodils blooming all over the city. A multitude of events (Visit: www.newportdaffydays.com for the full schedule and times) and fun activities will celebrate all things daffodil and raise money to buy and plant more daffodils – the goal is ONE MILLION DAFFODILS! So, Get Daffy and join the fun. Tell all your guests and visitors, too! Check for updates & weather at www.facebook.com/Newportdaffydays/.
MONDAY, APRIL 16 – A DANDY SPRING FLING – 6:00pm – 7:30pm
This is the classic Spring Fling celebration with hors d-oeuvres, live music and a complimentary toast to Mother Nature while overlooking the hundred of daffodils set against Easton’s Bay at the award winning Chanler at Cliff Walk (117 Memorial Blvd, Newport). $30 donation. Tickets at Newportdaffydays.com. All proceeds support Daffodillion’s free bulb give-away in October. Don’t miss this event!
TUESDAY, MAY 8 – SUNDAY, MAY 20 – VOLVO OCEAN RACE NEWPORT
Tell your guests and visitors to get ready for the arrival of the Volvo Ocean race fleet, arriving in Newport this month on one leg of their round-the-world sailing race. The opening of the Race Village at Fort Adams is Tuesday, May 8th at 4 pm. Get updated information at www.volvooceanracenewport.com
MAY 19 & 20 – BOWEN’S WHARF NEWPORT WATERFRONT OYSTER FESTIVAL
11 am – 5 pm. Enjoy a festive weekend eating oysters. Rhode Island is home to more than 45 oyster farms. The flavors are distinctive to each farm. The festival will offer 13 kinds of oyster all in one festive atmosphere! Growers will be shucking alongside a select group of local restaurants under festival tents. Tickets are available online at: http://www.bowenswharf.com/newport-oyster-festival
STILL TIME TO TAKE THESE SPECIAL TOURS
Complete your knowledge of the Newport Mansions® and take the two special tours before the busy Spring and Summer seasons arrive. The Breakers tour, “Beneath the Breakers,” begins hourly on the half hour from 9:30 am – 4:30 pm and is one hour in length. At The Elms, their world-famous guided “Servant Life Tour” is offered hourly on the half hour from 10:30 am – 4:30 pm. The tour is one hour.
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
Martha Stewart will be a featured guest and speaker at this year’s show. 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
NEWPORT MUSIC FESTIVAL – JULY 4-22, 2018
This annual music festival will celebrate its 50th anniversary this summer. A number of special guests and new experiences for the audiences will be included among the festival’s summer season. Performance sites include The Breakers and the Newport Art Museum. More information, schedules, and tickets are available at newportmusic.org. Box Office: 401/849-0700.
BLACK SHIPS FESTIVAL – JULY 12-15
The Black Ships Festival celebrates the friendship between Newport and their sister city Shimoda, Japan. It offers a variety of events emphasizing both Japanese art and culture. More Info: http://www.blackshipsfestival.com/
NEWPORT FOLK FESTIVAL – JULY 27-29
This is the big folk festival of the summer. A number of other events surround this 3-day weekend. Location: Fort Adams, Newport, RI. Tickets: firstname.lastname@example.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.
NEWPORT JAZZ FESTIVAL – AUGUST 3-5
This is the big festival everyone asks about. May already be sold out, but keep the dates in mind for those who ask. Location: Fort Adams, Newport, RI. Tickets and more information: http://www.newportjazz.org/
A WEEKEND OF COACHING – AUGUST 16-19, 2018
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
DRIVING EXHIBITION – SATURDAY, AUGUST 18 – 10:30 AM – THE ELMS
This free event, part of the Weekend of Coaching, will take place on the grounds of The Elms (367 Bellevue Avenue, Newport). It will feature many of the coaches and their drivers who are part of the weekend celebration of this unique and historic sporting tradition. More Information: NewportMansions.org
PREVIEW OF AUTUMN IN NEWPORT
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.
NEWPORT INTERNATIONAL BOAT SHOW – SEPTEMBER 13-16
The Newport International Boat Show encompasses thirteen acres of Newport’s downtown waterfront. Exhibitors from near and far offer a full range of new powerboats and sailboats, plus a medley of marine products, services and accessories to enhance the nautical lifestyle. Special events, seminars, and in-water boating courses for the whole family are offered on all show days. Not to be missed is the exciting Newport For New Products program – showcasing boats and boating products making their first-ever debut in the United States. Newport Yachting Center, 4 Commercial Wharf, Newport. More information: http://newportboatshow.com/
NEWPORT MANSIONS WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL – SEPTEMBER 20-23
This festival features a world-class variety of tastings, seminars, and events over a four-day weekend. Held at The Elms, Rosecliff and Marble House. Tickets & more information: http://www.newportmansions.org/events/wine-and-food-festival/tickets-events
BOWEN’S WHARF SEAFOOD FESTIVAL – OCTOBER 13-14
11 am – 5pm. Free event. Honoring the harvest of the sea, this Festival offers fresh local seafood, continuous live music and family fun. Bowen’s Wharf, Newport. More Information: http://www.bowenswharf.com/events
PRINT & DIGITAL RESOURCES
The very 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 history, artwork, and artifacts of the places they talk about to their guests. Tour Guides & Greeters should be aware of these two just-released local publications.
NEWPORT HISTORY, Journal of the Newport Historical Society. Newport, RI: Volume 88, Winter/Spring 2018, Number 277. This is the official twice annual publication of the Newport Historical Society Museum and Library. The current issue features two interesting and lavishly illustrated long form articles, both with new information and insights into the history of the greater Newport area. The first is a story of Bishop George Berkeley (1685-1753) interwoven with a family history of a significant preservationist, titled “A Web of Commemoration: Mary Clark Sturtevant and the Berkeley Memorial Chapel, 1881-1934.” The second piece is an announcement of the recent acquisition of a significant photographic negative collection, more than 7,000 images of Newport and its people, of longtime Newport photographer John T. Hopf (1920-2011). The exciting news is accompanied by an enlightening history of this prolific commercial and aerial photographer, illustrated with 29 of his photographs dating from the 1930’s. The full story of his photography work and other interests is included in the article by Sarah A. Long and Ingrid M. Peters. Note to Tour Guides: Join the Newport Historical Society to receive every issue of this important journal. Visit: NewportHistory.org.
NEWPORTMANSIONS 2018. Make Your Own History. The Preservation Society of Newport County, Newport, Rhode Island. March 2018. This is the latest full-color illustrated brochure from the Newport Mansions® featuring their new schedule of the hours of operation for the Society’s many mansions, properties, and special events. This issue provides special coverage of four special activities: The new exhibit at the Galleries of Rosecliff, Bohemian Beauty: The Aesthetic Movement and Oscar Wilde’s Newport (March 24-November 4); The Newport Flower Show: Cottages Smart & Small (June 22-24); A Weekend of Coaching (August 16-19); and Newport Mansions® Wine & Food Festival (September 20-23). Also of note are this year’s dates for Christmas at the Newport Mansions (November 17-January 1, 2019). It’s a comprehensive and useful information tool for your guide and greeter work. Available free at all Newport Mansions® properties, Newport Visitor Center, and many other sites around the city.
KENNETH PROUDFOOT is a documentary film producer, international & Newport tour guide, and author of The Official 2018 Newport Tour Guides & Greeters Handbook (Shoreline Press (RI), 2017).