For the next two weeks — May 8-20 – the Volvo Ocean Race will be the big story and the big attraction for up to 200,000 additional guests and visitors to our City-by-the-Sea.  Newport is the sole host U.S. stop for this 45,000 nautical mile race around the globe. Lots of activities and the fabulous Volvo Ocean Race Newport Race Village at Fort Adams will attract a worldwide audience of racing fanatics, sail newbies, and all the families who love sailboats, the ocean, and sports. Learn all about this world-class event and be ready to share your knowledge with all our guests and visitors.

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TOUR GUIDES TIP OF THE WEEK – YOUR COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE

Your competitive advantage is not the quality of your business’s product or service. As we all know, if you don’t have a high quality mansion, historic site, or tour product, you’re not even in the game. Price doesn’t matter either – there is always someone willing to undercut your offer. What does matter is how you treat your customer – your guests, visitors, and customers. The relationship you and your colleagues have with your customers is what matters most.  If your level of hospitality inspires your guests and visitors, they will talk about you online, through Trip Advisor and other sites, and they will also talk about you with their friends. You will create a buzz and people will want to experience what their friends and online relationships have experienced. When you inspire your guests, they will keep coming back. They will also bring their friends. You will help ensure continuing business for you and your organization for years to come.  

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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 – GET HIRED IN MAY

May has arrived!  Lots of jobs are still open, including tour guides, greeters, harbor cruise staff, ticket sellers, bus drivers, and support staff.  This time of year is the kickoff for the upcoming summer season. See a place you’d like to work – call and ask! Get your resume polished and find a perfect match for your interests and skills so you can spend the upcoming season working in the City-by-the-Sea!

JOB OPENINGS

  • Ghost Tour Guide.  Check out our website as well at www.ghostsofnewport.com. Email a resume and headshot for consideration.
  • Tour Guide & Pedicab Driver. This is a unique way to give tours and run your own business and get lots of exercise. Make $500-$1,000 per week. Rent a Pedicab and give your fares a custom tour of the City-by-the-Sea. Info: www.newportpedicab.com/drivers
  • Trolley/Van/Bus drivers hiring now. Experienced Tour Bus/Trolley Drivers with passenger endorsement. Flexible time & Great Working Environment. $17-$24/hour. Historic Tours of Newport LLC. Middletown, RI. Info:  401/855-1942.
  • The Preservation Society of Newport County has several job openings, full and part-time, including Associate Tour Guides and support staff.  Check with them directly online (newportmansions.org) or call 401/847-1000 for current information about job openings for the upcoming season.  

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.

TODAY THROUGH MAY 9 – STUDENT ARTWORK EXHIBIT AT TRINITY CHURCH

Student artwork – sculpture, furniture, paintings and video — that shows how art can interact throughout time within historic institutions will be featured in the Hawes Room at Trinity Church (Queen Anne Square, Newport).  The show, titled “The Forefather, the Sun and the Omnipresent Spirit,” features artwork by students from CCRI, UMass Dartmouth and Rhode Island School of Design. Info: 401/846-0660.

THURSDAY, MAY 3 – UNDRESSING HISTORY – A LECTURE

19th Century clothing comes alive in this Newport Historical Society lecture, titled “Undressing History: Women’s Clothes and Unmentionable from the 19th Century.” Newport Historical Resource Center, 82 Touro Street, Newport. 5:30 – 6:30 pm. Admission varies. Register at 401/841-8770 or newporthistory.org.

THURSDAY, MAY 3 – EIGHT BELLS LECTURE

Larrie D. Ferreiro will present his talk, “Brothers At Arms: American Independence and the Men of France & Spain Who Saved It” at the Seamen’s Church Institute (18 market Square, Newport) at Noon. The lecture is presented by the Naval War College Museum. $10 donation appreciated. Info: seamensnewport.org.

FRIDAY, MAY 4 – ROGUES & SCOUNDRELS WALKING TOUR

Every tour guide should experience one or more of the great walking tours organized by the Newport Historical Society. This tour about some of the city’s more colorful residents leaves at 10:30 am from the Museum of Newport History, 127 Thames Street (Newport). Info and reservations at: newporthistorytours.org

SATURDAY, MAY 5 – DISCOVER COLONIAL NEWPORT WALKING TOUR

Every tour guide should experience one or more of the great walking tours organized by the Newport Historical Society. This tour offers stories of entrepreneurship, African American heritage and religious diversity during Newport’s colonial period.  This tour leaves at 10:30 am from the Museum of Newport History, 127 Thames Street (Newport). Info and reservations at: newporthistorytours.org

SUNDAY, MAY 6 – GOLDEN TO GILDED WALKING TOUR

Every tour guide should experience one or more of the great walking tours organized by the Newport Historical Society. On this tour you’ll get the inside skinny on the transformation of Newport and its people from its colonial Golden Age to Gilded Age summer colony.  This tour leaves at 10:30 am from the Museum of Newport History, 127 Thames Street (Newport). Info and reservations at: newporthistorytours.org

SUNDAY, MAY 6 — DUTCH BULBS WORKSHOP

A walk through the gardens at the Green Animals Topiary Garden (380 Cory’s lane, Portsmouth) with chief horticulturist and bulb master Dan Christina to learn how to get the best results with Dutch bulbs. 11 am – 1 pm. Free with price of admission to Green Animals. Registration at 401/847-1000 x178; newportmansions.org.

SUNDAY, MAY 6 – NEWPORT FURNITURE LECTURE

Jeffrey Greene’s latest lecture – “New Discoveries in Newport Furniture” — will be of particular interest to house and mansion tour guides, history students, and up-and-coming historians. 2 pm. Newport Art Museum (76 Bellevue Avenue, Newport). Register: 401/848-8200; newportartmuseum.org.

MONDAY, MAY 7 – ROAD TO INDEPENDENCE WALKING TOUR

Every tour guide should experience one or more of the great walking tours organized by the Newport Historical Society. This one will teach you about Newport’s history of riots and rebellions, enemies and allies and role in the American Revolution.  This tour leaves at 10:30 am from the Museum of Newport History, 127 Thames Street (Newport). Info and reservations at: newporthistorytours.org

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

THURSDAY, MAY 10 – CHASING SHAKLETON!  AN EVENING WITH ADVENTURER TIM JARVIS

Tim Jarvis, an author, filmmaker, environmentalist & adventurer, describes his journey to retrace the steps of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s famous 1916 Polar Exploration. Cocktail Reception followed by Tim’s presentation and an auction of Shackleton-related items.  All proceeds benefit The Shackleton Climate Project. 5:30 pm. Casino Theatre (9 Freebody Street, Newport). Tickets ($25) at shackletonclimatenewport.eventbrite.com

THURSDAY, MAY 10 – PRESSED BOTANICAL WORKSHOP

Participants will learn the about the history of botanical use in home decor, gain decorating tips from Jenna, and enjoy small bites while creating a framed pressed botanical piece of art for your home framed pressed botanical piece of art for your home. Reservations required. Thursday, May 10 at 6:30 p.m. Museum of Newport History and Shop at 127 Thames Street, Newport. Info & reservations at:  401-841-8770.

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

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: folktickets@newportfestivals.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, 2018

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

CURRENT EXHIBITS & TOURS NOT TO BE MISSED

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

VISIT ROUGH POINT IN 2018 – NRF’s 50th ANNIVERSARY

The Newport Restoration Foundation (NRF) celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. This year its exhibitions at historic Rough Point mansion, 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.” This is 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 amazing home.  

BENEATH THE BREAKERS TOUR

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. Info: newportmansions.org

SERVANT LIFE TOUR AT THE ELMS

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. Info: newportmansions.org

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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).  

 

Ryan M. Belmore

Ryan M. Belmore is the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and serves on the Board of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and Lucy's Hearth. Send questions, tips, and story ideas to Ryan@whatsupnewp.com.