(Photo via 12 Meter Charters)

A busy weekend is coming as our city helps the nation celebrate July 4th weekend.  In Newport, there will be many first-time visitors, lots of activities, and just north of us in Bristol, Rhode Island, the nation’s oldest July 4th parade.  The Bristol parade begins at 10:30 a.m. and will step-off at the corner of Chestnut Street and Hope Street (Rt. 114) and ends on High Street, between State Street and Bradford Street. Admission is free. Tell your guests and visitors to get there early.  

Happy 4th of July!

TOUR GUIDE TIP OF THE WEEK – A PROFESSIONAL GREETING

Every tour guide should learn to be a professional greeter.  A warm friendly greeting can provide each guest with a special welcome, both to your historic site and to the city of Newport.  Remember that everyone wants to be noticed, not overlooked or ignored. And everyone wants to feel important. When we actively acknowledge each visitor with a smile and a friendly welcome greeting we are helping launch their Newport Experience on a positive note.  

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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.

UPDATE ON THE “SERVANT LIFE TOUR” AT THE ELMS – EXPANDED NUMBER OF TOURS

The daily guided tour schedule for the Servant Life Tour at The Elms has been revised and expanded.  Tours are now offered EVERY hour on the half hour, beginning at 10:30 am each day. The new tour times are: 10:30 am, 11:30 am, 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm, 3:30 pm, and 4:30 pm.  The tour is one hour. Info: newportmansions.org

JOB OPENINGS

There are still many job openings available for the busy summer season in Newport.  A few listings follow.

  • Rough Point (680 Bellevue Avenue, Newport) is seeking Visitor Services Associates to serve as Front Gate Greeters at this property owned by the Newport Restoration Foundation. To apply, please submit a résumé to maeve@newportrestoration.org.
  • Sightsailing of Newport accepts applications for its jobs year round. Check their web site for guidance on applying for sailing jobs, front desk staff, and office positions at Sightsailing.com/employment.
  • Preservation Society of Newport County. This is the largest owner and operator of historic properties offering audio and guided tours in Newport. A variety of positions are available. They recruit year-round.  Check their web site on a regular basis for the latest job openings. www.newportmansions.org.
  • Belcourt of Newport (657 Bellevue Avenue, Newport) currently hiring part-time tour guides. Contact tours@belcourt.com for more information.
  • Gansett Cruises: If you’d like to lead Newport Harbor Tours, 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

If you’re new to this field, get a copy of THE OFFICIAL 2018 NEWPORT GUIDES & GREETERS HANDBOOK [amazon.com] to help you become a master hospitality ambassador for our city.  It also lists many of the best tour companies and hospitality organizations hiring seasonal and year-round people here.  Consider working in ticket sales or other support positions at one or more of these tour companies. It will give you some visitor services experience and make you aware of tour guide and greeter jobs as they become available during the 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.

THURSDAY, JUNE 28 – DISCOVER COLONIAL NEWPORT WALKING TOUR – 10:30 AM

This is one of several wonderful walking tours offered throughout the year by the Newport Historical Society. This tour features stories of  entrepreneurship, African American heritage and religious diversity during Newport’s colonial period. Tickets $15; Children $5. 10:30 AM – 11:45 AM. Tour leaves from the Museum of Newport History, 127 Thames Street (Newport). Info and Reservations at: newporthistorytours.org  

FRIDAY, JUNE 29 – ROGUES & SCOUNDRELS WALKING TOUR – 10:30 AM

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

FRIDAY, JUNE 29 – NEWPORT GULLS COLLEGIATE BASEBALL – CARDINES FIELD – – 6:35 PM

Your baseball-loving guests and visitors will love a trip back to a ball game in a historic stadium. Tonight’s game is against the Ocean State Waves, with the first pitch at 6:35 pm. A night at historic Cardines Field (20 America’s Cup Avenue, Newport) is a inexpensive night out for a family. Ticket prices are reasonable at $1-$5 per person. Information & Tickets: www.newportgulls.pointstreaksites.com  

SATURDAY, JUNE 30 – CARS & COFFEE AT THE ELMS – 8:00 – 10:00 AM – FREE

You will see as many as 100 cars displayed on the back lawn of The Elms (367 Bellevue Avenue, Newport) from 8-10 am, at one of the season’s very popular Cars & Coffee events sponsored by Audrain Automobile Museum and the Preservation Society of Newport County. This free event brings together car enthusiasts, history buffs, and , of course, coffee drinkers. A great kick-off for the 2018 Summer Season in Newport!  Info: 401/847-1000; newportmansions.org

SATURDAY, JUNE 30 – DISCOVER COLONIAL NEWPORT WALKING TOUR – 10:30 AM

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.  The tour leaves at 10:30 am from the Museum of Newport History, 127 Thames Street (Newport). Info and reservations at: newporthistorytours.org

SATURDAY, JUNE 30 – NEWPORT INTERNATIONAL POLO – INDEPENDENCE CUP – 5:00 PM

This week is the annual match – Red States vs Blue States – vying for the Independence Cup. Check out the excitement of Newport Polo and tell your equine-loving guests.  Newport International Polo Grounds, 250 Linden Lane, Portsmouth. 5 pm. Tickets to the match ($15 for General Admission; 15-and-under free; $25 for Pavilion seating) and to the après polo field-side dinner are available at www.nptpolo.com.

SUNDAY, JULY 1 – GOLDEN TO GILDED WALKING TOUR – 10:30 AM

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

COMING SUMMER EVENTS: 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.

JULY 4, 2018 – 233RD ANNUAL FOURTH OF JULY PARADE – BRISTOL, RI – 10:30 AM

Our visitors are already asking about this annual event, the oldest 4th of July Parade celebration in the United States. It begins at 10:30 a.m. and will step-off at the corner of Chestnut Street and Hope Street (Rt. 114) and ends on High Street, between State Street and Bradford Street. Admission is free, but get there early early early! Info: www.fourthofjulybristolri.com

JULY 4-22, 2018 – NEWPORT MUSIC FESTIVAL

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.

THURSDAY, JULY 12 – WHITEHORNE HOUSE MUSEUM OPEN HOUSE – 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM

The Newport Restoration Foundation (NRF) is hosting its second free open house of this wonderful museum at 416 Lower Thames Street  (Newport), from 5:00 – 7:00 pm. Come and explore the collection of 18th-century Newport furniture for the first time or come back to hear about NRF plans for the revitalization. The museum’s charming pocket garden will also be open for wandering. Info: 401/847–8344

JULY 14 – GREEN ANIMALS CHILDREN’S PARTY – GREEN ANIMALS – PORTSMOUTH, RI

This annual party for children marks the middle of summer. Mark your calendars for this fun event for children of all ages and stay tuned for more details. Info: newportmansions.org

JULY 27-29 – NEWPORT FOLK FESTIVAL

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

JULY 28-29, 2018 – THE NEWPORT SHOW  

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.

AUGUST 3-5, 2018 – NEWPORT JAZZ FESTIVAL

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/

AUGUST 16-19, 2018 – A WEEKEND OF COACHING

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

SATURDAY, AUGUST 18 – DRIVING EXHIBITION -– 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

FRIDAY, AUGUST 31 – AUDRAIN AUTOMOBILE MUSEUM ANNUAL GALA – OCHRE COURT

This event will feature Jay Leno as the key speaker.  Get more information at: audrainautomuseum.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

OSCAR WILDE & THE BOHEMIAN MOVEMENT AS YOU’VE NEVER IMAGINED THEM

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), are: “‘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,” has a regular daily schedule. Tour is one hour. Info: newportmansions.org

SERVANT LIFE TOUR AT THE ELMS

At The Elms, their world-famous guided “Servant Life Tour” has a new daily schedule. Tours are offered every hour on the half hour, at 10:30 am, 11:30 am, 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm, 3:30 pm, and 4:30 pm.  The tour is one hour. Info: newportmansions.org

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.

HISTORIC PRESERVATION MATTERS

In case you missed this when we first reviewed it in March, here is a brief summary of a recent comprehensive study about the value of historic preservation.

HISTORIC PRESERVATION: AN OVERLOOKED ECONOMIC DRIVER. A Study of the Impacts of Historic Preservation in Rhode Island. Written & Produced by PlaceEconomics.  Study Commissioned by Preserve Rhode Island and The Preservation Society of Newport County. 2018.  This comprehensive study details and confirms the many dividends paid to the state of Rhode Island by historic preservation. The authors cite four key areas that benefit from this activity: the economy through tax credits, heritage tourism, the environment, and quality of life. The numbers are amazing. Rhode Island hosts 9.8 million heritage visitors each year which contribute $1.4 billion to the state’s economy. Over $1.4 billion was invested in rehabilitating 326 historic buildings. Every $1 the state invests in a historic preservation tax credit generates $10.53 of economic activity. The report further details the numbers of jobs and wages produced by heritage tourism and the positive effect preservation has on the environment and the overall quality of life in the Ocean State. The full illustrated 70-page report can be downloaded for free at www.PreservationStudyRI.org.

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KENNETH PROUDFOOT is a documentary film producer, Newport tour guide, and author of The Official 2018 Newport Tour Guides & Greeters Handbook (Shoreline Press (RI), 2017).

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