A grand weekend of yachting kicks off on Saturday with the Ida Lewis Yacht Club-sponsored Newport Classic Yacht Regatta. The regatta continues on Sunday and will coincide with the annual Narragansett Bay Classic Yacht Rendezvous Parade beginning in Newport Harbor at 10:30 am. Classic yachts, both power and sail, are encouraged to join the parade. Visitors will be able to see the parade from many sites around both Newport Harbor and along Narragansett Bay. The parade runs through 1:30 pm.
Be sure to share these events with your guests. Enjoy the week!
TOUR GUIDE TIP OF THE WEEK: REVIEW & STAY CURRENT
After you have been leading tours for a while or working in one of the historic mansions with its detailed script, it’s a good idea to review the material and “re-remember” the story you have been sharing with visitors. This is necessary because it is not uncommon to begin telling your own version of the history of the place they work. In that natural process, a few details may be dropped, a key date or figure amended, or the name and date of a particular painting or furnishing forgotten. To be prepared for every question from your guests, it’s a good and prudent idea to review the script of your tour and re-read a book about your site and its family history. It will keep you fresh, re-inspire you, and make you more interesting on your next tour. Meanwhile, stay current by reading the daily news sites [such as WhatsUpNewp.com], attending lectures, visiting other historic homes and museums, and walking around our great City-by-the-Sea.
A number of the historic mansions have been short staffed this past week. Today would be a good day to apply for one of many available tour guide positions. There are still other job openings, mostly seasonal, available in the Newport area as we wind up the second half of summer. Look for new openings with the “end-of-summer turnover” as college students grab a short break before they head back to campus. Several of last week’s listings continue this week:
- Ticket Sales & Customer Service, Gansett Cruises. $11-$15/hour, part-time. Seasonal through October. Flexible hours. Apply through Indeed.com. Info: 401/787-4438. gansettcruises.com
- Tour Guide, Ecotourism Company, Rail Explorers USA. $15/hour, part-time. Seasonal through October 15th. 1 Alexander Road, Portsmouth, RI. Apply through Indeed.com. Info: 401/833-8588.
- Newport Mansions Tour Guides – Preservation Society of Newport County (PSNC). Tour Guides work in PSNC audio tour house museums (The Breakers, Marble House, Rosecliff and The Elms). Tour guides work a flexible schedule up to 30 hours per week. One weekend day is required. PSNC recruits year-round. Check their web site on a regular basis for the latest job openings. www.newportmansions.org.
- Tour Guide & Pedicab Driver. Known locally as “The coolest job in the world.” This is a unique way to give tours and run your own business plus get lots of exercise. Make $500-$1,000 per week. Rent a Pedicab and give your guests a custom tour of the City-by-the-Sea. Info: www.newportpedicab.com/drivers
HANDBOOK FOR NEW TOUR GUIDES
If you’re new to Newport and/or new to this field, get your 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.
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.
CRUISE SHIPS ARRIVING
Stay up-to-date and aware of the weekly arrival of cruise ships to Newport and the thousands of visitors they bring to our fair city. Here is a list of the upcoming arrivals, courtesy of Discover Newport.
- Thursday, August 23 – M/V American Star, from American Cruise Lines
- Saturday, August 25 – M/V Insignia, from Oceania Cruise Lines
- Monday, August 27 – M/V Maasdam, from Holland America
- Tuesday, August 28 – M/V American Constellation, from American Cruise Lines
- Thursday, August 30 – M/V American Star, from American Cruise Lines
- Saturday, September 1 – M/V Symphony, from Crystal Cruises
UPCOMING REGATTAS & RACES
Throughout the summer, Newport features a sailboat race and/or a regatta every week. These are free events, best observed from a chase boat, or from the shore overlooking Narragansett Bay. Tell your guests and visitors to enjoy this most classic Newport sporting event in our seaside community. Here are some of our upcoming races:
- Thursday – J/24 Fleet 50 – Hosted by the Ida Lewis Yacht Club
- Friday, August 24 – Sunday, August 26 – New York Yacht Club Grandmasters
- Saturday, August 25 – Sunday, August 26 – Newport Classic Yacht Regatta – Hosted by Ida Lewis Yacht Club
SPEAKERS & SPECIAL EVENTS THIS WEEK
Check out the wide selection of lectures, exhibits, talks, classes, tours, and workshops to add to your knowledge and increase your understanding of the people and history of greater Newport.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 23 – 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
THURSDAY, AUGUST 23 – CAMELOT VS THE COUNTERCULTURE: FASHION & SOCIETY IN THE 1960’S – 5-7 PM
Jackie Kennedy in the White House and Grace Slick at Woodstock represent the tug-of-war in the 1960s between fashion’s old guard, whose fashionable woman wore couture from the Paris runways, and the youthquake that championed an eclectic exoticism. This illustrated talk explores the tangled web of fashion, culture, and society in the 1960s. Presented by Madelyn Shaw, Curator of Textiles at the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution. She specializes in the exploration of American culture and history through textiles and dress. This is one of several wonderful events offered throughout the year by the Newport Restoration Foundation (NRF). This event is sponsored by the Costume Society of America, New England Chapter.
All events take place at Rough Point (680 Bellevue Avenue, Newport). $15, General Admission. 5-7 pm. Tickets & Information: 401/847-8344. www.newportrestoration.org
THURSDAY, AUGUST 23 – NEWPORT INTERACTIVE MARKETERS – 6-8 PM
Monthly meeting of this dynamic multi-industry group. This week is of particular interest to tour guides and greeters with the theme: “Monetize You: Multimedia Travel Pros’ & Influencers’ Insights.” Featuring Priscilla Pilon, founder and editor of THE WEEKEND IN PARIS, and Tamara Gruber, founder of We3Travel. Event will be held at Queen Anne’s Loft (212 Thames Street, [above Starbuck’s], Newport). Free. Register at newportinteractivemarketers.com. Networking at 6PM; Presentation at 7 PM.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 24 – 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
SATURDAY, AUGUST 25 – 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, AUGUST 25 – REDWOOD BOOK CLUB – 10:30 AM – 12 NOON
This week’s book club gathering will discuss Oscar Wilde’s most famous work, “The Importance of Being Earnest.” Open to the public. At Redwood Library (50 Bellevue Avenue, Newport). Info: 401/847-0292, redwoodlibrary.org
SATURDAY, AUGUST 25 – NEWPORT INTERNATIONAL POLO – 5:00 PM
This week’s match features NEWPORT vs NEW YORK. 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 or 401/846-0200.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 26 – 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
SUNDAY, AUGUST 26 – MOTORS & MIMOSAS – AUDRAIN AUTOMOBILE MUSEUM
Sip on bottomless mimosas while checking out this museum’s latest exhibition. Coffee and pastries provided by La Forge Restaurant will also be available. It’s also a great time to meet and compare notes with other car enthusiasts. Tickets are $20 and may be purchased at the door. 10 am – 12 Noon. 222 Bellevue Avenue, Newport. Info: 401/856-4420
SUNDAY, AUGUST 26 – CLASSIC YACHT RENDEZVOUS PARADE IN NEWPORT HARBOR – 10:30 AM
Classic Yachts, power & sail are invited to participate in the Narragansett Bay Classic Yacht Rendezvous parade in Newport Harbor. Spectators are encouraged to watch from the multiple viewing locations throughout Newport Harbor. Free. 10:30 am until 1:30 pm.
MONDAY, AUGUST 27 – FOUR ENDURING FAITHS WALKING TOUR – 10:30 AM – 1:00 PM
EVERY tour guide and greeter NEEDS to take this tour! It is full of history, amazing architecture, culture, religion, and powerful stories of the people who helped create some of our enduring legacy. This half-mile escorted tour begins at Touro Synagogue (72 Touro Street) and includes tours of Trinity Church, Newport Congregational Church, and Channing Memorial Church. Tour will be offered every Monday through September 3rd. Tour: $10-$20. Info: 4faiths.org
TUESDAY, AUGUST 28 – RETURN TO CAMELOT – ST. MARY’S CHURCH – 2-3 PM
Each Tuesday, through October 23rd, St. Mary’s Church (80 Memorial Boulevard, Newport) hosts this remembrance of the wedding of future President John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier in 1953. The program features vintage film clips, performance of music from their church wedding and reception at Hammersmith Farm, and recollections by Jackie’s stepbrother, Yusha Auchincloss, and other local Newporters. Fee: $15. Info: stmarynewport.org/return-to-camelot.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 31 – AUDRAIN AUTOMOBILE MUSEUM ANNUAL GALA – OCHRE COURT
This is the museum’s Annual Gala, Come One, Come All: Vintage Circus, in partnership with Louis Vuitton, to be held at Salve Regina University’s historic Ochre Court on Friday, August 31st at 6:30PM. Guests will be greeted on the Midway by over different circus acts, featuring seasoned performers from such famed companies as Cirque de Soleil, Ringling Brothers, and Big Apple Circus. Aerial silk acts, contortionists, tightrope walkers, fire breathers, jugglers, and more will astound and amaze guests as they enjoy cocktails and spectacular cars from the Museum’s collections. David B. Ford continues as chair of the event, alongside our evening entertainment, renowned comedian, Tonight Show host, and celebrated car enthusiast, Jay Leno, as well as writer, appraiser, and TV personality Don Osborne. Tickets: $1,000 and $2,000. Get more information at: audrainautomuseum.org
TWO SITES TO VISIT BEFORE LABOR DAY
NOW THROUGH LABOR DAY – BREAKERS STABLE – OPEN DAILY 10 AM – 5 PM
The Breakers Stable & Carriage House (53 Coggeshall Avenue, Newport) is now open for the season! This 15,000 square foot carriage house and stable complex was designed by Richard Morris Hunt and was an important part of the life of the Vanderbilt family and their staff beginning in 1895. The structure is located ½ mile from the Breakers. The Stable features a display of 18 carriages and two coaches, clothing and harnesses from that time period, an extensive exhibition on the New York Central Railroad, 26 tie stalls, and two box stalls. Outside flower gardens and the original greenhouses from the Breakers property are located behind the Stable. The Breakers Stable & Carriage House admission is included with any ticket to the Newport Mansions®. Hours are 10 am until 5 pm daily. Info: newportmansions.org
NOW THROUGH SEPTEMBER 16, 2018 – REDWOOD LIBRARY & ATHENAEUM – NEW EXHIBIT
Check out the current exhibit, “Modernity vs Tradition: Art at the Parisian Salon 1750-1900.” 50 Bellevue Avenue, Newport. Info: redwoodlibrary.org or 401/847-0292.
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
SAIL FOR HOPE 2018 – SEPTEMBER 29
This marks the 17th anniversary of this sailboat race around Jamestown. This year’s race will raise funds for Hurricane Relief (Harvey, Irma, Maria), Warrior Sailing Program, and the Tad Sanchez Youth Sailing Program at Sail Newport. To date, over $1,000,000 has been raised for various charities. Info at Sail Newport: 401/846-1983.
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
SERVANT LIFE TOUR AT THE ELMS
Considered by many to be the best tour in Newport, The Elms’ now world-famous guided “Servant Life Tour” added two additional daily tour times to meet demand during the summer months. 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
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.
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
BENEATH THE BREAKERS TOUR
The Breakers tour, “Beneath the Breakers,” has a new regular 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. 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. Maps are also a key resource to help point the way for our guests and visitors. Here’s the best Newport map I’ve seen.
NEWPORT, RI DRIVING & WALKING TOUR MAP & GUIDE. Fifth Edition. Newport Tourist Products LLC. NewportMap.net. This is the very best map I’ve seen and the one I recommend to all Newport tour guides and greeters. It is perfect for both driving and walking our city and is chock full of fun facts and photos about the most interesting sites around Aquidneck Island. Best of all, this comprehensive map is the product of a longtime Newport tour guide family. It is available at bookstores, museum shops, and direct from the creators at: NewportMap.net.
KENNETH PROUDFOOT, a Newport Tour Escort and Guide, is the author of The Official 2018 Newport Tour Guides & Greeters Handbook (Shoreline Press (RI), 2017).