Here’s wishing you and yours a most wonderful and Happy Thanksgiving!

May this week be a time to reflect and be thankful for all the blessings you have:  health, family, work, community, and a spirit of optimism for the days ahead as we enter the Christmas and holiday season.

From my family to yours, I wish you joy and peace.

TOUR GUIDES TIP OF THE WEEK: YOU’RE NEVER FULLY DRESSED WITHOUT A SMILE

These seven words debuted in the 1977 musical “Annie,” penned by lyricist and director, Martin Charnin, with the music written by famous Broadway composer, Charles Strouse.

The meaning was clear. When you go out, when you first see people, when you are greeting the people who will make your venue hum with success, you’ve got to smile. And without a smile, you’re really not all there. You’ve GOT to smile, and that effort alone, can make all the difference for boosting the quality and memorability of the experience of each guest and visitor.

No matter your mood, make an extra effort to offer a sincere smile aimed at each and every one of your arriving guests.

You’ll be amazed at how it brightens their visit.

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JOB OPENINGS

Most of our city’s museums and historic homes are closed for Thanksgiving Day.

But some of the busiest days are just ahead as Newport fills with visitors, students, school children, and tourists from near and far. There are still a few openings for work at the city’s historic attractions, including tour guides, cashiers, security personnel, and ticket sellers.  

More importantly, this is the best time to research jobs, start making connections, and seeking employment for next year. Most of the city’s largest tour and cruise businesses accept job applications year-round. Get a jump on the crowd and apply now for 2019 harbor cruises, walking tour guides, trolley driver/guides, and cruise ship bus step-on guide work.

Here is contact information for the city’s biggest employers of tour guides and greeters.

  • Preservation Society of Newport County. This is the largest owner and operator of historic mansions in Newport. Open year-round. They hire tour guides, housekeepers, and security guards. Check out their web site for current job openings.  Info: newportmansions.org
  • Newport Historical Society. This organization offers the largest variety and greatest number of walking tours in the city.  Tours offered year-round. Info: newporthistory.org
  • Newport Restoration Society. This non-profit operates Rough Point mansion (680 Bellevue Avenue, Newport). Seasonal. Info: newportrestoration.org

For continuous and updated job listings, please go to www.whatsupnewp.com.

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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.

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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.

NOW THROUGH THE END OF NOVEMBER — HAUNTED BRISTOL WALKING TOURS – BRISTOL, RI
Join this lantern-led walk in historic Bristol’s shadowy Lanes. Discover Legends, native Indian fables, court trials and scandalous stories. Tours depart every Friday and Saturday night at 7:30 at Bristol Commons State House, 240 High Street. Tours run between 60 and 80 minutes. And reservations MUST be made. Tickets are $15 and reservations are made through 401/286-1209. Cash and credit cards are accepted. Tours will be running every Friday and Saturday night till the end of November. 

NOW THROUGH JANUARY 1, 2019 — CHRISTMAS AT THE NEWPORT MANSIONS

Christmas Season begins in November at the four big houses of the Preservation Society. Christmas flowers and special decorations will fill The Breakers, The Elms, and Marble House. Special holiday evenings are scheduled at the Breakers on November 24, December 1, 8, 22, and 29th from 6-8 pm. The Elms and Marble House Duet holiday evening is scheduled for December 15th from 6-9 pm. Info: newportmansions.org

NOW THROUGH FEBRUARY 3, 2019 — PORSCHE THEN & NOW – AUDRAIN AUTOMOBILE MUSEUM

The Porsche is one of the most amazing automobile stories of the 20th & 21st centuries. Check out this exhibit and learn about the history and current leadership of this brand.  Open daily, 10 am – 4 pm. 222 Bellevue Avenue, Newport. Info: 401/856-4420. Audrainautomuseum.org

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22 – THANKSGIVING DINNER – SEAMAN’S CHURCH INSTITUTE — 11 AM – 1 PM

All are welcome to share in this traditional Thanksgiving dinner at the Seamen’s Church Institute (18 Market Square, Newport). Free. Info: 401/847-4260; seamensnewport.org

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 23 – 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 – pirates, criminals, and more — leaves at 10:30 am from the Museum of Newport History, 127 Thames Street (Newport). Info and reservations at: newporthistorytours.org

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 23 — CITY OF NEWPORT ILLUMINATED BOAT PARADE

Takes place in Newport Harbor, Newport. Info: 401/845-5815

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 23 — HOLIDAYS BY THE SEA BLOCK PARTY & HOLIDAY STROLL KICK OFF –- BOWEN’S WHARF

This annual event ushers in the season of joy and good cheer. Friday, November 23; 10 AM -8 PM.  Bowen’s Wharf. Info: 401/849-2243; bowenswharf.com

FRIDAYS & SATURDAYS — NOVEMBER 23 – DECEMBER 29 – HOLIDAY LANTERN TOURS — 4:00 PM

One of those most interesting and inspiring Newport walking tours!  Guests hear the history of early American holiday traditions on this memorable evening walk. Learn how Newporters did, or did not, observe the holidays.

Tour departs from The Museum of Newport History and Shop (127 Thames Street, Newport). Tickets: $15. Members: $10. Active Duty Military with ID: $10. Reservations recommended. Info: 401/841-8770; newporthistorytours.org

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 24 – 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.  Tickets: Adults: $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

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 24 – SAVE THE BAY SEAL TOUR – 1-2 PM

One-hour tour to view seals on Citing Rock with experts from Save The Bay. Tour leaves from Bowen’s Ferry Landing, Market Square. 1-2 pm. Tickets: $17-$22. Register at: savebay.org/seals.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 24 – LIGHTING OF THE LIGHTHOUSE – GURNEY’S NEWPORT RESORT & MARINA – 5:30 PM

The annual lighting of the awesome lighthouse at Gurney’s Newport Resort & Marina will take place on Saturday, November 24th at 5:30 pm.  The event will feature carolers, spiked cider, live music in the Regent Cocktail Club, and beautiful views of the Newport Pell Bridge.  The public is cordially invited to attend. Info: 401/851-3366; gurneysnewport.com

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 25 – 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, NOVEMBER 25 — #MUSEUMSTORESUNDAY – 11 AM

This is the big weekend in Newport and at the Museum of Newport History (127 Thames Street, Newport). This is the one weekend a year when the world’s best silhouette maker makes her magic in the City-by-the-Sea. Deborah O’Connor, a world-renowned maker of custom silhouettes, will be in Newport on this day and will hand-cut the most amazing silhouettes you have ever seen. You must reserve a spot. Go to: newporthistory.org or call 401/841-8770.

PREVIEW OF WINTER IN NEWPORT

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1 — BOWEN’S WHARF 48TH ANNUAL CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING –– 4:00 PM

It’s not Christmas in Newport without the official lighting of the Bowen’s Wharf Christmas Tree. Come and join the community for fun, music, shopping, and more.  Bowen’s Wharf. Info: 401/849-2243; bowenswharf.com

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1 – HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE — 3:00- 5:00 PM

Newport Historical Society’s annual Holiday Open House takes place at the 1739 Colony House on Washington Square. Costumed interpreters will sing hymns that were sung in colonial Newport. Guests are encouraged to sing along. Lyric sheets will be provided. Christmas in Newport’s official Opening Ceremony and tree lighting will take place in Washington Square following the Open House. Admission: Free. Donations welcome.  Info: 401/841-8770; newporthistory.org

DECEMBER 1, 8, 15 & 27 — A ROUGH POINT HOLIDAY – DORIS DUKE’S ROUGH POINT

Rooms of the museum will be spruced up for the Christmas holiday while others will be cloaked in their winter coverings. Together, these spaces tell the story of Doris’s holiday traditions and the off-season routines of one of Newport’s most famous summer cottages. Hours: 10 am – 4 pm. Admission: $10, adults; Children 12 and under, free. Rough Point (680 Bellevue Avenue, Newport). Info: 401/847-8344; newportrestoration.org/events

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 2 — NEW EXHIBIT OPENS AT ROSECLIFF – BILL CUNNINGHAM: FACADES  

This new exhibit arrives at Rosecliff, December 2, 2018 through March 1, 2019. Celebrating the creative intersection of fashion and architecture through the lens of a visionary photographer, this exhibition explores Cunningham’s project documenting the architectural riches and fashion history of Newport York City.  Info: newportmansions.org

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 2 – ANNUAL TREE LIGHTING – HOTEL VIKING – 6:00 PM

The annual tree lighting at the Hotel Viking takes place at the hotel (1 Bellevue Avenue, Newport) at 6:00 pm. A fun evening is planned with cookies, carolers & Charlie Brown’s Christmas featured at this year’s tree lighting.  The public is cordially invited to attend. Info: 401/847-3300; hotelviking.com

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 8 – REDWOOD LIBRARY HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE – 11 AM – 1:00 PM

The Redwood Library (50 Bellevue Avenue, Newport) will open its doors on SaturdayDecember 8 from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm for the Holiday Open House. The Open House will feature Christmas carols performed by the Chariho High School choir, a pop-up exhibition of select treasures from our vault, Christmas book display, scavenger hunt, children’s craft and refreshments. All visitors will have a chance at winning raffle prizes. This Open House is a great opportunity for members and the public to learn more about the Library’s history, its collections, and vibrant programming. Free and all are welcome. Info: 401/847-0292 redwoodlibrary.org

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 9 — THE BROADWAY HOLIDAY WALK-ABOUT – LOCAL BROADWAY DISTRICT

This annual shopping and strolling event will be held on Sunday, December 9th from 11 am – 4:30 pm on Broadway in Newport. Enjoy local restaurants and merchants all along this vital district. Sponsored by the Broadway Business Association. Info: facebook.com/broadwaynewport/

FEBRUARY 15-24, 2019 — NEWPORT WINTER FESTIVAL

Check out the 31st Annual Newport Winter Festival, touted as “New England’s Largest Winter Extravaganza.” the annual Winter Festival will take place throughout Newport and Newport County. It features over 150 events and offers our guests and visitors a unique winter experience combining food, festivities, music, and fun for all ages. Highlighted events include the Family Fun Days, Chili Cook-Off, Mac & Cheese Smackdown, Princess Party and exciting, fun concerts by the Jimmy Buffett tribute band, Changes in Latitudes and more!  Updates and more information: https://www.visitrhodeisland.com/event/newport-winter-festival/39329/

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TWO CURRENT MANSION TOURS YOU SHOULD TAKE SOON

SERVANT LIFE TOUR AT THE ELMS: EXPANDED NUMBER OF TOURS!

Considered by many to be the best tour in Newport, The world-famous guided “Servant Life Tour” at The Elms has added two additional daily tour times to meet demand during this holiday season.  Tours are now offered at 10:30 am, 11:30 am, 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm, and 3:30 pm. The tour is one hour. Info: newportmansions.org

BENEATH THE BREAKERS TOUR: EXPANDED NUMBER OF TOURS!

The Breakers tour, “Beneath the Breakers,” is scheduled daily.  Tours are now offered at 10:30 am, 11:30 am, 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm, and 3:30 pm.  Tour is one hour. Info: newportmansions.org

PRINT & DIGITAL RESOURCES

PREPARE FOR THE BILL CUNNINGHAM EXHIBITION AT ROSECLIFF WITH THESE 3 BOOKS

There are currently two new books, both published this year, you can read now to get an insight into the life and careers of multi-talented photographer and milliner (hat maker), Bill Cunningham. Check out the intriguing FASHION CLIMBING, by Bill Cunningham. Also, look for POLKA DOT PARADE: A BOOK ABOUT BILL CUNNINGHAM, by Deborah Blumenthal.

Another recent (2017) book to check out is KNOW-IT-ALL FASHION: The 50 Key Modes, Garments & Designers, Each Explained in Under a Minute, edited by Rebecca Arnold. It has a brief but wonderful 4-page illustrated article about street photography with a focus on Bill Cunningham.  It’s succinct, but worth a look.

AND ONE MORE

HANDBOOK FOR NEW TOUR GUIDES & GREETERS

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.

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SUGGESTIONS & REVISIONS REQUESTED FOR THE 2019 EDITION OF THE

NEWPORT TOUR GUIDES & GREETERS HANDBOOK

I am now updating and editing changes and revisions to the content of The Official 2018 Newport Tour Guides & Greeters Handbook to prepare for publication of THE OFFICIAL 2019 NEWPORT TOUR GUIDES & GREETERS HANDBOOK.

If you or your organization has updated phone, numbers, web sites, social media pages, job opportunities, special events scheduled, or other information that would be helpful to the current and future corps of tour guides, greeters, and volunteers working in the Greater Newport County tourism and hospitality industries, please send them to me directly at kennethproudfoot@hotmail.com; or by mail to Kenneth Proudfoot, P.O. Box 231, Newport, RI 02840.  Thank you!

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KENNETH PROUDFOOT, a Newport Tour Escort and Guide, is the author of The Official 2018 Newport Tour Guides & Greeters Handbook (Shoreline Press (RI), 2017).

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Kenneth Proudfoot

KENNETH PROUDFOOT, a Newport Tour Escort and Guide, is the author of The Official 2018 Newport Tour Guides & Greeters Handbook (Shoreline Press (RI), 2017).