Newport Tour Guides & Greeters News #82: Music Festivals, Weekly Regattas, Walking Tours, & Newport Mansion’s 40th Millionth Tour

top things to do in newport

brick-alley-pub-logo

Newport made one of its several reputations with sailing, particularly the America’s Cup. It has since added and strengthened its reputation with world-class music and outdoor events. Two internationally known events are about to takeover Newport’s Fort Adams and this weekend marks the first of the year’s two biggest music weekends. The Newport Folk Festival begins Friday, July 26th through Sunday, July 28th. The 65th annual Newport Jazz Festival arrives the next weekend.  Get ready to welcome many more first-time visitors.  Let’s give them our best! 

Our schedule of weekly sailboat races is in full swing. There’s lots of fun for sailors and spectators alike. More than 20 regattas are on the schedule between now and mid-September. This weekend check-out the Candy Store Cup Superyacht Regatta. The first race is set for 1 pm on Friday, July 26th.

There is also a continuing series of walking tours around the city. It’s a good opportunity to add to your history knowledge and a nice time of year to see the city at street level. A free tour of the Common Burying Ground is set for Saturday, July 27th at 10 am.  See additional information in the listings below.

On Monday, July 29th, the Preservation Society of Newport County (PSNC) expects to announce the delivery of the 40th Millionth Tour since 1948 by the Preservation Society. The PSNC will have a small celebration of this milestone at 11 am at The Breakers.  Info: 401/847-1000.

- Advertisement -

Enjoy your week!

WHY HISTORIC PRESERVATION MATTERS

The driving force and later president of the Preservation Society of Newport County, Katherine Warren (1897-1976), loved to travel. It was through her many trips to France, as well as travels in Peru, Italy, Mexico, Egypt, China, and Japan, that influenced her about the value of historic preservation. She developed a singular vision to preserve history by preserving the buildings, homes, sites, and places where history had been made. 

As author Alyssa Lozupone tells us in her enlightening 2015 biography, A PASSION FOR PRESERVATION: Katherine Warren and the Shaping of Modern Newport, Mrs. Warren “gained an appreciation of the power of history to attract the public.” She further shares Warren’s own rationales for visiting historic sites and places. “It’s just one of the things in the world that you do, you go and see what beautiful had happened before that can never be replaced.”  [Read a review of Alyssa Lozupone’s book at the end of this column.]

In Newport we are fortunate to have had Katherine Warren’s experience, patience, and vision to help save and preserve so many one-of-a-kind homes, community buildings, mansions, churches, and public spaces, and then make them accessible to the public. As Mrs. Warren said in 1954, “Newport has oil in its backyard and its oil is its old buildings.”  Unlike non-renewable petroleum, Newport’s buildings are a unique man-made resource that will produce continuing dividends in education, tourism, travel, and enterprise for centuries to come.

TOUR GUIDES TIP OF THE WEEK – The Power of “YES!”

“YES!” is perhaps the most powerful word in the English language. Learn to say “Yes!” more and watch how your guests and visitors respond.  The importance of getting “Yes” into your business’s DNA forms a critical part of making every guest feel welcome, comfortable, and attended to.  Guests have all kinds of requests and questions during the course of their stay or visit. At all the best places, managers, front of the house staff, and support staff are finding more ways to ————————————————-

NOTABLE & QUOTABLE

Magnificent Newport

Nowhere in the world are there such beautiful summer cottages as are built in Newport. 

To call them cottages is an affectation. They are palaces… 

…Everything in Newport is measured by the scale of millions. 

Even the flowers preach the gospel of wealth. 

Nature made it the most beautiful summer resort in the world; 

man has made it a monument to his colossal vanity. 

But it has the merit of being a beautiful and magnificent monument.

-Hartley Davis

Excerpted from Munsey’s Magazine (July 1900)

————————————————————————————————————————

JOBS & VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

TOUR GUIDES · GREETERS · HARBOR CRUISE GUIDES · SUPPORT STAFF

Now at the middle of summer, jobs and volunteer opportunities for tour guides, harbor cruise and sailing guides, sailing crew members, and support staff at the mansions and a variety of museums and historic sites are now somewhat static. If there is a place you want to work, actively pursue possible job openings due to normal turnover, staff vacations, and/or increased demand. Always review the web sites of the city’s largest organizations – many are listed below – also check out the smaller tour companies and historic sites that might possibly need someone just like you.  Look for some job turnover in the market in the next few weeks. Jobs continue to fill fast this time of year, so when you spot an opening, act quickly.

Scan the openings and current job listings on the websites of the city’s biggest employers of tour guides and greeters.

  • Tour Guide & Pedicab Driver. Known 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
  • Island Helpers Needed. Rose Island Lighthouse Foundation is looking for Island Helpers for the 2019 summer season. Rose Island staff get to ride the Jamestown Ferry from Jamestown or Newport to work their 7-hour shift on our beautiful island. Our staff do a variety of jobs, including greeting daily visitors, educational tours, carpentry projects, housecleaning tasks, and landscape maintenance. Part-time. $11-$13.00/hour. Info: 
  • 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 Newport’s largest owner and operator of historic properties offering audio and guided tours.  A variety of guide, greeter, security, and housekeeping positions are available. They recruit year-round.  Check their web site on a regular basis for the latest job openings. www.newportmansions.org.
  • Harbor Tour Guides needed on the 49-passenger M/V Gansett. Lead these 90-minute narrated tours of Newport Harbor and the surrounding area. Based at Bowen’s Wharf. Info: 401/787-4438; gansettcruises.com

VOLUNTEER TOUR GUIDE OPPORTUNITIES

  • Newport Gulls Seeking Volunteers. Help at Cardines Field during the collegiate baseball team’s 22-game home season. Positions include ticket booth, souvenir staff, scoreboard and media department. Fun work. Great baseball. Home games are on Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights. Volunteers provided with a Gulls polo shirt, season passes for family and friends, and a volunteer meal card. Contact Michael Falcone: 516/729-3735; operations@newportgulls.com
  • Newport Car Museum’s family of volunteer docents share their passion for and knowledge of cars with interesting visitors from around the world. If interested, call Vincent Moretti at 401/848-CARS (2277)

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

———————————————————————————-

CRUISE SHIP ARRIVALS

The cruise ship season has begun! More than 80 ships will arrive in Newport during the coming Summer and Fall seasons.  You can keep abreast of the upcoming arrivals of these sea-going ships and the thousands of visitors they bring to our fair city each week in this column.

Here are a few of the upcoming arrivals scheduled for 2019, courtesy of our friends at Discover Newport.

  • Thursday, August 1 – Caribbean Princess from Princess Cruise Lines
  • Sunday, September 1 – Norwegian Dawn from Norwegian Cruise Lines
  • Monday, September 2 – Insignia from Oceania Cruise Line
  • Wednesday, September 4 – Navigator from Regent Cruise Line
  • Thursday, September 5 – Caribbean Princess from Princess Cruise Lines

——————————————————————————–

CONTINUING PROGRAMS & EXHIBITS

NOW THROUGH JULY 28, 2019 – NEWPORT MUSIC FESTIVAL

This annual music festival celebrates its 51st anniversary this summer. Several 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 available: 401/849-0700; newportmusic.org. 

NOW THROUGH LABOR DAY – BREAKERS STABLE & CARRIAGE HOUSE – 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 20, 2019 – “MY SMALL ABILITY” – THE LIFE AND WORK OF WILLIAM CLAGGETT

This exhibit at the Newport Historical Society Resource Center (82 Touro Street, Newport) features the story of 18th century master clockmaker, William Claggett. The exhibit tells us more than just the life of this craftsman by bringing alive other aspects of Newport including trade, artistry, aesthetics, science, religion, and culture through an examination of the life of Mr. Claggett. Additional Info and hours at 401/846-0813; newporthistory.org 

NOW THROUGH SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2019 – DOWNTON ABBEY: THE EXHIBITION – BOSTON, MA

This BBC television series helped boost interest in the Newport mansions and launched a revival of sorts for the Gilded Age. Here is a new exhibit that brings the British series to Boston, all in anticipation of the upcoming feature-length Downton Abbey film scheduled for a September 2019 release. While waiting for the film, you may visit the Crawley family and enter the world of Downton Abbey at Downton Abbey: The Exhibition. Based on the beloved television show, this exhibition transports you to post-Edwardian England, where the characters and the iconic house come to life. You’ll be immersed in the fascinating social history, culture, and some of the most memorable moments and sets from the show’s six-season run like Mrs. Patmore’s kitchen, the servant’s quarters, and the dining room. This exhibition is located at The Castle at Park Plaza, 130 Columbus Avenue, Boston. Tickets: $33-$35.  Info & Ticket Purchase: 866/811-4111; DowntonExhibition.com

NOW THROUGH NOVEMBER 3rd – JOHN JAMES AUDUBON: OBSESSION UNTAMED – ROSECLIFF

The newest exhibit at Rosecliff (1902) is titled, John James Audubon: Obsession Untamed. In 1820 Audubon embarked on what would become his life’s work as “portraitist of all the birds of America.”  The assembled collection showcases the naturalist’s relentless pursuit of the birds of America and his singular determination in seeing his beautiful artworks published. The exhibition draws upon the collections of the Preservation Society of Newport County as well as significant loans from private collections and institutions. Highlights include over 20 beautifully framed hand colored double elephant folio-sized aquatints from Birds of America, exquisite ladies’ hats and fans illustrating the early-20th-century craze for feathers that lead to initial conservation efforts, as well as Audubon’s life mask and snuff box. Rosecliff (548 Bellevue Avenue, Newport), daily, 9am – 5pm. Exhibit included in Rosecliff ticket. Info: newportmansions.org

WEDNESDAYS THRU SATURDAYS – NOW THROUGH NOVEMBER- – NEWPORT FOODIES STROLL – 11:30 AM

Newport Foodies Stroll offers a 1.5-mile walking food tour through Lower Thames Street. You will learn about the “City by the Sea”, as well as try the cuisine from five of the best locally owned restaurants. This progressive stroll will last 2.5 – 3 hours. Tours run Wednesday through Saturday beginning at 11:30 A.M. Meet Tom and Sue, your tour guides, in front of the Armory (365 Thames Street, Newport). Reservations highly recommended as these tours fill up quickly. Book your tickets ($63) and get more information at: 401/619-3019; newportfoodiesstroll.com

JULY 2019 TOURS ▪ SPEAKERS ▪ SPECIAL EVENTS

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, JULY 25 – DISCOVER COLONIAL NEWPORT WALKING TOUR – 10:30 AM 

This walking 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, JULY 25 – SUNDAY, JULY 28 – BELCOURT RESTORATION TOUR – BELCOURT OF NEWPORT

Visit amazing Belcourt!  Carolyn Rafaelian, owner of Belcourt of Newport (657 Bellevue Avenue, Newport), is well into the process of restoring this 1894 Gilded Age mansion to its original glory. Several one-hour Belcourt Restoration Tours will be offered this weekend. This home is truly something special. If you love behind-the-scenes tours, now is the time to check out the restoration-in-progress of this fabled mansion, before the permanent changes and upgrades are completed. Reservations are encouraged. Tours each day at: 11 am, 12 pm, 1 pm, 2 pm, 3 pm, and 4 pm. Tickets: Adults: $17.50; Children: $8.00.  Info & Online Ticket Purchase: belcourt.com 

JULY 25-27 – CANDY STORE CUP SUPERYACHT REGATTA – NEWPORT SHIPYARD

This regatta is for super yachts (over 90’ LOA). Race office opens and registration begins this morning at 9 am. First race on Friday at 1 pm. Awards event on Saturday. The Candy Store Cup Superyacht Regatta is hosted and organized by Newport Shipyard and Bannister’s Wharf in Newport, RI. Info: 401/846-6000; eli@newportshipyard.com

THURSDAY, JULY 25 NEWPORT RUN & CHUG – 6:30 PM

This is a running group that does a 5K run every week (3.1 miles). Run is led by firefighter Eddie Valen. Meet at the Fastnet Pub (1 Broadway, Newport) at 6:30 pm. Run is followed by a meet-up (and Chug) at the Fastnet Pub. Info: 401/845-9311. 

JULY 26-28, 2019 – NEWPORT FOLK FESTIVAL – FORT ADAMS – NEWPORT, RI

This famous festival, launched in 1959, will celebrate in a 3-day music extravaganza July 26-28 at Fort Adams, overlooking the mouth of Newport Harbor.  Tickets and more information at newportfolk.org.

FRIDAY, JULY 26 – 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 

SATURDAY, JULY 27, 2019 – CARS & COFFEE – SALVE REGINA UNIVERSITY (MCAULEY HALL) – 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM

Register your car and come join a hundred other amazing vehicles on display at McAuley Hall (off Ochre Point Avenue between Leroy & Shepard Streets, Newport) at Salve Regina University from 8:00 am until 10 am. Coffee available, too. Register your vehicle at audrainautomuseum.org. Info: 401/856-4420. 

SATURDAY, JULY 27 – COMMON BURYING GROUND GUIDED TOUR – 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Guided tours of the Common Burying Ground in Newport take place at 10 am on Saturdays every week in July and August. The tour starts at the entrance on Warner Street (at Burnside Avenue). The focus of the tour are the stones carved in the 1700s, many from the Stevens shop. A highlight of the visit is God’s Little Acre, the largest collection of gravestones for people of African heritage in Colonial New England. Free. Info: 401/619-3859.

JULY 27 & 28, 2019 – THE NEWPORT SHOW – ST. GEORGE’S SCHOOL ICE RINK – MIDDLETOWN, RI

Celebrating 13 years, The Newport Show is New England’s premier fine art & antiques event. The Show, which runs July 27 – 28, 2019 at St. George’s School Ice Rink in Middletown (372 Purgatory Road, Middletown) & opens with a Gala Preview Party on Friday July 26, 2019, features more than 40 of the country’s top dealers in one scenic location offering a diverse selection of modern & contemporary art, home furnishings & even fashionable attire. It’s a must-see event for collectors & enthusiasts. Free parking. Saturday: 10 am – 6pm; Sunday: 10 am – 4 pm. Info: 401/846-2669; thenewportshow.com

SATURDAY, JULY 27 – 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 

SATURDAY, JULY 27 – NEWPORT VS PALM BEACH – NEWPORT INTERNATIONAL POLO – 5:00 PM

The Newport International Polo Series 28 continues Saturday, July 27, 2019, 5:00 pm, with NEWPORT vs PALM BEACH at Newport International Polo Grounds, 250 Linden Lane, Portsmouth, RI. Info: 401/846-0200; nptpolo.com 

SUNDAY, JULY 28 – GOLDEN TO GILDED WALKING TOUR – 10:30 AM

This tour ties together the city’s many exciting periods of its history. 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  

MONDAY, JULY 29 – ROAD TO INDEPENDENCE WALKING TOUR – 10:30 AM

One of several excellent walking tours of Newport offered by the Newport Historical Society. Riots and rebellions, enemies and allies! Learn about Newport’s 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

MONDAY, JULY 29 – 40TH MILLIONTH TOUR DELIVERED – CELEBRATION AT THE BREAKERS – 11:00 AM

The Preservation Society of Newport County (PSNC) expects to announce the delivery of the 40th Millionth tour since 1948 by the Preservation Society. The PSNC will have a small celebration of this milestone at 11 am at The Breakers.  Info: 401/847-1000.

MONDAY, JULY 29 – UNKNOWN NO LONGER: AFRICAN HERITAGE CRAFTSMEN IN COLONIAL NEWPORTWHITEHORNE HOUSE MUSEUM – 5:00 – 7:00 PM

The 1696 Heritage Group will present their exhibition Unknown No Longer: African Heritage Craftsmen in Colonial Newport at Whitehorne House Museum, the only museum dedicated to the history and culture of Newport furniture. 1696 Heritage Group founders Keith and Theresa Guzman Stokes will be onsite to answer questions and offer insights into the information, artifacts, and ephemera in the exhibition. Hosted at Whitehorne House Museum (416 Thames Street, Newport). 5-7 pm. Tickets: $20. Info: 401/847-8344; newportrestoration.org

TUESDAY, JULY 30 — RETURN TO CAMELOT – ST. MARY’S CHURCH – 2:00 PM

The now famous Return To Camelot presentation returns to St. Mary’s Church (Corner of Spring Street and Memorial Boulevard, Newport). This program is a re-telling of the storied marriage and reception of John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier on September 12, 1953. It includes exclusive newsreel footage of the young couple, the crowd of well-wishers outside the church, behind-the-scenes stories of Yusha Auchincloss, Jackie’s beloved stepbrother, and additional details of the church’s role in the wedding. The Return to Camelot presentation will continue every Tuesday afternoon through October 23rd. Info: 401/847-0475; stmarynewport.com

WEDNESDAY, JULY 31 – SLAVERY AND THE MAKING OF EARLY AMERICAN LIBRARIES – REDWOOD LIBRARY 

Author Sean D. Moore discusses his recently published book, Slavery and the Making of Early American Libraries: British Literature, Political Thought, and the Transatlantic Book Trade, 1731-1814. Early American libraries stood at the nexus of two transatlantic branches of commerce the book trade and the slave trade. Slavery and the Making of Early American Libraries bridges the study of these trades by demonstrating how Americans’ profits from slavery were reinvested in imported British books and providing evidence that the colonial book market was shaped, in part, by the demand of slave owners for metropolitan cultural capital. Reception: 5:30 pm; Lecture: 6:00 pm. Tickets: $10, Members; $20, Non-Members. Redwood Library & Athenaeum (50 Bellevue Avenue, Newport). Info: 401/847-0292; redwoodlibrary.org 

WEDNESDAY, JULY 31 — NEWPORT GULLS BASEBALL VS MARTHA VINEYARD SHARKS – 6:35 PM

The Newport Gulls will welcome the Martha Vineyard Sharks for a home game at Cardines Field (20 America’s Cup Avenue, Newport). Info & Tickets: 401/845-6832; https://bit.ly/2RxDm0D 

UPCOMING 2019 SPECIAL EVENTS

FRIDAY, AUGUST 2, 2019 – NEWPORT JAZZ FESTIVAL CONCERT – INTERNATIONAL TENNIS HALL OF FAME

A special concert will be presented at the Newport Casino at the International Tennis Hall of Fame (194 Bellevue Avenue, Newport) on Friday night, August 2nd. Tickets still available. Ticket prices: $50-$110. Tickets and more information at: newportjazz.org.

AUGUST 2-4, 2019 – NEWPORT JAZZ FESTIVAL – FORT ADAMS – NEWPORT, RI

Since 1954, the greatest jazz musicians on the planet have played before the most loyal and appreciative jazz aficionados and fans in the world at the largest coastal fort in America, Fort Adams. They’ll do it again this August 2-4, beginning with a concert at the International Tennis Hall of Fame on Friday, August 2.  Don’t miss any of the music, the fun, and the food! Tickets and more information at: newportjazz.org.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 3, 2019 – CARS & COFFEE – SALVE REGINA UNIVERSITY (MCAULEY HALL) – 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM

Register your car and come join a hundred other amazing vehicles on display at McAuley Hall (off Ochre Point Avenue between Leroy & Shepard Streets, Newport) at Salve Regina University from 8:00 am until 10 am. Coffee available, too. Register your vehicle at audrainautomuseum.org. Info: 401/856-4420. 

TUESDAY, AUGUST 6 – JOHN G. WINSLOW LECTURE & RECEPTION – ROSECLIFF – 6:00 PM

Long Island on Tuesday, August 6 at Rosecliff at 6:00.  John LeBoutillier, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney’s great-grandson, will lead us on the ultimate insider tour of the iconoclastic sculptor’s Old Westbury, Long Island studio, which today is his home. Whitney, who was the founder of the Whitney Museum, was an accomplished professional sculptor of national stature. LeBoutillier is this year’s distinguished John G. Winslow lecturer. Lecture to be hosted at Rosecliff (548 Bellevue Avenue, Newport), 6:00 pm; Reception, 7:00 pm. 

THURSDAY, AUGUST 8 — THE MYTH & MYSTIQUE OF DORIS DUKE’S INNER CIRCLE – ROUGH POINT 

Doris Duke’s name is associated with celebrities like Andy Warhol and Jackie Onassis, but those who knew her best are less well-known. Join the tour guides at Rough Point as they unveil the most intimate and influential relationships in Doris’s life. Conversational tours depart at 5:30 and 6:30 and each will be capped at 20 people. The house and program can be experienced without a tour. Tickets: $15. Info & Tickets: 401/847–8344; visit@newportrestoration.org 

FRIDAY, AUGUST 9 — BLACK SHIPS FESTIVAL – OPENING CEREMONY – INDEPENDENCE PARK – BRISTOL, RI

The 36th annual Black Ships Festival begins with colorful ceremonies to commemorate Newport’s native son, Commodore Matthew C. Perry, and the signing of the Treaty of Kanagawa, which opened trade between Japan and the United States. Wreath-laying and speeches by American and Japanese dignitaries. Colors will be presented by the Navy Color Guard and accompanied music by the Navy Band.  A full calendar of events follows. Info: 401/846-2720; blackshipsfestival.com

SATURDAY, AUGUST 17, 2019 – CARS & COFFEE – CHATEAU-SUR-MER – 8:00 – 10:00 AM

Register your car and come join a hundred other amazing vehicles on display at Chateau Sur Mer (474 Bellevue Avenue, Newport) from 8:00 am until 10 am. Coffee available, too. Register your vehicle at audrainautomuseum.org. Info: 401/856-4420. 

MONDAY, AUGUST 18, 2019 – FOUR FAITH TOURS OF HISTORIC NEWPORT HOUSES OF WORSHIP

Tour four historic houses of worship: Touro Synagogue, United Baptist Church, Newport Congregational Church, and Channing Memorial Unitarian Church.  Adults $20, seniors (65+) $15, children (13+) $10.   Tickets at Eventbrite.com; Newport Gateway Center, 23 America’s Cup; and Loeb Visitors Center.  Tour starts at Loeb Visitors Center at Touro Synagogue at 52 Spring Street (Newport); 10 am – 12:30 pm.  Info: 401/871-0338; 4faiths.org

SATURDAY, AUGUST 31, 2019 – REGATTA OPENING NIGHT COCKTAIL PARTY – 6:00 – 8:00 PM

The sailing social event of the season! Fans of the IYRS Newport Classic Yacht Regatta will celebrate the 40th anniversary of this iconic regatta in Restoration Hall (449 Thames Street, Newport) on the Newport waterfront at IYRS School of Technology & Trades. The evening features live music by Newport favorites Honky Tonk Knights and hors d’oeuvres by Russell Morin Catering and Events. Tickets: $20. Cash bar. For info and to purchase tickets, go to:  newportclassicyachtregatta.com

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2019 – IYRS NEWPORT CLASSIC YACHT PARADE – 10:30 AM

This parade wraps up the weekend of the 40th Annual Newport Classic Yacht Regatta presented by IYRS (NCYR) which will take place over Labor Day weekend, Friday – Sunday, August 31 – Sep 1. The Organizing Authority for the NCYR is the Ida Lewis Yacht Club.  Info: events@iyrs.edu

SEPTEMBER 6-8, 2O19 – NEWPORT SECRET GARDEN TOURS 

The annual Newport Secret Garden Tours opens its gates to a plethora of stunning gardens in historic Newport, Rhode Island. Join the Benefactors of the Arts on September 6-8 for this self-guided tour featuring at least 10 incredible gardens. These private gardens are shared with the community to help raise funds for the Arts Education programs in the Island’s public schools. The tour runs daily, 10 am until 5 pm, and tickets are good for any or all days of the tour, allowing for inclement weather, schedule conflicts, or just a late start. Info and tickets: secretgardentours.org

SATURDAY, SEPT. 7 – SOUTHERN LIGHTHOUSE TOUR OF 11 LIGHTHOUSES – ALOFSIN PIER, FORT ADAMS – 10AM

Save The Bay offers several lighthouse cruises on Narragansett Bay this season. With stunning views of the Newport Pell Bridge, Prudence Island and historic Fort Adams, this tour also offers views of 11 active and inactive lighthouses, and a lunch stop on Rose Island, where passengers will tour the grounds and lighthouse tower.  Save The Bay’s Lighthouse Tours are part of the United States Lighthouse Society’s passport program, and ticket sales support Save The Bay’s education efforts, as well as the restoration of the Pomham Rocks and Rose Island lighthouses. Save The Bay members can purchase Southern Bay Lighthouse Tour tickets for $65 and non-members can purchase tickets for $70. For more information about Save The Bay’s Lighthouse Tours, or to purchase tickets, visit www.savebay.org/lighthouse.

SEPTEMBER 12-15, 2019 – 49TH ANNUAL NEWPORT INTERNATIONAL BOAT SHOW 

Mark your calendar for the 49th annual Newport International Boat Show on the famed downtown Newport waterfront from September 12th to 15th this year. More Information: http://newportboatshow.com/

SEPTEMBER 19-22, 2019 — THE NEWPORT MANSIONS WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL

This is one of the East Coast’s most sophisticated and anticipated events of the year. It is scheduled for September 19-22 at The Elms, Rosecliff and Marble House. Enjoy magnificent wines from around the world, fabulous food from local, regional and national chefs, artisanal food purveyors, cooking demos and interactive activities in an unforgettable setting. To learn more about the schedule of events, or to purchase tickets, visit newportmansions.org

OCTOBER 3-6, 2019 – AUDRAIN’S NEWPORT CONCOURS & MOTOR WEEK – INAUGURAL EVENT

The Audrain Automobile Museum presents the inaugural Audrain’s Newport Concours & Motor Week coming to Newport, Rhode Island on October 3 -6, 2019. Audrain’s Newport Concours & Motor Week 2019 will be the first of an annual event which aims to enliven the story of the automobile and its racing history in the northeast region of our country. With all this history, and help from their Event Chair, world renowned collecting, restoration, and culture expert, Jay Leno and their Concours Chair, Donald Osborne, noted classic car historian, consultant, writer and television personality, the Audrain Automobile Museum adds another chapter to Newport’s extensive book of automotive and sporting fascination. With the support and assistance from the Preservation Society of Newport County, the International Tennis Hall of Fame, Salve Regina University, along with car enthusiasts, luxury car brands, venue partners, and supporters in Newport, Audrain plans to execute one of the highest quality events that the community has ever seen and raise money to increase the local economy. Info: 401/856-4420; audrainautomuseum.org

OCTOBER 3-7, 2019 – ROGUE ISLAND COMEDY FESTIVAL – VARIOUS LOCATIONS – NEWPORT, RI

For auditions, show information, and tickets, contact: rogueislandcomedyfestival.com 

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2019 – BROADWAY STREET FAIR – 12 NOON – 6:00 PM

The annual Broadway Street Fair is scheduled from noon till 6 pm. The Street Fair begins at Equality Park and extends down into Washington Square. The day will be filled with music, food, family activities, exhibiting artists & makers and local non-profits. Last year more than 15,000 people took a stroll along Broadway, Newport’s historic Main Street and major artery into the city. This is a rain or shine event! Info: broadwaystreetfair.com

OCTOBER 13-15, 2019 – VISITOR EXPERIENCE CONFERENCE (VEX) – PHILADELPHIA, PA

This is an annual industry conference that should be of special interest to tour guides, greeters, tour operators, chambers of commerce, and all those whose goal is to create a memorable experience for their guests and visitors. The 2019 Visitor Experience Conference is a recognized platform for experts to share best practices in the Visitor Experience sector and provide specialized knowledge to take museum organizations to the next level. VEX offers a range of professional learning opportunities. From keynote and panel sessions, behind-the-scenes tours, half-day workshops, and lots of social events to meet and talk with colleagues. The conference takes place in the history-rich city of Philadelphia.

Attendees include museum professionals at all levels of their career, mainly in the Visitor Experience and Visitor Services field, but also consultants, exhibition developers/designers, volunteer managers, ticketing and database companies, and more.  Past VEX attendees have included The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Johns Hopkins University, Arizona State University Art Museum, Museum of Modern Art, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian, Longwood Gardens, National Trust (England), Columbus Museum of Art, The Historic New Orleans Collection, Tacoma Art Museum, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and more from around the world. Info & Registration: https://visitorexperience.group/conference

EXPANDED NUMBER OF TOURS: EXPERIENCE THESE BEHIND-THE-SCENES TOURS!

BENEATH THE BREAKERS TOUR – UPDATED SUMMER SCHEDULE

The Breakers tour, “Beneath the Breakers,” is still offered daily.  Tours are now offered 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 

SERVANT LIFE TOUR AT THE ELMS: SEVEN TOURS DAILY!

Considered by many to be the best tour in Newport, the world-famous 1-hour guided “Servant Life Tour” at The Elms is back and better than ever.  Tours are now offered at 10:30 am, 11:30 am, 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm, 3:30 pm, and 4:30 pm. Info and updates: 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. Here is an important Newport book to read, learn from, and share*

A PASSION FOR PRESERVATION: Katherine Warren and the Shaping of Modern Newport. By Alyssa Lozupone. Carlisle, MA: Commonwealth Editions, Applewood Books, 2015. Some of the greatest and impactful things that move the world forward only happen when the exact right person arrives at the precise time with the perfect set of skills, experiences, and curiosity, and sees something no one else sees and has the passion and perseverance to make their vision a reality in spite of all the odds against their success. Katherine Urquhart, a Californian by birth, took semiannual trips to New Orleans to visit an aunt, and later, with her sister, spent teenage summers at a cousin’s home in Newport, and there met her future husband, George Henry Warren, Jr.  Travel to France with the American Red Cross in WWI opened her eyes to the power of historic sites and buildings to attract tourists. Further travels took her to China, Egypt, Japan and India. She and her husband collected contemporary and modernist art and she was involved with the Museum of Modern Art (NYC) and the Museum of Art at the Rhode Island School of Design (Providence). For all her cultural sensitivities, it was news of a threat to the historic Hunter House (54 Washington Street, Newport) that inspired the creation of a local group to preserve historic buildings and places that led to the incorporation of the Preservation Society of Newport County on August 2, 1945. The organization quickly moved to preserve and save many notable mansions in the city. All was not easy and the group faced many challenges from residents and those who were pushing urban renewal at the expense of the city’s large number of historical homes, municipal buildings, streetscapes, neighborhoods, and historic sites. Katherine Warren persevered in spite of these challenges by following her own preservation philosophy. She was a preservationist, but she also recognized the need to emphasize “community engagement, divergence from the museum model, incorporation of historic resources into city planning, and the use of preservation as a tool for economic growth as well as overall community revitalization.” Before the middle of the 20th century, Warren had already envisioned and anticipated modern 21st century preservation practices.  She went on to help save numerous historic properties and artifacts, and helped guide the creation of other organizations, including the Newport Restoration Society.  Awards and other recognitions followed, and her singular legacy continues to this day.

The full scope, reach, and influence of Katherine Warren cannot be adequately reported in a short book review. But for everyone who works in Newport tourism, travel, tour guiding, museum management, and marketing, this book is a must-read to better understand how we arrived where we are today and how close we came to losing so many of the city’s quintessential historic treasures. Katherine Warren’s vision is now ours to care for and preserve for future generations. Read Alyssa Lozupone’s A PASSION FOR PRESERVATION to learn the exciting details about Warren’s amazing life. 

*This review originally appeared in this column on March 18, 2018.   

PRACTICAL HANDBOOK FOR 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 [Direct from the author or via 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.  Handbook includes greetings in 18 of the most frequently spoken languages heard in Newport. 

————————————————————————————————————————-

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

Have a thought on this? Comment below...