Archive for the ‘Outdoor Activities in Newport’ Category

Newport Folk Festival: Festival of the Year

March 7th, 2014 by Marshall Slocum Inn

The Newport Folk Festival recently won the 25th Annual Pollstar award for Music Festival of the Year.  Pollstar is the only trade publication that covers the concert industry worldwide.  For 30 years, they have been a fountain of information for concert promoters, booking agents, managers, facility execs and other live entertainments executives.  Each year, Pollstar invites a group of international music professionals to come up with nominations for the Pollstar Concert Industry Awards.  These awards honor artists, managers, buyers, venues and support services.  Winners are determined by votes from the readership of Pollstar.  This year’s awards were held on February 21st, 2014 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.

newport folk fest logo

The Newport Folk Festival won Music Festival of the Year, beating out the Boston Calling Music Festival, Electric Forest Festival, Hardly Stictly Bluegrass, and the Treasure Island Music Festival.  This is the second year in a row that The Newport Folk Festival has won this award.

The Newport Folk Festival has been around since 1959, when it was founded by George Wein.  The festival became known for introducing some major stars in the Folk world, such as Joan Baez and Bob Dylan.  This festival stretches the boundaries of folk music, incorporating blues, raggae, rock and indie artists to its lineup.  Some of the most notable performances of the festival throughout the years have been Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, the Pixies, Pete Seeger, and The Avett Brothers.  Thanks to the work of George Wein and the Newport Festivals Foundation, the Newport Folk Festival will continue for years to come.

This year’s festival will be held July 25th through the 27th at Fort Adams.  Tickets generally sell out early.  The lineup for this year is still in the works, however some performers have already been announced.  So far – Band of Horses, Jenny Lewis, The Devil Makes Three, Death Vessel, Nickle Creek, Shovels & Rope, Houndmouth, The Oh Hellos, Benjamin Booker, Mavis Staples and Hurray for the Riff Raff – have been added to this years lineup.  Check out www.newportfolk.org for more information about the festival and additions to the lineup.

2014 Newport St. Patrick’s Day Parade

February 28th, 2014 by Marshall Slocum Inn

To some, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade is one of the best days of the year in Newport.  This IMG_0781year, the 58th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade will be held on Saturday, March 15th.  The Parade starts at 11am and will last about 2 hours.  Participants line up by City Hall, where the parade begins and travel down Broadway, through Washington Square to America’s Cup Avenue, and  down Lower Thames Street until it ends on Carroll Avenue at St. Augustin’s Church.

Participants this year will include: Pipe Bands, Marching Bands,  Fife & Drum Corps, clowns, local, state and regional organizations such as police and fire units, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, non-profits, schools and social organizations.

Every year a Grand Marshal is selected and the yearly button is a reflection of the interests or vocation of tSt. patrick's dayhat years Grand Marshal.  This year, Robert “Bobby” O’Neill takes that title.  He has been a member of the Newport St. Patrick’s Day committee for 15 years and has been involved with various local organizations such as the Knights of Columbus and the Newport County Mental Health Outreach program.  He also spent many years working for the US Postal Service.  This year the button includes the Rhode Island Red, the Postal Service logo and Newport’s apostrophized zip code.

Many events are held throughout the year to raise money for the parade and many Newport Restaurants have brunches and specials going on before and after the parade.  There are various places to enjoy a great brunch as well as your favorite Irish beers.  The Irish spirit will be alive all day long, guaranteeing that it will be a great day for all.

 

Newport’s Tennis Hall of Fame Set for Upgrades

February 14th, 2014 by Marshall Slocum Inn

The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum is a non-profit institution, establish in 1954, that works to preserve the history of tennis while inspiring tennis development and honoring those who have earned a spot in the International Tennis Hall of Fame.  Located on six acres here in Newport, the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum was officially recognized by the International Tennis Federation as tennis’s official Hall of Fame.  The museum displays the history of the sport and honors 235 athletes.  There are 13 grass courts and an indoor facility, which are open to the public and club members.  Every July, the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships for the Can Alen Cup are held here.THOF300x225[1]

The International Tennis Hall of Fame’s programs grow every year.  They are open 363 days of the year, and offer educational and entertaining programs for both children and adults.  The museum also has a research library dedicated to tennis that offers over 350,000 books, images and audio visuals.  Both beginners and national champions are invited to play on the indoor or outdoor courts.  The Hall of Fame also offers cultural entertainment such as theatrical productions, movie screenings and musical performances.

In August, 2013, the Tennis Hall of Fame set out on a campaign to enhance the visitor experience as well as the local community.  There are four main focus areas to the campaign; to upgrade the museum with new technology; to add additional facilities and tennis courts; improve amenities, including upgrades to the stadium; and to renew the look of the street on Memorial Boulevard so it complements the historic building where the Hall of Fame is located.

This organization hasn’t led a major capital campaign in 12 years.  Fundraising for this campaign has been going on for about a year and a large portion of their $15.7 million dollar goals has been secured.  Once the rest of the funds are secured, they will begin upgrading to make the Tennis Hall of Fame experience even better.

 

60th Annual Newport Jazz Festival Lineup

February 7th, 2014 by Marshall Slocum Inn

Tickets for the 60th Annual Newport Jazz Festival, one of Newport’s biggest music festivals, are already on sale and the lineup is here.  Fort Adams will be bringing amazing jazz performances to Newport once again from August 1st to the 3rd.  The music starts at 11:30am on Friday, August 1st and ends at 7:00pm on Sunday, August 3rd.

njf-big[1]George Wein produced the first Jazz Festival in 1954 in order to celebrate jazz music and to make a case for its relevance.  From then on, this festival has continued to showcase jazz icons and bring attention to up and coming performers.  The Newport Jazz Festival has provided many memorable moment for jazz history, such as the Duke Ellington Orchestra in 1956 and the introduction of Esperanza Spalding.  Performers at this festival both respect the tradition of jazz and reflect the changes in the current musical trends.

Here’s a list of the artists who will be bringing their talents to the Fort Adams stages.

Firday, August 1st – Jon Batiste & Stay Human, John Zorn’s Madasa Marathon, Miguel Zenon Big Band, Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, Snarky Puppy, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Rudresh Mahanthappa – A Charlie Parker Project, Amir ElSaffar Quintet, Mostly Other People Do The Killing, Berklee Global Jazz Ambassadors, URI Jazz Festival Big Band

Saturday, August 2nd – Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Dave Holland Prism, Gregory Porter, Robert Glasper Experiment, SFJAZZ Collective, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Brian Blade & The Fellowship Band, Pedrito Martinez Group, Dick Hyman, Howard Alden & Jay Leonhart, Kurt Rosenwinkel New Quartet, Newport Now 60 Band, Stefano Bollani & Hamilton de Holanda

Sunday, August 3rd – Bobby McFerrin spirityouall, David Sanborn & Joey DeFrancesco, Dr. John & The Nite Trippers, Gary Burton New Quartet, Vijay Iyer Sextet, Danilo Perez Panama 500, Django Festival All-Stars, Ron Carter Trio, Lee Konitz Quartet, Ravi Coltrane, The Cookers, Migus Big Band, The Brubeck Brothers, George Wein & Newport All-Stars

New Year’s Day Polar Plunge

December 23rd, 2013 by Marshall Slocum Inn

Nothing says “Happy New Year” like a nice dip in the freezing cold Atlantic Ocean.  The annual Polar Plunge will be held on January 1st, 2014 at 12pm at Easton’s Beach.  The Newport Polar Bears welcome anyone who wants to brave the Atlantic in the winter. At this event, money is raised for A Wish Come True, a Rhode Island Charity that grants wishes to children suffering from life threatening illnesses.

A Wish Come True was started in 1982 by Rosemary Bowers, who wanted to make the lives of children suffering from severe illnesses a little brighter.  The mission of this charity is to, “grant every medically qualified child (ages 3 to 18) one memorable wish.”  In their first year, they granted 12 wishes and have increased that number to about 3 or 4 wishes per month.  A Wish Come True have completed over 1400 wishes since its start.

The Polar Plunge is a great way to kick off the New Year.  It is sure to be a great time for everyone, no matter if you brave the icy Atlantic or not.

 

 

The Holiday Season in Newport

November 15th, 2013 by Marshall Slocum Inn

The holiday season is upon us here in Newport, and there are plenty of activities going on that will put you in the holiday spirit!  The following are some great holiday happenings in Newport:

The Polar Express: Every weekend starting now until Christmas, take the spectacular journey to the North Pole with Santa and Mrs. Claus.  Caroling, hot chocolate and cookies are all part of the experience.

Christmas at the Newport Mansions: From November 23rd to January 5th, three of Newport’s mansions, the Breakers, the Elms and Marble House will be decked out in holiday décor.  The houses will be filled with thousands of fresh flowers, poinsettias, evergreens and wreathes.  Each mansion will be open for tours daily.  You can also enjoy Holiday Evenings at the mansions on various dates, where you can enjoy light refreshments and music as you wander through the mansions.

Holly Days: On Saturday, December 7th, the Normal Bird Sanctuary will be hosting a holiday fair from 10am to 1pm.  Enjoy hiking, holiday crafts, games and more.

Bowne’s Wharf 43rd Annual Christmas Tree Lighting – On December 7th, head down to Bowen’s Wharf for their annual Christmas Tree Lighting.  Festivities start at 4:30 with Frosty the Snowman and Christmas Carols.  The tree lighting starts at 6:00 and Santa will be paying everyone a visit.

 

Columbus Day Weekend in Newport

October 11th, 2013 by Marshall Slocum Inn

If you’re planning on spending Columbus Day weekend in Newport, but aren’t sure what to do, here’s a list of possible ideas:

Fortress of Nightmares: Head to Fort Adams State Park anytime after 6pm to experience the tunnel of terror, or join other ghost lovers for a ghost hunt starting at 10:30pm.  These terrors will be around every weekend of this month.

International Oktoberfest: Join your fellow beer lovers down at the Newport Yachting center on October 12th or 13th for music, food, and of course, beer. This festival is an official send off to summer and welcome to fall.

Festival in the Park: This free event will be held between 11am and 4pm on October 12th in Touro Park. Enjoy Italian music and food as well as dancing and raffles.

Live Improv with the Bit Players: Head down to the Firehouse Theater to enjoy live Improv by Newport’s best comedy crew.  Join them at 8pm on Friday or attend one of their Saturday shows at 8pm or 10pm .  This is a BYOB event.

Newport Beaches

August 18th, 2013 by Marshall Slocum Inn

Summer in Newport is winding down making way for Fall, but there’s still time to enjoy the beach!  Newport has various beaches to satisfy any ocean lover.  While there are a few private beaches around town, most beaches are open to the public.

First Beach – Also known as Easton’s Beach is located just a mile from our Newport Inn.  It’s located on Memorial Boulevard, where you can also find the beginning to Cliff Walk. This is one of the more popular beaches and has a snack bar, carousel, skate park and gift shop.  Many events take place on the beach such as concerts and volleyball tournaments. Parking costs between $10 and $20 and metered street parking is available.

Second Beach – Also known as Sachuest Beach, this beach is located in Middletown, next to the Norman Bird Sanctuary.  This is a quieter beach with less seaweed and better waves for surfers.  There is a snack bar and Del’s Lemonade available. Parking is between $10 and $20.

Third Beach – Third Beach is past Second Beach in Middletown. This is a small beach but is very peaceful and offers calm waters without many waves.  It’s a good spot for wind surfing and there’s also a public boat ramp. Parking is between $10 and $20.

Gooseberry Beach – Gooseberry Beach is located along Ocean Drive and is set back in a cove so there aren’t many big waves.  Many families come to enjoy this beach. The beach club here is private, but food can be purchased at the Gooseberry Café.  Parking is $20.

Reject’s Beach – This beach is a public section at the end of Bailey’s Beach, which is a private beach.  This beach is only accessible by walking or biking so it is usually less crowded.Newport Beaches

Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge

July 14th, 2013 by Marshall Slocum Inn

There are a lot of outdoor activities in Newport, RI, including a variety of different scenic walking routes.  Most people head straight for Cliff Walk to enjoy the views of rugged cliffs along the water on one side, and the magnificent mansion on the other, however, the Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge offers views that are just as grand.  sachuest-point-national[1]

Sachuest Point occupies the peninsula between the Sakonnet River and the Rhode Island Sound, just past Second Beach in Middletown, RI.  A newly renovated visitors center welcomes you to the 242 acre Wildlife Refuge.  There are over 2.5 miles of nature trails with various viewing platforms along the way.  This Refuge is popular for saltwater fishing and has the largest winter population of harlequin ducks on the East Coast. The refuge supports over 200 bird species in its saltmarsh and beach strand habitats as well as its upland shrub dominated land.  Some notable birds include: peregrine falcons, northern harriers and snowy owls.

This land started out as farming land and was later used as a horse racing area.  During World War II, the Navy used this land as a communications site and rifle range.   In 1970, the Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge was established after a donation from the Audubon Society of Rhode Island.

Rocks and ocean at Sachuest

Brenton Point State Park

July 6th, 2013 by Marshall Slocum Inn

Located on Ocean Drive, Brenton Point State Park is the perfect place to spend a relaxing afternoon in Newport.  Brenton Point is located right where Narragansett Bay meets the Atlantic and has one of the greatest views in town. Picnicking, hiking and fishing are some of the activities that can be enjoyed here, as well as simply sitting back and enjoying the cool ocean breeze. Brenton Point State Park

Brenton Point’s history dates back to early Rhode Island history. Brenton Point State Park was named after Governor William Brenton, a religious refugee from the Massachusetts Bay Colony.  After living in Boston for four years he was “vigorously excused” in 1637 and spent time in Anne Hutchinson’s Portsmouth community before settling at the southern end of the Island in 1639.  He divided his land, which today would not only be Brenton Point, but Castle Hill, Hammersmith Farm and Fort Adams, into two farms.  Brenton understood that this area was very good for raising sheep (one of Rhode Island’s earliest economic export), and eventually he was raising 11,000 sheep.  Brenton not only became a prosperous land owner, but also a prominent political figure in the colony.

William Brenton became the governor of Rhode Island and served from 1666 to 1669.  Brenton happily took chances in annual elections and held office under the Charter of 1663.  He died in 1674.  Two years after Brenton’s death, Newport faced its first real challenge when the Wampanoag Indian Chief, Metacomet, united Indian tribes to expel white settlers in the mainland Massachusetts and Rhode Island towns.  Fortunately, Newport and Portsmouth avoided massacres and being burned to the ground, and instead took in refugees from the areas that did.  During the time that followed, Brenton Point and Castle Hill held their guard against pirates who were also seeking refuge in Narragansett Bay.Brenton Point State Park WWll Batteries

In the first half of the eighteenth century, Brenton point became a “portal” to the Privateers (commercial ships ready to wage war on England’s enemies).  In 1776, Newport was a captured town, behind enemy lines, in the American Revolution.  Cannons at Brenton Point and Castle Hill defended any attempts of the Americans to free the inhabitants under British garrison control for three years.

When the war was finally over, Newport and the surrounding farms were devastated for decades.  Eventually the city was rescued by those seeking summer fun.  Farm houses from before the civil war were transformed into guest houses.  Wealthy industrialists from New York and Pittsburg began building mansions along Cliff Walk and Ocean Drive.  Theodore M. Davis from Boston built a house known as “The Reef” in 1885 at Brenton Point, which became famous for its walled gardens and green houses.  The estate took up eighteen acres, and after Davis’ death it went to Mr. and Mrs. Milton Budlong who used it until 1941.

During WWII, the site was one of the gateways to Narragansett Bay, making it an ideal location for coastal artillery battery.  The house was returned to the Budlongs in 1946, but remained unoccupied and thus continued to deteriorate, until finally, a fire destroyed the villa in 1960.  In 1969 the site became “open space property ,” under the control of the State of Rhode Island as part of the Green Acres Program.  It became a Brenton Point State Park in 1976.

 

Source: http://www.riparks.com/History/HistoryBrentonPoint.html

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