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Stay in The Loop - Newburyport

by Alexandra Zega

 what to do ·  where to eat ·  where to stay ·  where to shop


Newburyport Yankee Homecoming

Sunday, July 29 - Sunday, August 5

The 55th year of a great Newburyport Tradition!
Come and enjoy this week-long celebration featuring events such as: free waterfront concerts, downtown entertainment, craft fair, kid's talent show, Family Day at Maudlsay, The Brewfest, Old Fashioned Sunday, Fireworks and the YH parade!




Old Fashioned Sidewalk Sales

Thursday, August 2 - Saturday, August 4

Enjoy old fashioned, outdoor shopping throughout downtown Newburyport, The Tannery, and Port Plaza. A great opportunity to support our unique local merchants, shop for some great deals, and enjoy Newburyport during the Yankee Homecoming Celebration!

Click here for more information.



Circus Smirkus

Friday & Saturday, August 3 & 4

Theater in the Open proudly presents the Circus Smirkus 25th Anniversary Big Top Tour!
Enjoy a blast from the past and fun from the future as the acclaimed traveling youth circus invites you to take a tantalizing trip through time with Topsy Turvy Time Travel! Enjoy a split-second spectacle and arc through the ages with acrobats, soar the centuries with aerialists, jump decades with jugglers and discover preposterous, playful, pre-HYSTERIC clowns! It's high time to join Circus Smirkus for cuckoo, clockwork adventures as we travel from time to time, to present a show for the ages!

Click here for more information.



Coast Guard Dedication

Saturday, August 4

Newburyport has been designated by the US Coast Guard as a Coast Guard City, one of 14 in the country.
Join the Mayor on Saturday, August 4 at 11am, where she will be presented with the declaration. This will take place on the waterfront behind the Custom House Maritime Museum; the public is welcome to attend.
In celebration of this special designation, the US Coast Guard will be honored at a maritime ball which is invitation only.  The US Coast Guard marching band, the US Coast Guard Honor Guard, a 13 man platoon and a US Coast Guard float will all take part in the Homecoming Parade on Sunday, August 5.
US Coast Guard tours will run from 11am-2pm at the US Coast Guard station on Water Street.

Click here for more information.



Atlantic Paddle Battle Race Series

Saturday, August 4

Catch "SUP" fever! The nonprofit Atlantic Paddle Boarding Association (APBA) presents the 2nd annual Atlantic Paddle Battle Race Series at Salisbury Beach. Participants in this summer-long standup paddle board (SUP) race series compete to win a $20,000 cash purse and The REVO Cup. The series continues August 4, with the Finals on Sept. 1, both at Salisbury Beach. Elite races start at 10:15am, Adult Recreational and Youth under 17 races follow; visit the website for registration info. Come participate or cheer on the racers from shore and stay for fun on the deck at SurfSide5.

SUP Surf contests will also take place on race days following the paddle battle with judges awarding $500 in cash prizes to the "best of the best" in this paddle surfing competition. Series presenting sponsors are Revo Sunglasses and Bud Light.

Click here for more information.



Waterfront MOVIE Series

Wednesday Nights, August 8, 15 & 22

(raindate August 29)

Movies begin at dusk on Waterfront Park 

August 8 - The Muppets
August 15 - Hairspray
August 22 - Madagascar

What could be better than watching a movie OUTSIDE on Waterfront Park on a warm summer night? Grab a blanket and your family & friends and join us! Movies will be shown on a 40-foot inflatable screen with an HD Blue Ray Projector and BOSE professional sound system. You don't want to miss this! FREE TO ALL!

Click here for more information.



Newburyport Chamber Music Festival

August 11 through August 18

Season 11 of New England's most intimate festival from Brahms to Schoenberg.

5 concerts, 4 open rehearsals, 3 lectures, 2 receptions - 1 week only!

Click here for the schedule!



Vintage Base Ball Games at the Farm

Saturday, August 11 and Sundays, August 12 & 26

Three chances in August to see the Essex Base Ball Association battle local and regional teams! The wide open fields at the Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm are a perfect setting for a unique sports experience. All games are $5, free for Historic New England members and children under 3. 
Using baseball rules from 1861, games feature underhand pitching, no gloves allowed. Hot dogs, snacks, baseballs, and cards are available for purchase. Grass field seating: bring blankets and lawn chairs, no reserved seating. Weather permitting.

Click here for more information.



Cruisin' the 50's

Thursday, August 16


Join us in historic downtown Newburyport as we celebrate the fabulous 50's! The Downtown will be transformed into a summer night set in the era. Visit our renowned restaurants, unique shops and historic sites featuring special events and 50's pricing. Music of the era will fill the downtown streets and classic cars will be displayed on State, Pleasant and Inn Streets.

THE LEGENDS - WNBP Radio will be broadcasting on the air and on

"LEE LEWIS & THE DOO WOP ALL STARS" will be performing in Market Square

at 7:30pm!

Click here for more information.



Newburyport ArtWalk

Saturday & Sunday, August 18 & 19

ArtWalk features an array of activites at participating galleries and studios including music, demonstrations, artist receptions, refreshments and more.  Please confirm hours with individual galleries.  Gallery walking tours include Saturdays 3-7pm and Sundays 1-5pm.

Click here for more information.



Maudslay Arts Center

95 Curzon Mill Road

Maudslay State Park, Newburyport


Whether you're sitting under the stars on a moonlit evening, or lounging on a blanket on a Sunday afternoon, the Maudslay Summer Concert Series provides the perfect setting for your entertainment pleasure. Now in its 20th season, the MAC performance schedule offers something for everyone.  Visit our website to view the 2012 Summer Season line-up.



Blue Ocean Music Hall

4 Oceanfront North, Salisbury Beach


Real Music. Real Close.  Come to the beach and enjoy top national acts in an intimate setting where most seats are within 50 feet of the stage. Blue Ocean Music Hall offers affordable tickets, ocean views, food and a full bar, and nearby parking. Box Office open Tues-Sun.

Don't miss these upcoming shows: 

Jul 27  - GARY HOEY - One of the top 100 greatest guitarists of all time

               rock & roll legacy meets the present day
Aug 3  - COMEDIAN BOB MARLEY - Blue Ocean's favorite funny man from

               Maine returns
Aug 10 - THE POUSETTE-DART BAND Singer/songwriter, arranger, guitarist

               and all-around musical adventurer
Aug 12 - LITTLE FEAT Hear Dixie Chicken, Oh Atlanta and more, plus hits

               from their new CD Rooster Rag
Aug 24 - FARREN BUTCHER INC. presents FARRENHEIT - the 1980s

               mega-band re-unites!

               best home-grown blues bands



The Firehouse Center for the Arts

Market Square, Newburyport


The Firehouse Center for the Arts is a 195-seat intimate theater on the waterfront of beautiful downtown historical Newburyport. This vibrant cultural center offers national, regional and local live performances at affordable prices.

Upcoming Shows/Events:

Jul 29  -  The Maiden Voyage of Meagham O'Dell
Aug 9-19  - The Gin Game

Aug 20-24  -  Firehouse Glee Club!
Aug 26  - Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs



>>for more events:  click here!


Please note businesses featured in STAY in the LOOP are participants in an optional Marketing Program with The Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce. This newsletter does not reflect our full membership. 



Lesser known truths about Fourth of July

by Alexandra Zega

A divided nation? How very American of us.

As we commemorate the 236th anniversary of our Declaration of Independence, revisiting our history helps remind us how far we've come — and just what still makes up the American character. For one thing, not all the 18th-century colonialists were keen on this whole independence thing: A good half-million were Loyalists to the British crown, and hung on to their royal connections in places like New York City, Long Island, and northern Georgia through the 1780s.

The Fourth of July is also a good time to give credit where credit's due, stamp out a few myths, and find out lesser-known truths that are even juicier than the folklore.

Neglected forefather? No argument -- founding fathers Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and John Adams have name recognition (it helps that two became president). Lost in historical footnotes are the remaining members of the so-called Committee of Five in charge of drafting the Declaration: Roger Sherman and Robert R. Livingston. And, even more neglected, is the man who first proposed the motion for a breakout from Britain.

Richard Henry Lee of Virginia was the classical yeoman farmer and a justice of the peace. The Virginia-born aristocrat benefited from an English private school education. At first an "indifferent figure," he later rose to the radical occasion and became an admired orator who, according to Patrick Henry, "reasoned well, and declaimed freely and splendidly" with a "deep and melodious" voice. At the second Continental Congress, he put forth the motion to cut maternal ties with Britain.

"That these united colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British crown; and that all political connexion between them and the state of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved... Let this happy day give birth to an American republic." ("Lives of the Signers to the Declaration of Independence," 1856, via Colonial Hall)

As it was his proposal, Lee would have been chair of the Committee of Five and its likely scribe, but his wife's illness called him away. His sub: Jefferson.

Forget firecrackers -- let's burn some effigies: Pyrotechnics and pies are nice, but real Independence Day sticklers would fire off some muskets, burn some effigies of English royalty (sorry, Kate and William fans), ration out some rum, and declare war on England. Over the last 236 years, Americans have found extravagant ways to celebrate (many details courtesy of James R. Heintze, Librarian Emeritus of American University and author of "The Fourth of July Encyclopedia"):

—Pequoad Indians did a "wardance at their wigwam" in 1831 Virginia.

—Teetotalers threw a "Grand Total Abstinence Celebration" to commemorate temperance in 1842.

—An all-time record of 10,471 flags flew over the nation's capital for the 1976 Bicentennial.

—The shuttle Columbia unfurled the flag in space in 1992, but NASA outdid that in 2005 by deliberately crashing spacecraft Deep Impact into a comet.

—"The Star-Spangled Banner" is the acknowledged go-to tune but, as the Houston Chronicle points out, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture" has become part of the musical salute. The ditty is actually about Russian forces vanquishing over Napoleon's at the Battle of Borodino. Credit the esteemed Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops for making the overture an adopted American anthem in their 1974 televised concert. Who's going to say no to 16 cannon blasts?

The occasion to fight for rights: Independence Day took on new meaning during the abolitionist fight: New York emancipated its slaves in 1827. Twenty-five years later, Frederick Douglass delivered his speech, "What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?" In 1876, the 100th anniversary, the likes of Susan B. Anthony read the Declaration of Rights for Women at the Centennial Celebration.

During World War I, celebrations took on an international theme: In 1918, President Woodrow Wilson spoke of an "international Fourth of July celebration" and in New York, 40 nationalities were represented in the "pageant parade." That same year, about 100 ships launched to help Allied forces. Other fights for rights included the 1989 flag faceoffs, as Americans protested the Bush administration's proposal to ban flag burning.

Off by two days? Not that we Americans didn't wait for a government resolution as a reason to party since 1776. John Adams sent a letter to his wife extolling the "great anniversary Festival" that generations would celebrate with "Pomp and Parade...Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other." Except he had July 2 in mind, the date when the Continental Congress approved Lee's resolution. (And this year, July 2 would've fallen on a Monday and we wouldn't have all this should-we-take-a-vacation dithering.)

Other Fourth of July myths and truths:

— King George III did not write on July 4, 1776: "Dear Diary, Nothing of importance happened today."

—Adams and Jefferson did die July 4, 1826, the Declaration's 50th anniversary. James Monroe died on July 4, 1831, and Calvin Coolidge was born July 4, 1872.

—Paperwork took a lot longer in those days: The Declaration's signing didn't begin until August 2 and finished sometime in November.

—No, Nicolas Cage didn't find a map on the back of the Declaration of Independence, because if he did, he could pay off his debts and go back to doing good movies. The only thing on the back of the parchment is "Original Declaration of Independence dated 4th July 1776." There are, however, 26 copies (aka Dunlap broadsides) that do exist — all publicly owned saved one.

—Okay, if you really want a conspiracy coda, how's this: The Declaration's signatures are signed according to geography.

"John Hancock, the President of the Congress, was the first to sign the sheet of parchment measuring 24¼ by 29¾ inches. He used a bold signature centered below the text. In accordance with prevailing custom, the other delegates began to sign at the right below the text, their signatures arranged according to the geographic location of the states they represented. New Hampshire, the northernmost state, began the list, and Georgia, the southernmost, ended it." (National Archives)


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