Next Stop: Newport

Oregon Coast Aquarium, Newport Celtic Festival And Highland Games, Marine Discovery Tours, Newport Farmers Market, Mo’s Clam Chowder, Mistral At Nana’s Irish Pub



00:00-00:04 JON: Hi I’m Jon Olson, welcome to Next Stop, from the dungeness crab capital of the world!
00:05-00:18 Next Stop Newport intro rolls
00:19- 00:32 JON: Welcome to Newport Oregon, home to some of the friendliest people on the Oregon coast, we’ll prove it. We’ll also bring you a celtic festival, and music from Brittany. All this and more on this episode of Next Stop. The fun starts now!
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00:35-00:46 JON: The Oregon Coast Aquarium is one of the top tourist attractions along the Oregon coast, and was voted as one of the top 10 aquariums in the US. Its a wonderful place for families to spend a day learning about nature, and having fun.
00:53-01:41 JON: There are so many things to see and do here at the Oregon Coast Aquarium, but we start in the most visited of your attractions.
CINDY: Its been called the coolest 50 yards on the Oregon coast, it is very nice.
JON: I read that.
CINDY: Yeah, it’s Keiko’s old pool that has been created into 3 different habitats here. There are sharks, there are salmon in this one, bat rays, in the next one there are rock fish and halibut.
JON: Got some kids coming around, they’re intrigued just like adults
CINDY: We do, they love it.
JON: They can actually, you have overnight programs where people can actually sleep in sleeping bags here.
CINDY: We do, you can spend the night here if you want.
JON: So what’s new at the Oregon Coast Aquarium?
CINDY:  We have an exhibit called Swampland that is new, and it exhibits 3 different types of  wetlands.
JON: Big snakes I’m guessing.
CINDY: Big snakes, and alligators, and all kinds of things.
01:48-02:07 JON: So this is one of your more popular exhibits, the sea otters.
CINDY: It is, the sea otters are adorable, yes, everyone loves them.
JON: But you have a lot of people who are beyond the full time employees, how many volunteers do you guys have?
CINDY: We have 400 plus volunteers, and we literally couldn’t do what we do without them,  they are wonderful. Speaking of which, would you like to meet one of our volunteers?
JON: I’d love to.
02:15-03:31 JON: This is my boy Howard here, he is a volunteer here at the aquarium, and he’s got  something hopefully in store for us here at the tank, what are we going to do Howard?
HOWARD: Well, if the octopus cooperates, which it does not look like it, he should come out, he should climb up and we should be able to feed him him, and it is quite an experience.However, it does not look like he is going to cooperate.
JON: He’s just hanging out down there on the bottom like he’s just taking a nap. This one definitely looks hungrier.
HOWARD: Yeah, this one was fed a whole lot lighter this morning with the idea that you guys might be coming, and uh, he’s probably younger than the other octopus, easier to work with, pretty comfortable, trying to convince him to take something out of the food bowl.
JON: What is that?
HOWARD:  When he works hard he takes in more oxygen and was just exhaling. He takes a deeper gulp of water and extracts oxygen and exhales soon that oxygen. I just want to make sure that he gets up on your arm, too fast, I’m going to pull him off. That’s all.
JON: He’s pulling me in! Look at that, look at that pull! Just look at the hickeys.
HOWARD: The octopus did it.
JON: Howard and I, it’s our story and we’re sticking to it.
03:37-4:05 HOWARD: So where we are standing now this is on top of Passages of the Deep. At one point this was one large tank, it was about 2 million gallons of water, there was no roof over the top, this was fully open, all I had was just small walkways around. There are definitely sturgeon in here, that’s a halibut, that one down there.
JON: The big huge one?
HOWARD: Yeah, the one that’s kind of got a forked tail. Leopard shark is right there, the sun gill is the big one, and the ones that don’t look a whole lot like sharks are spiny dogfish, which are sharks.
04:07-04:26 HOWARD: What you are seeing are juvenile chinook salmon.
JON: Well obviously they are all treated very well, they get fed handsomely.
HOWARD: Oh yes.
JON: You’re such a nice guy Howard.
HOWARD: Oh heck yeah.
JON: How much do you love your job?
HOWARD: Oh its, I really do enjoy it. Yeah, it’s peaceful, its enjoyable, its just fun.
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04:35-05:17 JON: We are in downtown Newport, right next to City Hall for some weekend culture, this happens almost every weekend.
KATIE: Every Saturday.
JON: The Farmers Market. Katie has been here for 17 years.
KATIE: 17 years, 17th season this year for Pacific Sourdough, 34th year for the Newport Farmers Market. So here we have some of our craft vendors, Earth Huggies, they make wonderful things for children, and here are some of the first Oregon strawberries of the season. It’s June, and strawberries are here and they are sweet and so delicious and people are just snapping them up, its like locusts, they are just crazy about them. The flavor is so much different than the commercial strawberries that you buy in the store, and you get to talk to the people that raised them.
JON: Do they give samples?
KATIE: I don’t know, do they give samples?
VENDOR: Yeah, go ahead.
KATIE: They do.
JON: I would love to try one, this one looks very juicy.
05:20-06:16 JON: Mmmm.
KATIE: Yeah. now that’s summer.
JON: It melted in my mouth.
KATIE: That’s summer.
JON: Usually you have to bite into a strawberry, this thing just melts.
KATIE: You’ve got some art glass, there is a woman who makes wonderful knitted and felted headgear, and scarves, really fun hats.
JON: Those look like fun.
KATIE: This is interesting, this is garden art made of recycled glass items that they put together, and is fun and nice repurposing. Exotic mushrooms that are raised in Eddyville.
JON: Are those real exotic mushrooms?
KATIE: Not that exotic, but I mean take a look at this, this is a lions mane mushroom, isn’t it wonderful? And they are delicious, meaty, wonderful to saute with, well just throw them into a pasta or just saute them along side a piece of fish, delicious.
JON: But what does this mean for your business, to be part of this?
DOMINIQUE: Oh it’s great, that’s how I make my living.
JON: Farmers Market?
JON: That’s great.
JON: So you’re selling enough to keep things going?
JON: That’s wonderful.
06:20-06:46 KATIE One of the things I love is to make something that people remember from their childhood, I want you to have that.
JON: Thank you.
KATIE: And maybe it will remind you a little bit of Denmark, if not Germany.
JON: I can smell it through the packaging.
KATIE: Yeah. I have been out here selling in some terrific downpours, and our customers still come, bless their hearts. They show up, they buy their bread, they buy their  produce, they don’t care. A little rain doesn’t stop them.
JON: Rain or shine, come to Newport and meet the bread lady. Thanks Katie.
KATIE Thank you.
JON: Great to meet you.
KATIE: Happy to be here.
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06:53-06:58 JON: Up next, a personal tour of Newport, and we attend a local festival.
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07:07-08:16 JON: Meet Lorna Davis, she is the Director of the Newport Chamber of Commerce, and who better to talk Newport history, and where better to start our chat than right here in the historic bayfront district.
LORNA: It all started right here, the settlers came to this area here for the oysters, and the rest is history.
JON: And the rest is history. You have a lot of active boats out here today, this is a very important part of Newport’s economy, isn’t it?
LORNA: It is. The bayfront is a very important part because of obviously the tourism aspect, but even more importantly, the fishing aspect, it’s got a lot of fisheries right here, a lot of processing plants, and our boats, our active fleet.
JON: So Newport is called on your signage as the friendliest place on the Oregon coast. It is a very friendly place, why is that?
LORNA: Well, we’ve always boasted ourselves as being the friendliest place, and if you go to some of the places, people are willing to help you, to talk to you. You always find a friend in Newport.
JON: You have what, five different distinct districts, this being one of them.
JON: What are the other ones?
LORNA: There is South Beach, Agate Beach, Nye Beach, the Bayfront and the Deco District.
JON: You mentioned Nye Beach.I’m guessing there has gotta be some serious beach front there.
LORNA: There is some serious beach front, but rather than talk about it, lets go check it out.
JON: I’ll follow you.
08:24-09:24 JON: We’re talking some serious beach here Lorna.
LORNA: We are.
JON: How much beach front is there in Newport?
LORNA: Miles of beach.
JON: Miles of beach
LORNA: As far as the eye can see.
JON: Miles and miles. There is a lot of beach here, there is so many things you can do. What are the activities people can do on the beach here when they come?
LORNA: Oh, they can do all kinds of things. People come to beachcomb, to play in the surf a little bit, safely of course. They bring their dogs, their kites, their friends, and they even do some bonfires on the beach in the evenings.
JON: Obviously tourism is a big industry here in Newport.
LORNA: It is.
JON: There are so many places for people to stay.
LORNA: There are. There are over 1,700, or maybe even better hotel rooms and various places for people to stay. Bed and breakfasts, hotels, there’s inns, there is cabins, all kinds of things.
JON: Let’s talk about festivals, because there really is something happening in Newport year round.
LORNA: Pretty much year round.
JON: The big festival is the Newport Seafood and Wine Fest.
LORNA: Yes, that always happens the last full weekend in February, and most recently added to that mix in the Newport Celtic Festival and Highland games.
JON: Happening this weekend.
LORNA: Happening this weekend and I know you guys are going to really enjoy your time there.
09:33-09:36 JON: We are at the first annual Newport Celtic Festival and Highland games.
09:53-10:08 JON: What does it take to get these kids to learning all these things, a lot of little dance steps.
GERALDINE: It’s a lot
JON:  And I notice the one, two, and then the third. I don’t think I could do it.
GERALDINE: Its a lot. We start off with the basics, and what to do with the legs and the feet, and then listening to the music and then we build steps on that, and then routines once we have the steps down.
10:12-11:41 JON: I’m with Belinda who is the event coordinator of the First Annual Celtic Festival and Highland Games. This is very successful, what does it take to put something like this together?
BELINDA: We just started talking, and came together and started making it happen.
JON: People seem very enthusiastic, especially to celebrate their roots. There’s lots of guys in kilts now normally I might make fun of a guy in a skirt, not here man! You’ve got a lot of really fun events planned, right now the kids are dancing behind us, that’s very cool.
BELINDA: Oh yeah.
JON: But you have events that happen off the fair grounds too.
BELINDA: That right.
JON: Tell us about the sand castle building contest.
BELINDA: Oh that was great fun. We have some folks down on Nye Beach come down and build sand castles, and it was just a fun contest for kids.
WOMAN: We actually drove 10 hours to come here and do this sculpture contest for the Highland games.
JON: Something that caught my eye on the schedule, the haggis eating contest, what is in haggis?
BELINDA: Heart, liver, lungs, brain, that kind of thing. We had I don’t know, 10 people I think step up to the plate and try it, and it was great fun. Some of the guys were just chowing down going at it, first bite, oooh.
ANNOUNCER: Here comes the haggis. 3,2,1, go. Number one, we have a winner! Number one!
11:42- 12:31 JON: Now its time for the manly man games, the highland games. Liam, probably one of the shorter guys here at the highland games, how tall are you man?
LIAM: 7’2, originally from England, but moved out here to play ball.
JON: I didn’t know they grew them this big in England.
LIAM: There is a couple of us.
JON: You have to be one of the tallest guy in the country.
LIAM: One of them, I actually played basketball against a guy who is now the tallest guy in the country.
JON: No kidding.
LIAM: There is a few guys out there that are pretty tall.
JON: So tell us about the highland games, right now they are tossing the caber, how do we score it?
LIAM: The basic idea of the caber is you have to turn it to be a legal throw, so if you are going to flip it end over end, and in this case it is a 20 foot caber, it is about 72 pounds.
JON: Wow.
LIAM: And if you’ve ever thought about trying to balance a broomstick on your hand, the balancing part is pretty tough in and of itself, and then you throw in the weight and size, and then the danger aspect of that one is if it starts to come back to you, you gotta be somewhere else.
12:38-13:25 JON: We are with the honorable Newport Mayor, Mark McConnell, which is a great scottish name here at the Celtic Festival.
MARK: Yes, it is, absolutely.
JON: Where is your kilt?
MARK: Scottish, Irish, I forgot it.
JON: Give us an overall perspective of Newport, this is a great town. It is a fishing town, but also a town full of the arts.
MARK: Its a town with science, lots of scientists, lots of fishermen, and lots of people who are really wonderful in the cultural arts, visual arts, performing arts of all types. You know, we have the, the performing arts center has been here for 20 years, we have 3 resident theater companies, 3 resident dance companies, a symphony orchestra, all kinds of events for kids to participate on stage, lots of different activities that way. There is lots of great things for anybody and everybody of all levels of talent to participate.
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13:29:13:34 JON: Coming up, we cruise the harbor, and visit one of the Oregon coast’s most famous restaurants.
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13:37-14:00 JON: Its always a great time to come to Newport. Temps range from the 60’s to 70’s in the summer, to the 40’s and 50’s in the winter. Winter in fact is a great time to come and watch the whales migrating south for the summer, its also the perfect time to come and catch one of those spectacular winter storms. Seriously, come to Newport, hunker down in one of ocean front hotels and watch mother nature do her thing. For more information, visit
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14:06-15:10 JON: We are in the historic Bayfront district and we are going cruising for sea life with marine Discovery Tours.
LYSSA: When you guys are walking around today, we are going to be on the ocean, when we are in the bay we can have 21 people up on the upper deck. I’m going to be the first one to exit the cabin, I’m going to go on top, and you guys are welcome to follow me out and kind of roam wherever you want. These were caught and filleted earlier, and now we have the remains to use crabbing, so this is the ultimate recycling. Now we kind of have, a bit of a of a tradition here on the Discovery, we want lots of crab, and so we need lots of luck, so what I need you guys to do is kiss the bait, there you go, alright. Alright Captain, my pots are baited and kissed and ready to go. We are going to push it in, 1,2,3, go. Alright, pot number 1 is in, there you go.
15:14-16:15 CAPTAIN DON: We are heading for the islands down there right? We’re watching for crab pots, we’re watching for any other debris in the water. Now, start bringing it back skipper!
LYSSA: You guys are going to stand here, you are going to be my pullers. I want to first person standing here, you guys are going to line up, single file. Alright my pullers, start pulling! Pull guys, pull!
KIDS: Wow, we got one!
LYSSA: These are all dungeness crabs, there uh, yeah, nope, that’s why you never get your fingers stuck in their pincher. We do have regulations here in the state of Oregon, our crabs have to be 5 ¾ inches, this is actually a big male here, let’s see if he is a keeper. Is he big enough?
JON: Just there.
LYSSA: That’s a legal sized male, but on the Discovery we are all catch and release, so we will release him.
16:24-16:49 CAPTAIN DON: You were on what we call a sea life cruise, it’s a combination ocean, bay and river. Our trips always go, weather doesn’t matter, so we just have a ton to share, the largest fishing fleet on the coast, we go through the boat harbor, tell people about the boats. I personally fished for 20 years from San Francisco to Russia, so
JON: You are great with the kids, bring them up in the wheelhouse, let them drive the boat. That’s really fun for kids.
CAPTAIN: They’ll be back.
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17:00- JON: Who doesn’t love god comfort food, and when you come to the Oregon Coast, a cup of Mo’s clam chowder is the way to go. Mo’s is way more than a great restaurant Gabe, you guys have a history that dates all the way back to the 1940’s.
GABE: That’s right.
JOIN: With your grandma.
GABE: There she is!
JON: Tell us about this spunky lady.
GABE: Well right here she is opening up that garage door, which is, we are kind of known, that’s kind of our signature piece here, and actually the garage door is here because somebody actually drove through the wall at one time.
JON: This is the new part of it, but next door there are a lot of famous people that probably grace those walls.
GABE: There is, we had a visit from Bobby Kennedy when he was on the campaign trail, and he came to visit here right on the bayfront, walked into Mo’s, fell in love with the clam chowder, totally wanted Mo to go with him-go with me down to California!
JON: Well obviously Mo’s is a great place, it is a staple here in Newport but there are other restaurants here, and you mentioned you like to eat out a lot.
GABE: I do.
JON: You pretty much try them all, where do you like to eat?
GABE: Well I have am it kind of depends on what, but I think that Local Ocean Seafood is wonderful, they do a great job there, that’s just down the street. Saffron Salmon if I want seafood or a beautiful steak, they do a great job, great view there. When I go with my son we love to go to Panini for a big hunk of pizza.
JON: Yum.
GABE: Yum pizza there. There is also another place called Our Place and its not, it’s little known but they have like what I would call gourmet comfort food.
JON: Tell us what is so special abut Mo’s clam chowder, because everybody talks abut Mo’s clam chowder.
GABE: Well, I think what makes our chowder special is we keep it simple, that’s really the bottom line. There is nothing fancy in it, it is just New England style clam chowder.
JON: Well I am absolutely famished so…
GABE: I’m thirsty.
JON: Well you have that, I’ll have this, and then I’m going to dig into that clam chowder.
GABE: Um, except for one thing. I was wondering if you could just go wash some dishes and then you will get a nice appetite up, and then you can come back and eat.
JON: You planned this.
GABE: I did. Welcome to Mo’s Jon.
JON: Thanks Gabe. I guess I will see you in the kitchen.
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19:12-19:17 JON: Coming up on Next Stop, and authentic Irish pub, with an authentic irish band playing music from Brittany.
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19:20-19:26 JON: We’re at Nana’s Irish pub in the Nye Beach district to feature Mistral, an authentic Irish band with a Brittany Flair.
19:49-20:13 JON: Your band looks like you guys are having fun, you look like you get along and your instrumentation is awesome. Tell us about your band and the people that are in it.
IAN: We are called Mistral, and we take our name from a powerful wind that blows out of the northwest of France. Elizabeth and I started it, we were playing music for English dancing here in Oregon and discovered that we both have this love for Brittan folk music.
20:45-21:04 JON: This is the first time we’ve ever had somebody featuring music from Brittany, so this is kind of cool for us, this is kind of unique. And speaking of unique, this Irish pub, is this not authentic? Do you not feel like you can be in Dublin right now?
IAN: I’m there, yeah, I’m there.
JON: You’ve got your Guiness.
IAN: It’s all the Guiness, and the people raising it every time we play.
JON: You’ve raised it a little bit too much though.
IAN: It’s empty.
JON: Because look, he doesn’t have any Guiness in the glass right now.
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21:30-21:52 JON: Thanks for tuning in to Next Stop from Newport, Oregon, and thanks to Gabe for putting me to work for my lunch. Also thanks to our show sponsors, the city of Newport and and thanks always to our title sponsors and good friends, Alaska Airlines and the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature card for your partnership. We will see you next time on Next Stop, where will we take you next? Make good memories everybody.