The city's first nautical museum will open today with a celebration at 10 a.m. at 1714 W. Balboa Blvd.
Mayor Phillip Maurer will preside over the two-hour free event, and Bill Ficker of Newport Beach, 1973 America's Cup winner, will be the master of ceremonies. Evelyn Young, president of the nonprofit organization that developed the museum, said its purpose is to "preserve Newport's nautical history," which she called an important part of the local culture.
Although the grand opening is today, the museum will officially open July 2, and will be open Wednesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., she said.
The museum, housed in a building owned by the city, includes old pictures, charts, slides and other maritime artifacts.
"This is just the beginning . . . just the appetizer," Young said, explaining that the new museum is relatively small but expects to expand as more material is added for display.