Destination RI

Released at:
Contact: William Gilbert


CONTACT: Bill Gilbert, 401-932-8326

Gilbert, Candidate for Governor Announces $5 Million Economic and Tourism Plan:

"Destination RI" and "Imagine" Summer Events

William Gilbert, candidate for Governor, announces his tourism plan he calls "Destination RI.”  As Governor, Gilbert plans to raise $5 million in private investment to fund major and international high-energy events for each of the sixteen weekends from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Gilbert proposes using high-stake, high-adrenaline and high-profile competitions to draw competitors from around the world for a chance at fame, bragging rights and yes, cold hard cash –and lots of it, at least $100,000 per event.

Gilbert has devised a sample calendar of events he calls "Imagine" and hopes it will spur other high-draw competition ideas. Each weekend event is proposed and designed to draw a specific demographic of high net-worth competitors and spectators. Each proposed event was also chosen for marketability to spur television programming, potential reality-themed shows and stand-alone commercial ventures while showcasing Rhode Island as a backdrop.

Gilbert says the $5 million raised will be used to cover sixteen $100,000 awards with the remaining $3.4 million to offset the costs to the various cities and towns for police, fire, rescue, rubbish and sanitary services.

Gilbert also calls for the formation of a Tourism and Travel Consortium of all local Chambers of Commerce, tourism councils and representatives from each of the towns and cities’ town councils to facilitate and create a uniform application process for holding such high-intensity, short-run competitions and entertainment events.

The “Imagine” summer events below are just some of the great things Gilbert envisions creating to draw tourism and entertainment dollars into RI, filling every weekend of the summer season: Just Imagine if this was our summer.

Memorial Day Weekend (May 25-27, 2019)

Automobiles of the World

  • Original condition and restored vehicles at least 25 years old
    • Location: automobiles to be displayed at participating mansions of Newport.
    • Prize for best of show $100,000.
  • Custom automobiles that are either original one-off designs or modified factory vehicles. Any year is eligible but must be currently registered and legal to operate
    • Location: along Narragansett sea wall.
    • Prize for best of show $100,000.00.
    • Memorial Day parades- Autos are free to join in the many parades throughout RI, both awards to be issued Memorial Day night at Water Place Park with Water fire as a backdrop.

June 1, 2

Rhode Island Relay Physical Challenge, a Team Sport

  • Leg 1. Bicycle race from Watch Hill to Wickford via Post Road.
  • Leg 2. Swim west passage from Wickford to Jamestown.
  • Leg 3. Foot race / run to Newport's Fort Adams.
  • This competition can be done either as a three-man team or solo.
  • Prize - $100,000.00 if won by a team or $200,000.00 if won by a solo competitor.

June 8,9

Federal Hill/Downtown Pasta and Sauce Challenge

  • Competing pasta and sauce cooks throw down on the sidewalks of downtown Providence for a chance to earn bragging rights and cold hard cash.
  • Prize of $50,000 for best pasta and another prize of $50,000 for best sauce.

June 15, 16

Colt State Park Barbecue Feast

  • Location: Colt State Park, Bristol. Local chefs compete for $50,000 for the best pork, $50,000 for the best beef and $50,000 for the best grilled veggie recipes. Come for the vittles, stay for the sunset.

June 22, 23

East Side Extreme Team Triathlon

  • Back to adrenaline. Watch as BMX bicycles race and jump their way through a race circuit on the tree-lined streets of Providence’s historic East Side. These cyclists will hand off their batons to extreme skateboarders who will navigate a course of jumps, rails and stairs.
  • Next up: extreme street luge riders racing down College Hill. Don't blink: you won't want to miss the action or the backdrop of the many fine art pieces and sculptures of Providence (think Converge RI).
  • These athletes have so much fun they would do it for free but there will still be a monetary $1000,000 award.

June 29, 30

Rhode Island Photography and Painting Competition

  • Photographers and painters may display multiple pieces but can only enter an original work that has never been displayed.
  • $50,000 prize for best painting and photograph each.

July 4th weekend, July 4, 6, 7

Bristol Parade & Jet Ski Racing and Freestyle

  • Location: Johnson Pond, Coventry.
  • $50,000 prize for race winner and
  • $50,000 for freestyle winner.

July 11, 12 (starting)

International Open - Sculpture Competition

  • Rhode Island's beaches and public spaces become the backdrop for some of the best sculptors the world has to offer. Come watch as numerous artists set their sculptures for public viewing. This month-long competition showcases all sculpture mediums: metal, wood, bronze, glass and even sand.
  • These fabulous works of art are displayed throughout the various towns and cities of Rhode Island.
  • The $100,000.00 prize will entice artists from around the globe. 

July 13, 14

Rhode Island Independent Film Festival

  • See never-before-seen films from first-time filmmakers and seasoned directors. Films must be debuted and never before released to be considered for prize. Catch these flicks at local venues such as the Avon Cinema, the Vets and Showcase Theaters.
  • Prize $100,000.00.

July 20, 21

Drum Line Competition

  • Come feel the beat as these college and high school drum lines face off; snare to snare and tom-tom to tom-tom. Brown's stadium would certainly lose its roof during this event if it had one.
  • The festivities start Saturday morning with a few select drum lines parading the streets of downtown while other drum corps brings the beat down Federal Hill, Benefit Street and Blackstone Blvd.
  • Sunday is the day that Brown Stadium feels the beat as the drum corps vie for the $100,000 prize.

August 27, 28

Rhode Island Brain Drain

  • This one is for the nerds, brianiacs and engineer types. Two days of pure mental gymnastics hosted at the Hyatt in Newport. Adults can show off their spelling skills at the adult spelling bee. Algebra, trig and calculus equations will replace barbells and footballs at this competition.
  • Six $10,000 prizes, one for each of the learned disciplines of mathematics, physics, chemistry, English, history, biology will be awarded.
  • The participant with the best overall score will earn $15,000 for their brainpower.
  • Winner of the adult spelling bee will receive $25,000.

August 3, 4

Providence Eclectic Electric Street Parade

  • You thought New Orleans’ Mardi Gras parade was colorful? Well come on down as this parade lights up the night. Each float, car, bike, person and character is lit up with LEDs, twinkle lights or glow paint and more.
  • There is no end to the imagination that two $50,000 prizes will bring out. Bring your lawn chair and enjoy a summer night in the Renaissance City.

August 10, 11

Chowder Throw down

  • Many states claim they have the best clam chowder. This competition expands on the Newport Chowder Cook-off and is designed to answer one question: which cook owns the bragging rights to the world’s best cup of chowder?
  • The beautiful Goddard Park plays host to this two- day cook-off.
  • With a $100,000 prize on the line, cooks will come from around the globe.
  • There will be plenty of other seafood dishes to sample too. Classic cars, a bounce house, and live band and other activities will round out the festivities.

August 17, 18

Wheelchair and Amputee Marathon

  • Come celebrate the determination and spirit these physically challenged individuals display as they take on a ten-mile marathon. These folks will inspire you as they melt your heart.
  • Open to individuals physically bound to a wheelchair and lower-limb amputees.
  • $50,000 prize to the first-place winner in each category. After seeing this it will be hard to complain, at least for a while.

August 24, 25

Ultra-light and Experimental Personal Aircraft Racing

  • Come watch as these almost kite-like one-person airplanes swoop into the sky and race a course from Newport State Airport north, buzzing the Providence skyline, then turning south to follow the Narragansett Bay coastline to Narragansett. Then watch as they turn to follow Newport's famous Ocean Drive and Bellevue Ave before touching down at their starting point.
  • The $100,000 purse will guarantee strong competition. This will be a true go pro camera event.
  • Labor Day Weekend August 31, September 1, 2
  • Quonset Point Fastest Streetcar and Motorcycle Shoot-out and Fried Food Spectacular
  • Big money cars with bigger engines race on the run way that has been converted to a NHRA-regulation quarter mile at Quonset State Airport.
  • Witness these cars accelerate from a standstill to over 150 mph in 8 seconds.
  • If fast exotic autos aren't enough there will be insane motorcycle drags too.
  • This is a race till you lose and all vehicles must be street legal, registered and driven at least 10 miles before being driven through the gates. Two prizes, $75,000 for autos and $25,000 for bikes.

More details and ideas envisioned by the candidate are posted on the website Gilbert said, “I see the office of Governor as an ideal post for promoting the state of RI and helping to generate revenue for our small businesses, as a sort of ambassador. I think we should fill the summers with events such as these to attract tourism and bring attention to everything this little state has to offer. See ya next summer!”


#  #  #


Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.