New Year of food competitions already in full swing with third annual Lord of the Wings
2015 was the biggest year ever for RI FOOD FIGHTS and 2016 will be even bigger. The largest
series of food competitions in Southern New England, RI FOOD FIGHTS showcased over
120 local restaurants and food vendors in its fifth year, attracting over 2,200 attendees to a
series of three in-person events and selling over 4,900 passports for six virtual events.
The three in-person events – the Great CUPCAKE Championship, the Incredible ICE CREAM
Throwdown, and the Spectacular COOKIE Smackdown – drew sold out crowds to
Pawtucket’s Hope Artiste Village and Wayland Square on the East Side of Providence.
Competitors offered their best treats, vying to be the overall winner as determined by a panel of
industry experts and the People’s Choice, as voted by attendees.
The virtual events put the spotlight on some of Rhode Island’s favorite foods and drinks,
including pizza, calamari, and iced coffee. These month-long competitions allow purchasers
of coupon-based passports to sample the best from restaurants around the state, with the
winner determined by online voting. The results have dramatically increased awareness and
engagement with participating businesses. On average 250 visitors visit each restaurant during
each event, approximately 70 percent of whom are first-time customers.
RI FOOD FIGHTS also helped the nonprofit community, staging a creative cake decorating
competition as part of the Sojourner House’s annual Masquerade Ball fundraiser and donating a
portion of the proceeds from the Taco MANIA virtual event to RI Latino Arts.
The schedule for 2016 is jam-packed, with the three in-person events returning in spring
(cupcakes), summer (ice cream), and fall (cookies). The number of virtual events will increase to
eight, showcasing everything from burgers to tacos to Italian grinders. RI FOOD FIGHTS will also
team up with RI Latino Arts again for Taco MANIA in September and Sojourner House for
another cake competition in November. A cross-promotion with Millennial Professional Group of
RI will spotlight Millennial-owned restaurants in March.
The New Year is already in full swing with the 3rd Annual LORD of the WINGS, a virtual event
running through January 31. Over 20 restaurants throughout Rhode Island are participating in
the chicken wing competition.
The growth of RI FOOD FIGHTS has been significant over the past five years, and the positive
response from local foodies and restaurants alike has been overwhelming. “It was a glorious
event that I’ll never forget,” one fan of the Lord of the Pies virtual pizza competition posted on
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