Governor Almond Invites All Rhode Islanders to Celebrate Rhode Island!
Governor Lincoln Almond invites all Rhode Islanders, young and old, to join him in celebrating our state's rich heritage and culture and in commemorating his inauguration as our state's 56th governor at Celebrate Rhode Island!, a day-long series of performances, exhibits and events to be held Sunday, January 8 from 12:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the Rhode Island Convention Center.
Open to the public at no charge, Celebrate Rhode Island! will feature continuous entertainment by more than 1,000 performers of music, dance, comedy, and storytelling. In addition, 100 groups and organizations from across the state will set up interactive exhibits and displays at the Convention Center, including food samples representing Rhode Island's strong ethnic heritage.
Celebrate Rhode Island! will culminate at 5:15 p.m. when Governor Almond will be presented with the ceremonial gorget, a metallic plate worn by commanders-in-chief since the pre-Revolutionary War era. The gorget to be given to the Governor is a small replica of throat armor worn by warriors of the Middle Ages and symbolizes his position as Commander-In-Chief of the State of Rhode Island. Unlike his predecessors, Governor Almond will not have the gorget engraved, allowing it to be passed on to future governors of the state. Finally, the Governor will review the troops, signifying his assumption of command of the State's National Guard and militia forces.
Participants of Celebrate Rhode Island! include Ethnic Subcommittees of the Rhode Island Heritage and Historical Preservation Commission including the following subcommittees: African-American, Arab-American, British, Cape Verdean, Chinese, Franco-American, Greek, Hmong, Indian, Italian, Guatemalan, Japanese, Korean, Lithuanian, Narragansett Indian tribe, Norwegian, Filipino, Polish, Portuguese, RI Folklife Project, RI Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission, RI Maritime Heritage, Swedish, and Ukrainian.
The following groups will have displays: The Audubon Society of Rhode Island, Blackstone Valley Tourism Council including Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor, Burrillville Historic & Preservation Society, Children's Museum of Rhode Island, Glocester Heritage Society, and Historic Central Falls Hall of Fame, Northern RI Council on the Arts, Pawtucket Red Sox, and Historic Slater Mill in Pawtucket.
In addition, the Block Island Tourism Council, the Sulliva Ballou Post #2, Bristol County Tourism Council (including Blithewold Mansion & Gardens, Coggeshall Farm & Museum, Haffenreffer Museum, Herreshoff Marine Museum, and historic Linden Place), and the Greater Providence Convention & Visitors Bureau, including Baer's Canoe, City Year, Rhode Island Convention Center, Providence Performing Arts Center, RI Historical Society, RI Hospitality Association, and Roger Williams Park & Zoo.
The Newport County Community & Visitors Bureau will be represented by the Children's Museum of Newport, Museum of Yachting, Newport Historical Society, Preservation Society of Newport County, Norman Bird Sanctuary, RI Fisherman & Whale Museum, and the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
Representing the South County Tourism Council will be Fish the Point- Snug Harbor, Gilbert Stuart Museum, Kingston Balloons, and Smith's Castle.
Other groups participating with either displays or performances are: T.F. Green Memorial State Airport, Warwick Museum, Diamond Hill Vineyards, cartoonist Don Bousquet, Greenvale Farms & Vineyards, Miss Rhode Island USA, Miss Rhode Island America, Mrs. Rhode Island USA, Mrs. Rhode Island America, RI Division of Fish & Wildlife, RI Scholar Athlete Games, RI Special Olympics, RI State Council of the Arts, Sakonnet Vineyards, Save The Bay, Vinland Winery, and the billboard company Whiteco.
The following colleges and universities will also be participating: Brown University School of Medicine, Bryant College, CCRI, Johnson & Wales University, New England Institute of Technology, Providence College, Rhode Island College, Rhode Island School of Design, Roger Williams University, Salve Regina University, and the University of Rhode Island.
Performances include: Operation Reconciliation, Arabic Folkloric Dance Group St. Basil's Church, Caporeles, Cambodia Traditional Music, Quatemala Ballet Folklore Troupe, Landrache Family- Canadian songs, Hellenic Pride Dancers- Assumption Green Church, Classical Indian Music & Traditional Dance, Bel Canto Opera, Mexican Folkloric Dance Group, Native American Drummers, Singers & Dancers, Tinikling Dance Performance, St. Adelbert's Polish Dance Group, Groupo de Dancas e Cantares da Escola Portuguesa, Chance to Dance, Cranston Senior Tappers, Dance for Art, Little Babemba, RI School of the Deaf Dance Ensemble, State Ballet of RI, Al Conte Trio, Bristol County Interfaith Choir, Community College of RI, Mary Lee Partington & Friends, Music School Chamber Chorus, Narragansett Bay Chorus, and Night Life Orchestra.
Also performing will be Rhode Island College, RI Music Educators Association, RI Sound, Salve Regina University, St. George's School Chapel Choir, Swanhurst Community Chorus, West Bay Chorus, Westerly High School Jazz Band, and Youth Singers for Christ. Also, the Little Rest Chorus of Sweet Adelines, Charlie Hall's Ocean State Follies, storyteller Lenny Cabral, Norbert Twichell- a Blackstone Valley humorist- the Pawtuxet Valley Community Chorus, the Jazz Ensemble of CCRI, the URI Ram Band and Cheerleaders, the Lincoln High School Band and the Roger Williams Park Zoo.
Parking will be available at a reduced rate of $2 at the Rhode Island Convention Center parking garage.