“The Shipshape Challenge” was inspired by Ireland’s longstanding Tidy Towns contest, a public/private partnership that’s been encouraging town spirit and beautification over there since 1958. You can check out Ireland’s contest here.
With Ireland’s blessing, we took their idea and implemented it on a micro-level here in Warren–instead of town vs. town, The Shipshape Challenge is property owner (or volunteer, or local merchant) against one another. We try to keep the competition fierce, but friendly! One day, we envision the Challenge operating on the level of Ireland’s Tidy Towns, spreading beyond our small town to include other Rhode Island towns (or even all of New England).
The Challenge is run by Patrick DeSocio of Preppy Pig BBQ and Kate Dickson of The Wooden Midshipman, two small, independently owned businesses located in the historic waterfront district. Patrick grew up in Warren, and in the spring of 2012 moved his catering business back to the historic waterfront village; Kate is a newcomer who moved to Water Street to open her book and gift shop in 2010. Together with the Town of Warren staff and Town Council, volunteers from the merchants group Discover Warren, and lots of local businesses and organizations, The Shipshape Challenge was born.
We hope you’ll join us.