Over four dozen participants ready to show off their recipes and become “blasted” into history as the Dynamite King or Queen


Saturday, September 15, will be an “explosive” day inside Woonsocket’s River Island Park, located at Market Square, as eager participants are “charging up” for victory at the First Blackstone Valley Dynamite Cook-Off Challenge.


This special event is being held in conjunction with the 25th Annual French Farmers Market & Woonsocket Art Festival, scheduled for Friday and Saturday, September 14 - 15, 2007.


Presented by the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council (BVTC), the contest will determine who makes the city’s best Dynamites and how this unique sandwich became established in Woonsocket and the Blackstone River Valley


Cook-off officials note that the competition for the best dynamites has “blown up” much larger than anticipated.


“We thought we would have only 24 contestants at the most. As of Wednesday, August 22, we how have over four dozen people ready to bring on their recipes. It’s amazing for us to see everyone’s different variations of Dynamite who are up to the challenge,” said BVTC President Dr. Robert D. Billington, organizer of the cook-off.


BVTC still welcomes anyone who has their own dynamite recipe to be part of the event to showcase their own Dynamite and become crowned the King or Queen of the Dynamite Sandwich.




However, BVTC says that to make the event enjoyable for the public and the judges, it must limit cook-off contestants to not more than 60 participants, and has set the deadline of Monday, August 27, 2007 at 5 pm for those wishing to compete.


People interested in participating in the September 15, 2007 Dynamite Cook Off must sign up NOW by visiting the website for complete details or calling the BVTC at 401-724-2200.

The Dynamite Cook Off “detonates” at 12 noon, Saturday, September 15. Dynamites will be available at the French Farmers Market.


Cook Off events are co-sponsored by BVTC, the Northern Rhode Island Council on the Arts, Jen's Dish talk show on radio station WNRI, Narragansett Beer, RI State Council on the Arts, Calise Bakery, Li’l General Stores, The Woonsocket Call and the City of Woonsocket.


For those unfamiliar with Dynamites, they are a sandwich made with a blend of fried hamburger, green peppers and onions in a spicy tomato mixture, all served up on a “dynamite roll”- never a bun, and found exclusively in Woonsocket.


Several Woonsocket restaurants serve Dynamites daily. The establishments include:

Barbara’s Place, 77 North Main Street, telephone 401-762-4730

Main Street Café, 85 Main Street, telephone 401-762-4394

Heritage Coffee Shoppe, 66 Main Street, telephone 401-765-7639

Paul’s Family Restaurant, 867 Social Street, 401-762-9608

Castle Luncheonette, 42 Social Street, 401-762-5424

Uncle Ronnie’s, Victory Highway, Nasonville, 401-765-3300

Also, the BVTC is on the prowl to find out the history of Dynamites and how they became a popular food staple in the Blackstone River Valley.

“We hope to uncover the origins of the Dynamite sandwich. Locals in Blackstone River Valley think Dynamites emerged during the Great Depression of the 1930’s, at the now-defunct Sons of Italy Club in the Social Flatlands neighborhood of Woonsocket some 70 years ago. But nobody really knows for sure,” said Dr. Billington.


With that in mind, the BVTC has hired former Woonsocket Call journalist Denise Perreault as the “investigative reporter” to uncover the history of the sandwich.

“So, if you think you know where the Dynamite comes from -- even if you have just an inkling -- give Ms. Perreault a call. “I’m open to all theories,” she said, “and, like Sherlock Holmes, I will endeavor to track down the truth or falsity of each report until we can come up with a definitive answer to this intriguing Blackstone Valley mystery.”  Denise will report the results of her investigation in an upcoming news release.


You can contact Ms. Perreault at 401-333-4808, or via e-mail, to


More information on the September 15 Dynamite Cookoff, the BVTC and the Blackstone River Valley is available by calling 401-724-2200 or on the web at

Date:               Saturday, September 15

Time:              10 am-8:30 pm

Festival          French Farmers Market & Woonsocket Arts Festival

Location         River Island Park, Market Square, Woonsocket, RI


Contacts:       For French Farmers Market: Northern RI Council on the Arts




For Dynamite Cook Off: Blackstone Valley Tourism Council




Enjoy ethnic culture and arts with live entertainment, food, French Canadian dance, historical tours, riverboat tours, children's events and more! Reception 5:30-8:30 pm at Museum of Work & Culture (Reception Tickets: $12) Call for details.


Highlighting this year’s festival is the Dynamite Cook Off starting at 12 noon. Over four dozen people will be in friendly competition to determine who makes the best Dynamites and become crowned Dynamite King or Queen.


Dynamites are a sandwich made with a blend of fried hamburger, green peppers and onions in a spicy tomato mixture, all served up on a “Dynamite Roll”- never a bun, and found exclusively in Woonsocket.



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