For the occasion of the one-hundredth lighting of WaterFire, we asked a number of scholars and observers to write opinions, essays, or poems about what WaterFire means to them. I am very pleased to present here this collection of impressions of WaterFire.  We will be presenting additional essays and observations in subsequent issues of the WaterFire Program.

We often say that WaterFire builds community, but the outpouring of generosity and support that have made this project possible has been nothing short of miraculous. I am deeply indebted to everyone who has helped make WaterFire possible, including the City of Providence, the State of Rhode Island, our donors and sponsors, the volunteers on both the boats and the Board, the WaterFire staff, and the many writers who were willing to take the time to share their thoughts about WaterFire. I would like to express my deepest thanks to all of them.  I would also like to thank the Rhode Island Committee for the Humanities for their help in partial support of the cost of producing this program.

I hope these essays will enrich and expand your experience of WaterFire.

B. E.

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