Local Attractions:

Planning For An Enjoyable and Safe WaterFire Experience

WaterFire is a very popular public event where you will join thousands of Rhode Island residents and out of town visitors who to come downtown Providence to enjoy an evening out with art. Like all large public events, it makes sense to plan and prepare for your visit, so we want to give you a few handy tips and reminders about how you can have the most enjoyable and safest experience at WaterFire. WaterFire can get very crowded, especially at peak times just before and after lighting; therefore, we strongly recommend that you consider this as you plan your trip.

  • Arrive early. Since WaterFire is open to all and has no restricted seating or VIP areas, the earlier you arrive, the better your chances are to get your preferred spot along the river or in the parks. Lighting typically takes place in Waterplace Basin approximately 15 minutes after sunset; however, we strongly encourage you to refer to the event schedule for all of the details on the specific lighting you plan on attending.
  • Orient yourself. Check out our new interactive map before you travel to Providence. After you arrive at WaterFire, find one of our volunteer WaterFire Ambassadors for a handy pocket guide which has a map and a schedule of the evening’s events.
  • Please don’t bring any large or bulky items as they will make navigating the crowds difficult and potentially hazardous to you and other visitors.
  • It’s New England, be prepared for a diversity of weather and dress accordingly.
  • WaterFire takes place in a park and other public spaces over a variety of terrains including cobblestones pathways. We highly recommend that you wear comfortable, walkable shoes.
  • In our modern security conscious world, it’s absolutely essential that you keep your backpacks, packages and other items with you at all times.  Unattended packages will be brought to the attention to the police and dealt with accordingly.
  • If you see something, say something. If you see suspicious activity or packages, please report it immediately to the nearest Providence police officer or WaterFire staff member or volunteer. Please note that WaterFire staff and volunteers will have identifying credentials.

Read more about safely planning your visit to WaterFire.

WaterFire is an experience that embraces all of the senses and all of the city! Come to enjoy yourself, to relax, and to discover a remarkable new urban experience in a fascinating modern city. WaterFire is presented for free, but we need your donations to keep the fires burning! Dress up, dress casual, or dress festive. WaterFire is a celebration of community and beauty. Everyone is welcome, and we encourage you to become a part of the event. There is often live dancing at the TD Bank Ballroom and an ever-changing, eclectic music program all along the rivers. WaterFire is an event to be explored and savored on foot as you wander around to discover its many surprises, folding chairs are not recommended and often interfere with your experience of the event.

Familiarize yourself with our interactive map of the art installation.

Please enjoy yourself at WaterFire!

Visit the Ignite Providence website for our guide to other great arts and culture events happening in Providence.

A View of RISD

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