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WaterFire Providence Announces the 2023 Season

The fires light up Waterplace Basin and the city skyline. Photograph by John Nickerson

Schedule Updates:

Please visit the 2023 WaterFire Season Schedule Page for the latest updated schedule information and event page links.

WaterFire Providence proudly announces the 2023 WaterFire season which currently includes seven (7) full lightings and five (5) partial lightings. The 2023 season started with a pre-season lighting on April 1, 2023, supported by the United Way of Rhode Island followed by the first-ever WaterFire Day on April 19, 2023, in Memorial Park.

We are thrilled to announce the 2023 WaterFire season on the first-ever WaterFire Day, our #Art4Impact initiative continues to highlight the intersection of art and community engagement, with WaterFire’s lightings serving as a powerful catalyst for economic growth and vibrancy in the city of Providence. This year’s season includes an exciting lineup of full and partial lightings, made possible with the support of our generous sponsors and community partners; and we invite everyone to join us throughout the season to experience the magic of WaterFire and the beauty of our city.

Peter A. Mello
Managing Director + coCEO of WaterFire Providence

WaterFire favorites like the Clear Currents Community Paddling Night and the Flames of Hope Celebration supported by The Gloria Gemma Foundation will return in August and September. Notably, WaterFire will also partner with PVDFest, an annual arts and culture festival held in downtown Providence, for a full lighting on September 9, 2023. Additionally, the season will conclude with WaterFire’s Salute to Veterans on November 4, 2023, a full lighting to honor and recognize the contributions of veterans.

Spring is here and we are delighted to be announcing the initial 12 WaterFire lighting dates. All of us are looking forward to welcoming the entire community back to the river as well as greeting the many thousands of new visitors who will come to Rhode Island to see WaterFire for their first time this season. Your heartfelt notes and good wishes as you look forward to the new season have been much appreciated. For nearly 30 years WaterFire has filled downtown with joyous crowds, exciting art and peaceful music and our entire team is eager to see you once again in the firelight.

Barnaby Evans
Creator and Executive Artistic Director of WaterFire

2023 WaterFire Lighting Schedule*

Saturday, April 1
Supported by United Way of Rhode Island &  401Gives
Partial Lighting, Memorial Park
Sunset ( 7:10 pm ) – 9:30 pm

Wednesday, April 19
WaterFire Day Season Kick-Off &
Strike the Match #SparkTheAppetite Fundraiser
Partial Lighting, Memorial Park
Sunset ( 7:30 pm ) – 9:30 pm

Saturday, June 3
Supported by Rhode Island School of Design
Full Lighting
Sunset ( 8:15 pm ) – Midnight

Sunday, June 18
Supported by The 28th North American Catalysis Society Meeting
Partial Lighting, Waterplace Basin
Sunset ( 8:23 pm ) – 10:30 pm

Saturday, June 24
Supported by Textron Charitable Trust
Full Lighting
Sunset ( 8:24 pm ) – Midnight

Friday, July 14
Supported by Check the Stigma Hockey Classic to benefit Horizon Healthcare Partners
Partial Lighting, Waterplace Basin
Sunset ( 8:19 pm ) – 10:30 pm

Saturday, July 22
Supported by Amica Insurance & Bank of America
Full Lighting
Sunset ( 8:13 pm ) – Midnight

Saturday, August 19
Supported by Cox Business & Cox Media
Clear Currents Fire Community Paddling Night
Full Lighting
Sunset ( 7:40 pm ) – Midnight

Saturday, September 2
Labor Day Weekend
Partial Lighting
Sunset ( 7:17 pm ) – 11:00 pm

Saturday, September 9
Supported by Providence Tourism Council & Fidelity Investments
Full Lighting, PVDFest
Sunset ( 7:05 pm ) – Midnight

Saturday, September 30
Supported by Rhode Island Department of Education, XQ Institute, Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation
Full Lighting
Sunset ( 6:29 pm ) – 11:00 pm 

Saturday, November 4
WaterFire’s Salute to Veterans
Full Lighting
Sunset ( 5:36 pm ) – 10:00 pm

*This blog post reflects the schedule as announced in April 2023. For the latest updates visit

“WaterFire offers companies a unique and one-of-a-kind engagement opportunity anywhere by creating unforgettable customer experiences that very often exceed sponsors’ marketing objectives,” says Ed Cabral, Director of Sponsorships and Corporate Relations. Contact [email protected] for more information regarding opportunities in 2023 and 2024. 

WaterFire Providence thanks our generous supporters for helping to make this season possible. Details of the season schedule will be posted on the WaterFire Providence website at Additional lightings may be added to the schedule as funding becomes available.

WaterFire Providence thanks our 2023 Season Supporters!

About the author

+ posts by author

I've worked at WaterFire Providence since 2003. For the first 9 years of my career, I worked in the Production Shop learning all of the details that go into the physical production of the event. In 2012 transitioned to the role of managing WaterFire's social media and web presence. I now head up WaterFire Providence's digital projects including, web, social, databases, and our physical IT infrastructure.

10 thoughts on “WaterFire Providence Announces the 2023 Season”

  1. good morning waterfire…..looking to contact peter mello the CEO of waterfire to do an interview on the beginnings of waterfire
    This is tom rafferty from am 1320 wara attleboro ….please call or e mail me at 508 933 5164.. or e mail at [email protected]…I am doing a live talk show on june 1st and june2nd 2023….. 9am to 12 noon…..i have some time thursday or friday. Great oportunity for waterfire to promote thier 2023 season. hope to hear from you soon or ASAP. sincerely tom rafferty AM 1320 WARA arrleborto/providence.

    1. Hi Sandy, I hope you’ve recovered reasonably since discovering the current state of our schedule. All jokes aside, while the details are still being worked out I believe you can expect to find this date added to our schedule before too long. A good way to make sure is to reach out to Brown directly and let them know how much you are looking forward to year’s event.

      All the best, Tim

  2. I traveling to Providence in July and we’re planning on seeing Waterfire July 22nd, are there tickets I need to buy?

  3. I’m planning to go to water fire on Friday July 22. I’ve looked but can’t find info regarding handicap accessible parking. Is there info that can guide me to the best place to park? Thank you

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