“Depending on ones point of view, the event evokes ‘the spirit of elemental beauty’ or is ‘a campfire for the whole city.’ What’s more, it has played an important role in the revival of downtown, which used to empty out in the evening.”

Providential Happening by Fred Hapgood
Smithsonian Magazine
November 2002

“Each May through October WaterFire Providence lights up the downtown area. ‘It is designed to change the perception of urban beauty and community,’ explains artist Barnaby Evans of the ethereal outdoor sculpture installation in its ninth year.”

Rivers Ablaze by Molly C. Feltner
National Geographic
April 2005

“Locals see WaterFire as a symbol of the city’s renaissance. Evans sees it as a symbol of community. The volunteers and crowds ‘illuminate the city, filling it with light, joy, and hope.'”

Independent Thinkers by Paula M. Bodah
US Airways
December 2007

“The crowd is mesmerized, hushed in anticipation, and then released by the energy of the flames. Joy is seen and wonder and sadness too. It is a sight of great beauty and a moment of solemn ritual as well”

Into the Heart of Providence by Lauren Houlihan
American Lifestyle
April-June 2008

“Nothing prepared me for a powerful work of art- a living ritual in which fire, water, sound and smell all play a part to reduce you to awestruck silence and (in my case) tears of joy, all for free”

My Joyous Baptism of Fire by Bel Mooney
The London Daily Mail
September 19, 2008

“Perhaps nothing else better illustrates how the town has risen out of smoke and flames. Sound dramatic? Maybe so, but Providence is a true port city phoenix. It has gone from being a quick stop on the way to Cape Cod to a renaissance city that burns supernova bright on WaterFire nights.”

Divine Providence
Coastal Living
June 2009

“It’s my observation that WaterFire serves to contextually illuminate, in all its glorious complexity and contradiction, our romance with the past. It serves to re-educate us on the persistence of memory towards a revealing of ur collective urbanity.”

The Cleansing Fire by Jeff Tiell
Next American City
May 17, 2010

“The annual WaterFire Fidelity Origami event, featuring the traditional folded paper crane as symbol of peace, fidelity and longevity has been a popular signature event at WaterFire  for eight years. ‘Fidelity is proud to support WaterFire , an event that builds community and impacts economic development. We are also pleased to continue the fun tradition of having our employees fold and distribute origami cranes to visitors at the event,’ said John Muggeridge, Vice President of Public Affairs at Fidelity Investments”

“Choose Peace” Event at WaterFire
Fidelity Investments
August 24, 2010

“WaterFire will break new ground this coming weekend when fires will be lit in Singapore in complete coordination with fires in Providence, and the ‘torch’ will be passed virtually, via Skype, from one city to the other.”

WaterFire Goes to Singapore
Go Local Prov
September 20, 2011

“When fire meets water on warm nights in Providence, magic happens. Crowds begin gathering along the banks of Providence’s three rivers before dusk to secure front-row seats to WaterFire, a spectacle of firetenders (torch bearers) slipping slowly downstream in boats, lighting each of more than 80 floating bonfires.”

Great Destinations After Dark by Christine Sarkis
Smarter Travel
January 19, 2012

“ArtPlace expects to distribute $15 million in 2012 to arts organizations across the country, with recipients announced in May. In 2011, 34 organizations shared a total of $11.5 million. WaterFire and MusicWorks were the only two finalist from Rhode Island; in Massachusetts, The Boston Foundation of Dorchester is in the running for a grant.”

WaterFire Finalist for grant to expand offerings by Denise Perreault
Providence Business News
January 25, 2012

“Providence’s WaterFire was just named one of the top after dark spots in the world by the travel website Smarter Travel. WaterFire ranked 5 out of 10, beating out classic after dark destinations like Paris and Singapore. Providence finished behind locations like Yosemite Falls At Night and the Taiwan’s’ Shilin Night Market, which took the top spot.”

Providence’s WaterFire named one of the world’s best after dark destinations by Anthony Faccenda
Providence Entertainment
January 28, 2012

“The gathering crowd is everyman and everywoman.  There are serene locals and boisterous tourists, warm families with enraptured children,ardent lovers, and silent mourners counting their memories and blessings.”

Elemental Alchemy  by Laurencia Ciprus
October 2015

“May through November, the river hosts one of the city’s biggest events, WaterFire, an unusual art installation involving opera, costumes, and dozens of bonfires set in the water.”

A Washingtonian’s Guide to Providence by Andrea Poe
August 2016