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August 25th, 2018 – Full Lighting


Saturday, August 25th
Full Lighting – Events Start at 6:00 p.m.
Sunset: 7:31 pm
Sponsored by the Providence Tourism Council
Music Program



Providence Tourism Council


All Full WaterFire installations light up over eighty braziers from Waterplace Park to Memorial/South Main Street Park on the below scheduled evenings. Lighting occurs shortly after sunset and the event continues until half past midnight.

Access Program Boat Dedication

WaterFire is proud to announce the Access Program Boat Dedication on August 25th, which will be part of the lighting ceremony.

Ms. Wheelchair Rhode Island and other WaterFire visitors enjoy the first Access Boat ride of the 2018 WaterFire Providence season. Photograph by John Nickerson.

With the generous support of Lead Access Program Sponsor Bryant University, its Graduate, & Physician Assistant Programs, WaterFire board member Mark Scott and the help of WaterFire Access Boat Captain Mark Karas, along with volunteers and individual donors, WaterFire Providence has been able to bring back the Access Program to the WaterFire 2018 season.

The Access Program Boat Dedication will take place prior to the lighting ceremony at the guest boat dock adjacent to Memorial Park and the College Street Bridge at 6:30 pm. The public is invited to celebrate with us as we toast to the new boat and reveal its dedication. Access Boat donor Mark Scott and representatives from Bryant University, its Graduate, & Physician Assistant Programs will be lighting the wall and the Access Boat will officially receive its name, Sandra Jane.

WaterFire Walking Tour – Before the Fires are Lit!

Nonprofit management intern Sarah Hodgens speaks with guests during the walking tour at our June 30th event. Photograph by Noah Tavares.

Take a walking tour with one of our knowledgeable staff and volunteers to get an inside look into the history, theory of design and management of WaterFire. Get the inside story of WaterFire with two exciting walking tours that begin at 3:30 and 7:00 p.m. This reservation-only tour allows those who want to learn the ins, outs, and background of the magic of WaterFire. For a donation of $10 registrants will walk the length of the canal with a tour guide and land at the basin just in time for lighting.

This weekend’s tours are SOLD OUT, please see our list of upcoming WaterFire Walking Tours for more dates.

The WaterFire Arts Festival Plaza

The WaterFire Arts Festival Plaza on Washington Street. Photo by Jennifer Bedford.

The WaterFire Arts Festival Plaza, in partnership with Bryce Studio, returns to Washington Street and Steeple Street for the 2018 WaterFire Providence season. The Arts Festival Plaza and will be active from 6:00 – 11:00 p.m. This outdoor artisan fair will showcase some of the great artwork created in Rhode Island in mediums such as glass, photography, sculpture, jewelry and more. The WaterFire Arts Festival Plaza will offer visitors the opportunity to purchase artwork by Rhode Island-based artists.

Visit the WaterFire Marketplace on Canal Street and help light up Providence. Support WaterFire with a donation or a purchase of locally designed apparel, glassware, books, and gifts. Pin where you are from on Map Center’s maps and watch glass blowing demonstrations by Gather Glass.

Grab a bite to eat! Visit one of our great food vendors:


Washington Street

On the River Walk between College and Washington Streets



College Street

Various Locations:

Waterplace Park Basin & Memorial Park


Live Music returns to WaterFire on Steeple Street

Bernard John plays a solo set at WaterFire on July 14th. Photograph by Erin Cuddigan.

The Steeple Street Unplugged Stage returns with another night of live local music during WaterFire.  Bernard John and his band will be performing a mix of folk and rock in two sets on Steeple Street between 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. The Trinity Brewhouse beer tent also returns to Steeple Street for this lighting.

Visit Starry, Starry Night

Starry, Starry Night. Photograph by Erin Cuddigan.

Starry, Starry Night. Photograph by Erin Cuddigan.

The Starry, Starry Night Installation will shine brightly in Memorial Park. Join thousands of WaterFire visitors in Memorial Park where the public is encouraged to add their own light to the night. For a small donation to WaterFire, make a wish upon a star or make dedication with a luminaria candle lantern in the park. The park will be aglow with hanging blue stars and a constellation of twinkling luminaria candle lanterns below.

WaterFire’s favorite characters are back!

Liz Knights performing at WaterFire Providence, photo by John Nickerson,

Liz Knights performing at WaterFire photograph by John Nickerson,

Fire dancers Liz Knights from Cirque De Light and Acacia from Circus Dynamics will be performing on the river throughout the night.

Michael Grando

Mime artist Michael Grando

Mime artist Michael Grando will return again for this event. Be sure to catch Michael, in costume as the Commedia dell’arte character Pierrot, as he cruises the river tossing carnations to visitors along the shore.

Andrew Anselmo

Origami Master Andrew Anselmo will delight crowds of all ages near the RISD auditorium.

Sidewalk Astronomy, photograph by Scott MacNeil.

Sidewalk Astronomy will offer visitors the opportunity to learn about the stars and planets in the sky. Stop by their learning lab on the riverwalk near College Street.

Charge up with National Grid

Photo by Tom Lincoln

Make sure you can capture the magic of WaterFire all evening long by visiting National Grid charging stations on College Street and Steeple Street to recharge your smartphone and other mobile devices during the lighting.

Step back through history at the Governor Stephen Hopkins House

Governor Stephen Hopkins HouseMake time to see The Governor Stephen Hopkins House located at 15 Hopkins Street (off Benefit Street). They are open for tours: Wednesdays from 11:00 2:00 p.m. and April through November on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. & until 10:00 p.m., when they fall on a full WaterFire lighting (the last tour begins at 9:30 p.m.).

Admission is free, but donations are gratefully accepted.

The museum is also open by appointment, for which there may be a modest admission charge. Please email to make an appointment.


About the author

Interactive Media Manager at WaterFire Providence | + 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.

24 thoughts on “August 25th, 2018 – Full Lighting”

  1. I see here it shows a water fire show for this weekend. But the Mariott just told me there definitely isn’t one this weekend. Can you please clarify? Thank you

        1. I remember seeing something about Disney music being part of the show. I can’t seem to find it to see which weekends it was. Did I miss it or are they coming up?

        2. Where to park conveniently? I have a kid of 3 yrs old. Till what time the show will continue? What is the main location to stand/sit to watch most of the funs?

          1. Hello, you can find info about parking here. The lighting runs through midnight. The event is designed for walking around, there is fun around every corner.

          1. Hi Stephanie, sorry we missed your question. I hope you had a good night out. Most of our on-shore open at 6:00 and we recommend people come early to get situated and experience as much of the city as possible. The Plan Your Trip to Providence Guide mentioned on this page is a helpful resource for first-time visitors.

          1. Hi Rachel, sorry we missed your question. I hope you had a good night out. Most of our on-shore open at 6:00 and we recommend people come early to get situated and experience as much of the city as possible. The Plan Your Trip to Providence Guide mentioned on this page is a helpful resource for first-time visitors.

        3. Hi Tim, I am planning to get to Providence for the event. Could you please suggest where to park? The previously posted link “planning your visit” does not discuss parking or somehow I missed it
          Thank you very much!

        4. Tim, Thanks for your input. We will be 1st timers for waterfire tonight and very excited. Staying at a close hotel can you recommend a casual dining spot for 4 and the best time? I’m sure the crowds will suggest the earlier the better. I would value your input having experienced this event before. Also, going for early morning run, any suggestions? (run / bike path around?)
          Many Thanks,
          Rick Murray

          1. Hi Rick, sorry we missed your question. I hope you enjoyed your stay. In case you missed it India Point Park is close by downtown and has walking/running paths that also connect to the longer rail/trail in East Providence.

        5. Do you happen to have a list of the arts and crafts vendors that were there on August 25th? I’m very interested in one of them, but I can’t seem to find their business card. If you do I would highly appreciate it if you could either reply to this comment directly or email it to me :). Thank you!

          1. These are some of the vendors, sorry I don’t have a complete listing – The Attic Project Jewelry, Jessie Jewels, Anne Made Designs, Debs Designs, Relic, Bonnie Lee’s Creations. I hope this helps.

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