December 18th, 2015 – Christmas WaterFire

Christmas WaterFire - Photo by Jennifer Bedford

This special event is being sponsored by an anonymous donor and will highlight the good work being done by the Providence Rescue Mission.

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Christmas WaterFire - December 18th, 2015

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Enjoy the spirit of Christmas in Providence at the 5th Annual Christmas WaterFire benefiting and showcasing the incredible work of the Providence Rescue Mission and as a wonderful gift to the City of Providence! Thanks to an anonymous donor the 34 braziers in the Waterplace Park Basin will burn brightly with Christmas spirit! Festivities will commence in Waterplace Park at 5:00pm on Friday, December 18th.

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WaterFire Providence would like to thank Ocean State Sandwich Company for generously donating lunch for our staff and volunteers on the day of this event.

Event Schedule:

Friday, December 18th – Basin Lighting
Sunset 4:26 p.m. | Lighting 5:00 p.m.
There is a slight chance of rain in the forecast. WaterFire will go ahead as scheduled. Updated: 12.18.2015.

The Christmas WaterFire will feature a Santa’s Village display, a toy drive, performances by local choir groups, and a Holiday Artist Village. All events will take place around the Basin in Waterplace Park. WaterFire is asking you to join us in helping the Providence Rescue Mission provide gifts for less fortunate families. Bring new, unwrapped toys down to their collection at the event. New jackets, socks, gloves, hats, canned goods and toys are all welcome.

Get the Very Special Christmas WaterFire music program. This program includes the lyrics for the sing-along portion of the event; join in the celebration on the Waterplace Park Stage from 7:00 – 7:30 p.m. and lend your voice the season.

4:00 – 9:00 p.m. — Holiday Artist Village

Come down to the Waterplace Park Basin and shop local along the river. Enjoy some snacks by the fires as well. Artist vendors include: WaterFire Providence Store, Pamela Laurenzo – Black Sheep DesignsCatherine Marrow – Eat The MommyHilal Minda – New Moon StudioJennifer Neuguth – IamTraBill Riker – Riker Art GlassAnne Scotti – AnneMadeDesignsEric Sturtevant – Eric Sturtevant IllustrationsLindsay Vincent, and Mike Bryce – Bryce Studio. Ron’s Pastry Gourmet and Frenchy’s Popcorn will be on hand with a variety of holiday treats and hot beverages.

5:00 – 8:30 p.m. — Christmas Performances on the Basin Stage

The Sultans of Sax - Christmas WaterFire 2014

The Sultans of Sax performing during the 2014 Christmas WaterFire lighting. Photo by John Nickerson.

Performance Schedule:

  • 5:00 – 5:25 p.m. WaterFire Christmas Music
  • 5:25 – 5:55 p.m. – Hella Acapella
  • 6:00 – 6:30 p.m. – Very Merry Dickens Carolers
  • 6:35 – 6:55 p.m. – Faith Christian Center Teen Band
  • 7:00 – 7:15 p.m. – Community Sing-A-Long led by the Faith Christian Center Teen Band
  • 7:20 – 7:55 p.m. – Ye Olde English Carolers
  • 8:00 – 8:45 p.m. – Sultans of Sax
  • 8:45 – 9:00 p.m. – WaterFire Christmas Music

5:45 – 8:30 p.m. — Santa’s Village

2014 Santa

Santa visits with the kiddos at the 2014 Christmas WaterFire lighting. Photo by Luis Andrade.

Santa Claus will stopping by Providence to visit of the good little girls and boys. Santa’s Village will located on the patio below the IGT (formerly GTECH) building. Make sure to see Santa arriving boat in the Waterplace Park Basin at 5:35 p.m.

The WaterFire Festival of Trees

2014 Festival of Trees

The Providence Biltmore’s Christmas Tree at the 2014 Festival of Trees. Photo by Jennifer Bedford.

Thank you to following groups for donating the student made ornaments that will be used to decorate many of the Christmas trees in the Waterplace Park Basin: Johnston High School, The Providence Center SchoolEast Greenwich High SchoolDavies Tech, William D’Abate Elementary, Aldrich Junior High School, Dr. Jorge Alvarez High School, Webster Avenue Elementary School, E-Cubed Academy, Pilgrim High School.

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Sponsor and Decorate a Tree

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Help WaterFire bring Christmas to the Providence community by donating and decorating a tree for $500 or $350 for Rhode Island based nonprofit organizations.

At the conclusion of the Festival Trees will be donated, through our partnership with the Providnece Rescue Mission, to families in Providence who cannot afford to bring this simple joy into their homes.

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2015 Festival of Trees Sponsors:

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Angel Care Montessori School


RBC Wealth Management

RBC Wealth Management


The DePetrillo and Keefe Family


AAA of Southern New England

AAA Southern New England


Ocean State Sandwich Company

Ocean State Sandwich Company


Evolue Apparel

Evolue Apparel

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Providence Investment Management

Providence Investment Management, LLC


Lifetime Medical

Lifetime Medical


Biltmore-Logo

Providence Biltmore


Wells Fargo | Advisors

Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC


The Select Group

The Select Group
in honor of Quincy Monk

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About the author

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I've worked at WaterFire since 2003. For the first 9 years of my career here I worked in the Production Shop learning all of the details that go into the physical production of the event. I have recently transitioned to role of managing WaterFire's social media and web presence. I find it very rewarding working to increase engagement with our supporters both locally and globally.

52 thoughts on “December 18th, 2015 – Christmas WaterFire”

  1. So thankful to our annonymous donor and WaterFire! We hope to collect and abundance of toy s at Santa’s Village this year. We want to bless as many poor and needy families as possible this year. Hope to see you on the 18th!

    1. Hi Jordan, we’re looking for local artist/craftspeople making everything from jewelry, to ceramics, to textiles. We work with Mike Bryce from the Providence Artisan’s Market to organize our arts festival events. You can contact him at the following email address: mikebryceart@hotmail.com

    1. Probably not, we are going to try and leave the one large tree on the Basin Stage up until Christmas, but it will probably come down soon afterwards. We don’t have the capacity to have someone attend the tree(s) after the event has concluded. Also, all of the small live trees are given to local families that might not otherwise be able to afford trees of their own.

    1. Mostly not. We are working out if we can leave our largest tree, the 26 footer on the Basin Stage up and running until Christmas.

    1. Hi Craig,

      For the Christmas WaterFire we are only lighting the braziers in the Waterplace Park Basin so the only restaurant with direct view of the fires is the new Capitol Grill location in the IGT building. Jacky’s Waterplace, Luxe, Bar Louie, Rebel Lounge, and Union Station Brewery are just minutes away on the riverwalk.

    1. The show starts at 5:00 p.m. We suggest arriving a tad on the early to allow for parking/traffic. This is not a full lighting so congestion should not be a major issue.

    1. Sorry, no chestnuts. It is very hard to find an available chestnut vendor this time of year. Frenchy’s Popcorn and Pastry Gourmet will be there.

    1. There is seating in the park, benches, etc. There is a lawn, but its not flat, a blanket may work better than a folding chair. There will be port-a-johns, and there are restrooms at the Providence Place Mall which is close by.

    1. Yes, but frankly we don’t think it will rain on Friday. The current looks like it will be overcast, but with no precipitation. If it does end up raining a little we’ll go forward regardless. We only cancel lightings for major, significant, sustained downpours.

    1. Hi Karen, there is no rain date right now. The current forecast of the the weather to clear overnight on Thursday. If it does end up raining a little we’ll go forward regardless. We only cancel lightings for major, significant, sustained downpours.

    1. If it does end up raining a little we’ll go forward regardless. We only cancel lightings for major, significant, sustained downpours.

    1. Gloom may come and gloom may go, but WaterFire is always hot. There is no rain date right now. If it does end up raining a little we’ll go forward regardless. We only cancel lightings for major, significant, sustained downpours.

  2. I was looking at the weather forecast on 18th of December, I think there would a rainfall on that day. Is the event still taking place even when it rains?

    1. The forecast is getting better. If it does end up raining a little we’ll go forward regardless. We only cancel lightings for major, significant, sustained downpours.

    1. If it does end up raining a little we’ll go forward regardless. We only cancel lightings for major, significant, sustained downpours.

    1. Hi Kristen, the Basin is the large circular section of the river situated between the Providence Place Mall and the Waterplace Towers. You can get there from Memorial Boulevard, Francis Street, or by entering through the tunnel that connects the Basin to Union Plaza. You can use the Capital Grille located at 10 Memorial Boulevard for GPS directions.

    1. This is a smaller, weekday fire so the attendance will be much less than a normal full Saturday lighting. We’re expecting about 2,500 people, but the slight chance of rain may push that number lower.

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