Skip to content

august, 2022

27aug1:00 p.m.1:00 a.m.Saturday, August 27 - Full LightingClear Currents Community Paddling NightWaterFire, 4 North Main Street, Providence RI 02903 Event Organized By: WaterFire Providence

Event Details

Aerial view of the Waterplace Park basin during a Clear Currents WaterFire lighting. Photograph by John Nickerson.

Clear Currents Community Paddling Night
Full Lighting – Sunset (7:27 pm) – Midnight
Food fair and artist market vendors open at 6:30 pm
Morris Dancing Medley performance in Waterplace Park 4:30-7:00 pm
Supported by Amica Insurance & BankNewport
Music Program

Morris Dancing Medley – Waterplace Basin Stage 4:30 – 7:00 pm (before the lighting begins)

Dance performers (Photograph by Tom Lincoln)
Morris dancers at WaterFire in 2016. Photograph by Tom Lincoln.

Featuring Ladies of the Rolling Pin – Wakefield, Rhode Island; Mystic Garland – Mystic, Connecticut; Not for Joes – New London, Connecticut; Firebird Morris – Harrisville, NH; and Jack in the Greens – Monadnock region of NH. Morris Dancing, which originates from England, is known to have existed since at least the 1470s.  In the early days, Morris Dancing even took place in the royal courts – even in the palaces of Henry VIII – but as time progressed, it became a staple in the fairs and markets of almost every town.  It remains England’s national dance today but meanwhile, Morris Dancing has also been transplanted across the oceans, to far-away lands, including to New England!  Most of the teams performing this evening dance in the “Border Morris” style (denoting the border of England and Wales), which includes hitting sticks – and in one case, rolling pins – rhythmically.  All have added their own exuberant twists to traditional dances with a lot of attitude and a great deal of fun!

Clear Currents (Photograph by Erin Cuddigan)
Clear Currents paddlers on the river during WaterFire. Photograph by Erin Cuddigan.

Clear Currents is a community paddling event that celebrates improved water quality in RI. Clear Currents features close to 80 illuminated Japanese koi (fish) temporarily mounted on kayaks that registered participants will paddle up and down the river after sunset. The brightly colored fish will beautifully compliment the 80 wood-burning braziers installed on the river! Clear Currents celebrates the cleaner water that the opening of the Narragansett Bay Commission’s Combined Sewer Overflow; an initiative that has greatly improved water quality throughout the entire bay area over the past few years. Starting directly after the Lighting Ceremony (7:50 PM) over 70 kayaks, powered by paddlers from the local community, will enter the Basin with their illuminated koi fish and light up the night. The Clear Currents paddlers will “swim” their koi fish in schools across different sections of the river until 11:00 PM. This unique activation is not-to-be-missed.

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

WaterFire Marketplace will return to Canal Street, stop by to support WaterFire with a donation or a purchase of locally designed apparel, glassware, books, and gifts. A limited edition t-shirt designed specifically for the Clear Currents event will be available for purchase, designed by Aydan Tesillo, a rising high school student who recently completed an internship with WaterFire as part of the Governor’s Workforce Board’s PrepareRI Summer Internship Program. Make a quick and easy donation with DipJar and watch glass blowing by Gather Glass.

The WaterFire Arts Festival Plaza kicks off Washington Street and Steeple Street from 6:30 PM to 11:00 PM where visitors can browse and shop from a variety of local artists and makers in mediums such as glass, photography, jewelry, and more. This outdoor artisan fair will showcase some of the great artwork created in Rhode Island and offer visitors the opportunity to support the local arts economy by purchasing work by Rhode Island-based artists.

Participating Artists/Makers: Joseph Mushipi Visual Art; Bare & Brine; Gavel; Boojie Lolli; Sara Breslin: illustration + portraiture; The Roving House; Design What Have You; Revibed Vinyl; Casted by T; Jessie Jewels; Eric Sturtevant Illustrations; Into The Woods; Earthly Essentials; K& T Jewelry; Regina Teresa Design; Henna by Heather; Moonlight Jewelry; M Pearl; Deb Hickey; Glass Monkey; Recycled Silverware; Paw Prints Pet Art; Jeremy Schilling Fine Art; Astr Noir, and Taft Street Studios.

Andrew Anselmo, Origami Master will be hanging out all night at Market Square and visitors can find A Silent Soapbox living statue at the bottom of Washington Street Bridge and Canal Walk starting at sunset. The living statues from Ten31 Productions will be in Memorial Park at the base of the World War memorial.

The Starry, Starry Night installation returns to Memorial Park near the Crawford Street Bridge; add your light to the night by wishing on a star or dedicate a luminaria candle lantern.

Food fairs will be open on Washington Street. Enjoy local food from festival favorites: Saugy’s, Sweet Smokin’ Pits, Kettle Korn Express, Red’s Street Kitchen, Caribbean Delights Ja’ Patty, and One2Taconmore. Additional vendors will be located on College Street including Madonna Rosario Society, Pams Grill on the Go, Spanglish, and Vegan Suga

New at this event: WaterFire Providence is pleased to be able to provide mobile charging stations free of charge to visitors at four locations along the riverwalk. The charging stations will be located on College Street, at the WaterFire greeter station located outside the RISD auditorium, at the WaterFire Marketplace tents on Canal Street, and at the WaterFire greeter station located in the Waterplace Park Basin Tunnel. The mobile device charging stations are supported by General Dynamics Electric Boat.

Photograph by Erin Cuddigan.

Trinity Beer Garden will be on the corner of Steeple Street and Canal Street.

Catch fire spinning performances beginning at sunset and continuing throughout the lighting by Cirque de Light and Spogga.

Rhode Island Coastal Resource Management Council’s “Trash Trailer” will be on display on Washington Street from 6:00 to 10:00. In 2020 CRMC and its partners – the City of Providence, the Providence Foundation, project manager The Nature Conservancy in Rhode Island, and the 195 Commission – dredged Waterplace Park and part of the river from the Francis Street bridge next to the Providence Place Mall to the Crawford Street Bridge, it got more than the sand it sucked off the bottom. In addition to dredging approximately 20,000 cubic yards of material from the river basin bottom, contractor J.F. Brennan, Inc. retrieved 13 scooters, countless bicycles and parts, clothing and shoes, and enough garbage and debris to fill a 30-yard dumpster.

Also on Washington Street visitors can meet with representatives from the Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council and learn more about advocacy work and programming on and around the river. The Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council (WRWC) sparks economic development through our work restoring the Woonasquatucket River and communities around it, and by enhancing, extending and bringing people to the Woonasquatucket River Greenway. The WRWC is a successful model of community revitalization that helps people discover this local American Heritage River and its natural resources, channeling life and economic development into neighborhoods.

Event Times

(Saturday) 1:00 p.m. - 1:00 a.m.


WaterFire ProvidenceWaterFire Providence® is an independent, 501(c)3 nonprofit arts organization whose mission is to inspire Providence and its visitors by revitalizing the urban experience, fostering community engagement and creatively transforming the city by presenting WaterFire for all to enjoy. 475 Valley Street, Providence, RI 02908