Skip to content

Saturday, November 4 - WaterFire Salute to Veterans

04nov4:30 p.m.10:00 p.m.Saturday, November 4 - WaterFire Salute to Veterans

Event Details

WaterFire Salute to Veterans, photograph by Drew Christhilf.

Saturday, November 4
Supported by Rhode Island Energy & Manchester Street Station
Full Lighting, WaterFire’s Salute to Veterans
Sunset ( 5:36 pm ) – 10:00 pm
Music Program

WaterFire Providence announces The 11th Annual Salute to Veterans full lighting this Saturday, November 4, 2023 supported by Rhode Island Energy & the Manchester Street Station. The lighting will begin at 5:36 p.m. and the braziers will remain lit until 10:00 p.m. On shore programming will open at 4:30 p.m. 

“WaterFire’s ‘Salute to Veterans’ event is one of the most moving tributes Rhode Island has to help honor and remember the men and women who have answered the call of duty to serve our nation,” said Dave Bonenberger, president of Rhode Island Energy. “As an employer with many veterans across our company, we recognize not only the unique skills and leadership these individuals have, but also the dedication and sacrifices they and their families have made to America. We’re proud to support this special lighting, and hope more Rhode Islanders will join us to help celebrate those that have served.” 

WaterFire Providence will pay tribute to longtime volunteer photographer and U.S. Air Force veteran John Nickerson, who sadly passed away earlier this year. A single brazier will be lit in his honor and a display of his WaterFire photography will be shown on a screen in Memorial Park. 

At 4:30 p.m. the night will kick-off with a speaking program on the basin stage in Waterplace park with remarks given by Kasim Yarn, Director, Rhode Island Office of Veterans Affairs, Governor Daniel J. Mckee, Senator Jack Reed, Congressman Seth Magaziner, Secretary of State Gregg Amore, Treasurer James Diossa, State Senator Walter Felag, Jr., State Representative Sam Azinaro, Mayor Brett Smiley, and Director EJ McQuade front he Providence Veterans Affairs Regional Office. The keynote speaker will be Rear Admiral Pete Garvin from the Naval War College.

The American Flag flying over Waterplace Basin. Photograph by Max Dowgiallo.
The American Flag flying over Waterplace Basin. Photograph by Max Dowgiallo.

The speaking program will also feature a performance by the Army 88th and Navy Band. Once the speaking program concludes, around 5:30 p.m, the Rhode Island Professional Fire Fighters Pipes and Drums group will perform as 100 veterans and active-duty service members process into the basin with lit torches and surround Waterplace Park with a Ring of Fire. 

WaterFire Salute to Veterans (Photograph by John Nickerson)
WaterFire Salute to Veterans. Photograph by John Nickerson.

Starting at 7:30pm, wreaths will be laid at the World War, World War II, Korean and Rhode Island Nine Beirut Memorials while taps plays throughout Memorial Park. 

Stanley Tree is sponsoring an installation of 100 American Flags on Memorial Boulevard lining the river with another 100 American Flags in the basin of Waterplace Park. In addition they will also be sponsoring the American flag over the Steeple Street Music Stage. The large American flag flying over Waterplace Park is presented by men and women of the Providence Fire Department in honor of all veterans in Rhode Island.

A luminaria display at the WWII Memorial in Memorial Park. Photograph by Kevin Murray.

On the confluence, where the rivers meet, there will be a Missing Man Table set up to honor the memory of fallen, missing, or imprisoned military service members. Every piece of this touching memorial has a special meaning, and we invite the public to join us in taking a moment to think about our soldiers who are no longer with us or are missing.

WaterFire Providence will be hosting a Veteran’s Resource Fair on the Washington Street Bridge starting at 4:30 p.m. The fair will include the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps, Rob Levine & Associates, Electric Boat, Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTDRhode Island FC, and Rhode Island Energy. There will also be a Mobile Vet Service vehicle provided by United Way 2-1-1

Visitors can explore through a fleet of military vehicles thanks to Bruce Ferreira and members of the Rhode Island Military Vehicle Collectors Club (RIMVCC) on the College Street Bridge. 

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. Make a quick and easy donation with the DipJar and glass blowing by Gather Glass. WaterFire will also have additional ambassador and merchandise stations in front of the RISD Auditorium, and on both sides of the basin in Waterplace Park.

The WaterFire Arts Festival Plaza will be on Washington Street and Steeple Street, shop this gathering of local artists and makers in mediums such as glass, photography, sculpture, jewelry, and more. 

The Steeple Street Music Stage will feature the RI Sound, enjoy two, forty-five-minute sets at 7 p.m. and 8:15 p.m.

Catch three fire-spinning performances beginning at 6:00 p.m. and continuing at 7:30 p.m. and 8:00  p.m. by Cirque de Light

The WaterFire Arts Festival Plaza kicks off on Washington Street and Steeple Street from 4:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. 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.

On Washington Street, visitors can explore Recycled SilverWear,  Ecuador to your doorInto the WoodsEmma Joyce ArtJade’s GemsJeremy Schilling Fine ArtAdelante Shoe Co.Moonlight JewelryLand and Seaglass,  and Julia Gash

On Steeple Street: All Things LavenderSophie FoulkesBroken Arrow StudiosOdettasGlass MonkeyM PEARLRevibed VinylTigris HandmadeDesign WhatHaveYougoddex apothecaryCandlesByJudithPourever Creations, and Sunu Body.

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. Ten31 Productions will be illuminating the World War Monument in Memorial Park. 

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 and College Street. Enjoy local food from festival favorites.

Washington Street:  Kettle Korn ExpressOne2Taco&MoreFull House QThe Incredabowl Food CompanyDuck PressCaribbean Delights, and Saugys.

College Street: Pita PocketSpanglishPam’s Grill on the Go, and Poppin Minis.

Trinity Brewhouse will have two locations, one on the corner of Canal and Steeple Street, and the other on the corner of Canal and Washington Street. They will be serving up local brews and wine from 4:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Event Times

(Saturday) 4:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.


WaterFire Providence

WaterFire 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

Learn More