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Saturday, September 9

09sep5:30 p.m.11:55 p.m.Saturday, September 9Full Lighting

Event Details

Guest boats pass the lit braziers at WaterFire. Photograph by Erin Cuddigan.
Guest boats pass the lit braziers at WaterFire. Photograph by Erin Cuddigan.

Saturday, September 9
Supported by Providence Tourism Council and Fidelity Investments in collaboration with PVDFest, & FirstWorks
Full Lighting, PVDFest X WaterFire
Onshore Programs & Vendors Open at 5:30 pm
Sunset ( 7:05 pm ) – Midnight
Music Program

WaterFire Providence announces a full lighting this Saturday, September 9, supported by the Providence Tourism Council, Fidelity Investments, and in collaboration with PVDFest & FirstWorks. The lighting will begin at 7:05 p.m. and the braziers will remain lit until midnight. On-shore programming will open at 6:00  p.m.

The Providence Tourism Council welcomes visitors to this special WaterFire as part of the PVDFest weekend celebration, which helps cultivate a strong sense of place and rekindles our artistic community, bringing forth the beauty, energy, and hopeful spirit to our incredible city,” says Alexis Gorriaran, Chair and Commissioner of the Providence Tourism Council.

“Fidelity is honored to sponsor the September 9 WaterFire lighting as the culmination of a full day of PVDFest. It is a fitting celebration of our community and Providence as our Creative Capital” said Rick Metters, Vice President of Regional Public Affairs.

“WaterFire is a Providence original. The City of Providence, the Department of Art, Culture, and Tourism, and FirstWorks are so proud to partner with WaterFire in celebrating our creative capital.  PVDFest as the signature arts/cultural event of our great city, brings together the best of Providence for the nation and world to see.  What better way to cap off a festival evening than to acknowledge two of nature’s most powerful elements: water and fire?  WaterFire is a lasting symbol of the renaissance of our great city and represents her continued growth and abundance for all her residents,” says Joe Wilson, Jr., Director of Arts, Culture, and Tourism for the City of Providence. 

Grupo OndasAMP Academy, and New Wave Martial Arts will be activating the basin stage in Waterplace Park from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. with Rhythms of Creative Resistance:  Celebrating Freedom with Capoeira, Macule, Samba, Batuku, and Parkour an exciting demonstration of Capoeira, a martial art with African roots, creatively evolved in response to cultural suppression. This dynamic discipline combines acrobatics and music, echoing elements of modern breakdancing and parkour in its extraordinary physicality.

There will be a special Edward Mitchell Bannister installation in Market Square in honor of the unveiling of the new statue happening the next day, Sunday, September 10 at 4 p.m by the Bannister Community Art Project. The special installation on Saturday, September 9 is presented by WaterFire Providence and the Department of Arts, Culture, & Tourism and will include a projected exhibition of Bannister’s paintings by the bridge he used to walk across every day when he lived in Providence. The Bannister Community Art Project aims to honor the memory and contributions of Black artist Edward Mitchell Bannister, a Providence Art Club founding member, and his wife, Christina Carteaux Bannister, by serving as a catalyst for various programs and activities to highlight their legacy. 

The Steeple Street Music Stage will feature a local musical act, Funkademic. There will be three sets throughout the night, at 8 p.m., 9 p.m., and 10 p.m. 

Visitors can stop by at information tents throughout the installation; there will be four tents in total including  Happy Nest and Aura of Rhode Island on Steeple Street and the  U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps and Ocean State Chess Association on Washington Street. 

Catch three fire-spinning performances beginning at 8:15 p.m. and continuing at 9:15 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. by Cirque de Light and Spogga

The WaterFire Arts Festival Plaza kicks off Washington Street and Steeple Street from 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 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, Deb Hickey Photography and Collage, Celeste Diaz Falzone, ASTR NOIR, Design WhatHaveYou, TRACIMOC, Forever Creations, Bare & Brine, Hang On Design, Jessie Jewels ArtInto the Woods, and Land and Seaglass. On Steeple Street: Roses N Dragons DesignsSparkle&Glow By YvonneSophie FoulkesBoojie Lolli, The Dapper Flapper, Slay Natural Body, M PEARL, GlassMonkey, Twist of Fate Pottery, and Tigris Handmade. 

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.

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, College Street, and Canal Walk. Enjoy local food from festival favorites. On Washington Street: Kettle Korn ExpressOne2Taco&MoreFull House QSaugy’sThe Incredabowl Food CompanyScoop T’s Ice Cream. On Canal Street: Gong Cha,  Del’s Lemonade. On College Street: Vegan SugaPita PocketSpanglishPam’s Grill on the GoFireWorks CateringPoppin’ Minis RI, and Sal’s.

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 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

WaterFire Walking Tours

Now booking for September 9th with tours at 10:00 am and 2:00 pm.

Walking Tour August 19 2023 1200x675
Walking Tour visitors with their guide at WaterFire on August 19, 2023. Photograph by Gary Saint Laurent.

Experience the magic of WaterFire like never before with this behind-the-scenes walking tour! Led by a long-time WaterFire volunteer and history teacher, this tour covers the remarkable origin story, artistry, and hidden gems of Providence’s most cherished event. Your guide will bring you through the heart of the city, walking alongside the path of the braziers that will be lit just a few short hours later. You will also receive a certificate to add a wish to the Starry, Starry Night installation during the lighting. BOOK NOW »

Event Times

(Saturday) 5:30 p.m. - 11:55 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

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