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WaterFire's Holiday Celebration

02dec5:30 p.m.9:00 p.m.WaterFire's Holiday CelebrationA WaterFire Lighting for the Season of Lights

Event Details

2014 Christmas WaterFire
Photograph by Jennifer Bedford

WaterFire’s Holiday Lighting– Part of GoProvidence’s Three Nights of Lights Event Series
Supported by Rhode Island Commerce with additional support from The City of Providence Department of Art, Culture and Tourism
Partial lighting, Waterplace Park
5:30 – 9:00 p.m.

A Holiday Celebration at WaterFire a basin lighting happening in Waterplace Park on Saturday, December 2 part of Providence’s Three Nights of Lights event series presented by the City of Providence, the Providence Warwick Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, and Rhode Island Commerce in partnership with The Avenue Concept, FirstWorks, and WaterFire Providence. The fires will be lit at 5:30 p.m. and will burn until 9:00 p.m. 

The event will feature a fully illuminated 15-foot Christmas Tree and a ring of trees around the basin donated by Stanley Tree Service Inc. Stanley Tree will also be assisting in placing the smaller trees with local families in need after the conclusion of the WaterFire lighting. The trees will be decorated with ornaments made by students from local schools and other programs including Veterans Memorial Elementary School, Silver Spring Elementary School, Burrillville High School, The Providence Center, and Anchor Recovery.

The WaterFire Holiday Celebration will also include a Holiday Market featuring local artists and makers as well as a special appearance by Santa, arriving by boat during the lighting ceremony and opportunities for photos in Santa’s Village. 

Finish last-minute Holiday shopping by stopping at the Artist Village located in the basin of Waterplace Park below Skyline at Waterplace. Shop from six local artists: Roses N Dragons Designs, Broken Arrow Studios, Ecuador to Your Door, Mike Cohea / Visuals, and Odettas
Food fairs will open at 5:30 p.m. on Finance Way, choose from three local vendors: Incred-A-Bowl, One Two Taco + More, and Pam’s Grille on the Go.

Ballet RI’s Nutcracker at Waterfire!

Ballet RI Nutcracker and Rat (Photograph courtesy Ballet RI)

Get in the spirit of the season and meet your favorite characters from Ballet Rhode Island’s The Nutcracker! Costumed Characters from the smash hit holiday production will make a pop-up appearance at Waterfire’s Holiday Lighting. Follow along as costumed characters weave through the festivities from 5:30 pm-6:30 pm!

Nutcracker Snap & Share contest: Snap a picture of The Nutcracker, and post it on Instagram Feed/Stories/Reels, tagging @Ballet.RI, @WaterfireProv, and @Goprovidence. Each post will be automatically entered to win a family four-pack of tickets to the performance! (One entry per account, winner notified Dec. 5)

WaterFire’s Holiday Toy Drive

The Providence Center [logo]
Anchor Recovery [logo]

This year WaterFire Providence is partnering with The Providence Center and Anchor Recovery to distribute toys to families who are in recovery from substance use and mental health challenges. These toys will be wrapped and then distributed by Santa during their annual Cookies with Santa event. This event brings the community together and gives many a chance to experience for the first time, the joy of a holiday celebration and the spirit of giving.

We are looking for donations of unwrapped toys for all ages! The Providence Center and Anchor have programs for families with kids as well as an entire program for teens so donations of toys, games, and gifts for kids of all ages are deeply appreciated. 

Photograph by Jared Winslow
Photograph by Jared Winslow
Providence's Three Nights of Lights
Providence’s Three Nights of Lights

Make the season bright during Providence’s Three Nights of Lights. This three-day festival will include citywide events, all incorporating the theme of light.

Enjoy an evening of WaterFire, Providence’s signature arts event, featuring a series of bonfires illuminating downtown’s rivers. Don’t miss a new multimedia performance installation presented by Firstworks and illuminated art experiences by The Avenue Concept

With tree lightings, holiday shopping events, ice sculptures and so much more, the city will be aglow with warm light and holiday cheer. 

“We Need A WaterFire Christmas” by The WaterFire Holiday Carolers

As a special gift to all WaterFire fans and supporters this year a group of our amazing WaterFire Volunteers have recorded this WaterFire-themed holiday song to ring in the holiday season. Thank you to Jim Alves, Ron Archambault, Barb Gaviani, Bob Hopkins, Mary Jordan, Jess Knox, Greg Krysko, Mark Madwed, Christine Maino, John Mongelli, Ken Panciera, Bill Ricci, Erik Schmith, Ihor Slabicky, Marita Stapleton, Christine Suriner, Elyssa Sykes Bidwell, and Peter Van Erp.

Event Times

December 2, 2023 5:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.(GMT-04:00)


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.

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