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Governor Mckee and Mayor Smiley to Designate April 19, 2023, as the First-ever WaterFire Day

Crowds Gather Along Memorial Park to Enjoy the First WaterFire Lighting of 2018 (Photograph by Erin Cuddigan)

WaterFire Providence announces the designation of April 19, 2023, as the first-ever WaterFire Day in the State of Rhode Island and the City of Providence in celebration of the release of the 2023 WaterFire season schedule. In conjunction with the schedule release, WaterFire will be lighting the 12 stationary braziers in Memorial Park preceded by a press conference where WaterFire supporters will hear from community leaders like Governor Daniel J. McKee, House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi, Mayor Brett P. Smiley, City Council President Rachel Miller, as well as coCEO’s of WaterFire Providence, Peter Mello and Barnaby Evans. 

“WaterFire is not only a cultural activity that Rhode Islanders and tourists from across the country and world come to see – but it also generates economic activity for the hospitality sector bringing in revenue to our hotels and restaurants,” said Governor Dan McKee. “Susan and I are thrilled that the 2023 season is right around the corner and are looking forward to enjoying the lightings in downtown Providence.”  

“I am excited to welcome back visitors from near and far to another exciting season of WaterFire,” said Mayor Brett P. Smiley. “This unique experience is an integral part of our vibrant arts culture scene and Providence’s reputation as the Creative Capital. I encourage everyone to explore Downtown, visit our world-class restaurants and to join us for the first-ever WaterFire Day on April 19.”

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Celebrate WaterFire Day with us on Wednesday, April 19

The Strike The Match Lighting of WaterFire in Memorial Park will begin with a press conference before sunset at 7:20 p.m., where WaterFire coCEOs Barnaby Evans and Peter Mello will announce the full 2023 schedule. Attendees can expect to hear that WaterFire will be back for another full season beginning in April and concluding in December with a mix of full and partial lightings. “As we celebrate the first-ever WaterFire Day, we are reminded of the tremendous impacts WaterFire has on our community, both culturally and economically. We are grateful for the support of Governor McKee, Mayor Smiley, and all of our community leaders, as well as our local restaurants who are joining us in #SparkYourAppetite, to keep the fires burning and continue to bring people together through this unique experience,” says Peter A. Mello, Managing Director + coCEO of WaterFire Providence, “Additionally, we are thrilled to announce the full 2023 season schedule during the Strike The Match Lighting of WaterFire in Memorial Park, and look forward to another unforgettable season of bringing light, music, and community to downtown Providence.”

To celebrate the inaugural WaterFire Day, WaterFire Providence will be hosting a fundraiser called #SparkYourAppetite, encouraging both Rhode Islanders and WaterFire enthusiasts to explore Providence’s thriving restaurant and bar scene. The fundraiser will feature eight locally-owned restaurants including Bayberry Garden, Bellini Providence, Black Sheep, Blu Violet, Hot Club, Moonshine Alley, Sports & Leisure, and Troop PVD. As part of the initiative, all participating restaurants will donate 10% of their revenue from WaterFire Day to WaterFire Providence, to keep the fires burning. 

Diners who enjoy a meal at any of these establishments on the 19th will also have the chance to win prizes by sharing a photo of their check on Instagram with (@WaterFireProv) and tagging #SparkYourAppetite. Any restaurant or bar looking to participate in WaterFire Day can sign-up at

WaterFire Providence thanks our generous supporters for helping to make this season possible. Details of the season schedule will be posted on the WaterFire Providence website on Wednesday, April 19, 2023 at

About the author

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I've worked at WaterFire Providence since 2003. For the first 9 years of my career, I worked in the Production Shop learning all of the details that go into the physical production of the event. In 2012 transitioned to the role of managing WaterFire's social media and web presence. I now head up WaterFire Providence's digital projects including, web, social, databases, and our physical IT infrastructure.

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