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July 18th, 2015 – Full Lighting

The Fires in Memorial Park. Photo by Ariana White.

The event is being sponsored by: Navigant Credit Union and Cox Business


Navigant Credit Union

Navigant Credit Union has been around for a century. It’s not hard to envision another 100 years of success, if we continue to treat our employees and members as family and give back to the communities we serve. Our partnership with WaterFire is one terrific way for us to celebrate with the entire community as we begin the Next 100.



Cox Business

Cox Business provides Data, Voice and Video services to businesses across Rhode Island, including healthcare providers, K-12 and higher education, financial institutions and local governments. Services are delivered over our more than 6,000 network miles throughout the state, a result of the nearly half a billion dollars that Cox has invested in the past decade.


July 18th, 2015 Event Info:

Sunset: 8:18 p.m.
Lighting time: 8:28 p.m.
The fires will remain lit until 12:30 a.m.
Music Program

There is a chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon. WaterFire will be held rain or shine. Bring a rain jacket and enjoy the night.

All Full WaterFire installations light up over eighty braziers from Waterplace Park to Memorial/South Main Street Park on the below scheduled evenings. Lighting occurs shortly after sunset and the event continues until half past midnight.

Things to see:

Before the lighting begins stop by the RISD Museum and check out their Design the Night: It’s Elemental event from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m.


This interactive art experience features a Family Happy Hour and includes talks by local artists about their process, art-making for adults and children, gallery talks, refreshments, and music-all organized around the theme of Fire, Water, Air and Earth. Enjoy live blues-rock jams from Boo City on the Chace Center Plaza.

Ring of Fire torch ceremony in Waterplace Basin

Ring of Fire Torch Ceremony in Waterplace Basin. Photo by Tom Lincoln.

[sc name=photo-caption caption=”Ring of Fire Torch Ceremony during the July 26th, 2014 WaterFire Lighting. Photo by Tom Lincoln.” ]

To start this event there will be a 100 person torch Ring of Fire surrounding the circle of braziers in Waterplace Basin in honor of Navigant Credit Union’s 100th Anniversary. “Celebrating a Century, Looking forward to the Next 100.″

Charge up the night with National Grid!

Visitors make use of a National Grid Courtesy Phone Charging Station. Photo by John Nickerson.

[sc name=photo-caption caption=”Visitors make use of a National Grid Courtesy Phone Charging Station. Photo by John Nickerson.” ]

Make sure you can capture the magic of WaterFire all evening long by visiting National Grid charging stations on Washington Street and College Street to recharge your smartphone and other mobile devices during the lighting.

The WaterFire Merchandise Store on Canal Street – Open 5:30 – 11:00 p.m.

WaterFire Providence volunteers at the The WaterFire Store on Canal Street, photo by Jennifer Gervais.

[sc name=photo-caption caption=”WaterFire Providence volunteers at the The WaterFire Store on Canal Street, photo by Jennifer Gervais.” ]

The WaterFire Store on Canal Street is open for business. Stop in and buy a t-shirt, hoodie, poster, magnet, pendants and much more to help support WaterFire and keep the fires burning. Also make sure to check out the Photos of WaterFire tent on Washington Street. This tent will have matted photo prints, featuring the work of our Volunteer Photographers; WaterFire Providence postcards; large format photo posters; and silk screen prints by local artists.

The WaterFire Arts Festival Plaza on Washington and Steeple Streets – 6:00 – 10:30 p.m.

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

[sc name=photo-caption caption=”The WaterFire Arts Festival Plaza on Washington Street. Photo by Jennifer Bedford.” ]

Located on Washington Street in the heart of the WaterFire installation, the Arts Festival Plaza is a showcase for local artists and crafts-people. From photography and sculpture, paintings and hand-crafted ceramics, to jewelry and specialty textiles, the WaterFire Arts Festival Plaza features a wide range of locally crafted artisan wares to exhibit for sale to WaterFire’s visitors.

Gerbermuhle: Biergarten Unter den Weiden

WaterFire Providence is pleased to open tonight, July 18th, its newest venue, Gerbermuhle:  Biergarten Unter den Weiden in partnership with Trinity Brewhouse.   In a friendly salute to our new international air partner, Frankfurt, Germany (with non-stop flights on Condor Air from T. F. Green Airport), WaterFire has opened a beer garden on the Woonasquatucket in partnership with Trinity Brewhouse.   The new beer garden with German beer and food focusing on Frankfurt specialties is located just upstream of  Waterplace Basin in the heart of the downtown river park, under the willow trees at the foot of the IGT building.  Forty five tables, specially made by WaterFire will mount on the river railing overlooking the double row of bonfires for your dining pleasure.  Hours on WaterFire nights are 7:00 pm to 11:30 pm.

Grab a bite to eat! Visit one of our great food vendors:


College Street
Taste of India
Parkside Rotisserie & Bar
Ron’s Pastry Gourmet

Canal Walk, near the RISD Campus
Frenchy’s Popcorn
The Nutty Bavarian

Steeple Street
Fat Belly’s Irish Pub Beer Garden



Washington Street
UMelt – Lobster Rolls
Flatbread Company
Kettle Korn Express
Dunkin’ Donuts (at the corner of Washington and Canal Streets)

Various Locations
Del’s Lemonade


Free Samples from Dunkin’ Donuts

Free samples from Dunkin' Donuts. Photo by David Amadio.

Dunkin' Donuts[sc name=photo-caption caption=”Free samples from Dunkin’ Donuts. Photo by David Amadio.” ]

Stop by the Arts Festival Plaza and cool down with free Coolatta samples from Dunkin’ Donuts at the corner of Washington and Canal Streets.

Instagram Scavenger Hunt

Instagram Photo Hunt

[sc name=photo-caption caption=”Photo by John Nickerson.” ]

Our Social Media Team will be hosting an Instagram Scavenger Hunt! Get your cameras ready to capture all the breathtaking views our events have to offer.  Leading up to and throughout the WaterFire we will be posting clues on our Instagram (@waterfireprov) All you have to do is, follow us, look out for clues, and snap a photo of what you think corresponds with the clue! Get more details on our Tumblr.

Historical Open Houses

The John Brown House Museum at 52 Power Street will be open from 10 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. with guided tours at 10:30 a.m., noon, 1:30 p.m., 3:00 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. Self-guided audio tours are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Also, make time to see The Governor Stephen Hopkins House located at 15 Hopkins Street (off Benefit Street) and open for tours between 1:00 and 9:30 p.m. Admission is free, donations are always welcome.

Catch your favorite WaterFire performers:

Spogga spins the fire. Photo by Jon Waugh.

[sc name=photo-caption caption=”Spogga spins the fire. Photo by Jon Waugh.” ]

Fire dancer Spogga Hash will be performing during the lighting ceremony and along the installation several times during the evening.

Marvin the Public Caresser. Photo by Jennifer Bedford.

[sc name=photo-caption caption=”Marvin the Public Caresser. Photo by Jennifer Bedford.” ]

“Marvelous” Marvin Novogrodski will be performing as The Public Caresser on the river walk below the Waterplace Towers. The Public Caresser’s mission is to break down people’s inhibitions and let them feel okay making physical contact in public. Stop by, meet Marvin and get a hug or maybe a little more.

Andrew Anselmo

[sc name=photo-caption caption=”Photo by Thomas Payne.” ]

Origami Master Andrew Anselmo – 8:00 – 10:30 p.m. in Market Square. A delight for young and old alike. See Andrew make paper come alive in Market Square, outside of the RISD auditorium.

Mime artist Michael Grando as Pierrot. Photo by Yessenia Pineda.

[sc name=photo-caption caption=”Mime artist Michael Grando as Pierrot. Photo by Yessenia Pineda.” ]

Mime artist Michael Grando will make his 2015 season debut. Be sure to catch Michael, in costume as the Commedia dell’arte character Pierrot, as he cruises the river tossing carnations to visitors along the shore.

The Nursing Placement First Aid Station on Washington Street – 6:00pm – 11:00pm

Providing a safe environment for our visitors while they are enjoying WaterFire Providence is a top priority for us. Should you need assistance a first aid station is available at the top of Washington Street behind the Arts Festival Plaza.

The Nursing Placement Mobile First Aid Station

Nursing Placement the official first aid provider at WaterFire events will offer first aid care to the public at any time during the event. Additionally, the venue will serve as a meeting place for missing children and parents to reunite. The First Aid RV will be located on Washington Street and can be found on all WaterFire event maps. Nursing Placement will also be taking applications for new team members to help serve the RI population.

Hitch a ride with Sol Chariots Pedicab

Sol Chariots Pedicab

Sol Chariots Pedicab Cooperative is a local, worker-owned cooperative business operating in Providence RI that provides sustainable, pedal-powered transportation services.

Operating mostly in the downtown area, Sol Chariots primarily provides a bike taxi service for short-distance transportation, as well as a new way to experience and explore the city of Providence. A pick-up and drop-off location will be established along the northbound lane of Memorial Boulevard between College and Washington Streets.

About the author

+ posts by author

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.

11 thoughts on “July 18th, 2015 – Full Lighting”

  1. Will dancing be offered at what was once called the Sovereign Ballroom?

    Will dancing be offered outdoors at what was once called the Sovereign Ballroom?

    1. Hey Frank,

      No ballroom at this event. We’d love to be able to secure funding to bring this event back to WaterFire and to Providence. Unfortunately we have been unable to do so. We don’t like to say “never,” but it seems highly unlikely to happen this year.

  2. I’ve been to over 200 WaterFires since 1994, I hope to enjoy 200 plus more.
    Keep up the good work Barnaby.
    To you, your staff and volunteers, my congratulations for a job well done.

  3. Went to WaterFire for my first time ever on 7/18/15. It was a huge experience the brings thousands of people together in community. Is it always that big? Or was this a record for attendance? Stunning and unique! Can’t wait to visit Providence again. It’s worth it to plan a trip around the WaterFire dates!

    1. Hi Ann-Marie, Glad to hear that you liked it. That was a pretty typical event. The Flames of Hope WaterFire supporting the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation and our Salute to Veterans events are event bigger. Some WaterFire lightings can attendance of over 100,000 visitors.

    1. Hey Paulette, We miss it too. 🙁 We’ve talked about making it a ticketed event, but it goes counter to so much of what WaterFire is all about. Also we would have sell 1,000s of tickets to cover our costs; we would either have $100 tickets or need to sell 7,000 $10 tickets; we can’t take that kind of financial risk. It’s a good idea, but it’s just not for us. WaterFire in whatever form it takes will always be free.

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