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July 23rd, 2016 – Full Lighting

Braziers and Gondola (Photography by Tianli Chen)


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July 23rd, 2016 Event Info:


Sunset: 8:12 p.m.
Lighting time:  8:32 p.m.
The fires will remain lit until 12:30 a.m.
Music Program



Visiting from out of town? Check out our Plan Your Trip to Providence guide, it’s jam packed with info about parking, public transport, restaurants, hotels, and more.


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

Things to see:

Shakespeare en el Verano : Romeo and Juliet

R&J for web

6:00 – 8:00 p.m. on the Waterplace Park Basin Stage.

Trinity Repertory Company, in partnership with Rhode Island Latino Arts , announces a new program, Shakespeare en el Verano (Shakespeare in the Summer). They will present a bilingual English-Spanish adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet . Adapted by Arte Latino of New England (ALNE) director Saúl Ramos and directed by Trinity Rep’s associate artistic director Tyler Dobrowsky , the production will tour throughout Providence from July 9July 23, 2016. Get the full schedule of performances on the Trinity Rep website.

ALL PERFORMANCES ARE FREE, open to the public and appropriate for all ages. This performance will begin at 6:00 p.m., no reservation is required.

Festival Ballet Providence Summer Dance Intensive Performance on the Basin Stage

Festival Ballet Providence on stage in Waterplace Park. Photography by James Turner.
Festival Ballet Providence on stage in Waterplace Park. Photography by James Turner.

Festival Ballet Providence will be performing on the Basin Stage at 8:20 p.m.Advanced students from Festival Ballet Providence’s Summer Dance Intensive will be performing a program that features a range of styles from classical to contemporary. The program concludes with a scene from Felix Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and will lead into the lighting ceremony. The collaborative performance piece will feature Puck and the four companions of the moon circling the basin and lighting the WaterFire braziers as they travel down the river to the bay.

The Ladies of the Rolling Pin Morris Dancing Group in Memorial Park

Approximately one hour prior to sunset, in front of the World War I Memorial, “The Ladies of the Rolling Pin Morris Dancing Group” will perform “Border (of England and Wales) Morris” dance routines which date back hundreds of years. LORP was founded by Marjie Stevens and Susan Olson in Wakefield, RI in 1998. Dancers wear black dresses, chef hats and aprons and use rolling pins in their movement as well as percussive instruments.

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 silkscreen prints by local artists.

The WaterFire Arts Festival Plaza
Washington Street – 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 craftspeople. 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.

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


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

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

Steeple Street
Fat Belly’s Irish Pub and Grille



Washington Street
Bringeth The Meat BBQ
Flatbread Company
Kettle Korn Express
UMelt – Lobster Rolls & Doughboys

Various Locations
Del’s Lemonade


Gerbermuhle:  Biergarten Unter den Weiden – Beer Garden Under the Willows
Waterplace Basin 7:00 to 11:00 p.m.

Gerbermuhle: Biergarten Unter den Weiden

Gerbermuhle:  Biergarten Unter den Weiden in partnership with Trinity Brewhouse and featuring drinks from Little Bitte Artisanal Cocktails.   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.

Catch your favorite WaterFire performers:

Spogga is an engine of fire. Photo by Thomas Payne.
Spogga is an engine of fire. Photo by Thomas Payne.

Fire spinners Spogga Hash, Julia Jerome, and Benjamin Reynolds will dazzle you with their breathtaking performances throughout the night.

One of Ten31 Production's gargoyle characters at WaterFire Providence. Photo by John Nickerson.

[sc name=photo-caption caption=”One of Ten31 Production’s gargoyle characters at WaterFire Providence. Photo by John Nickerson.” ]

Visit the living statues in Memorial Park at the World War I monument. Ten31 Productions returns with their interactive living statues and gargoyles in Memorial Park shortly after lighting.

Andrew Anselmo

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

Origami Master Andrew Anselmo – 7:00 – 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.

Historical Tours

Make time to see The Governor Stephen Hopkins House located at 15 Hopkins Street (off Benefit Street) and open for tours between 10:00 a.m. to 10:0 p.m., the last tour begins at 9:30 p.m. Admission is free, donations are always welcome.

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.

8 thoughts on “July 23rd, 2016 – Full Lighting”

  1. Thanks for posting this, Tim. It’s be great if it could be posted in a format that could be printed on one page to refer to during dinner and while walking along the river. Thanks.

    1. Hi Mark, we have printed event pamphlets/maps for each event. They include most of the info listed on the website. The pamphlets are available at all of our on shore greeter stations. Thanks for your note.

  2. Was at WaterFire on sat july 23. Beautiful setup but there was a lot of trash floating in the water. If i was a vistor to Providence i would think it was a dirty city. You have a few boats riding around putting more wood on the fires. Should have these same boats netting the trash from the surface of the water.

    1. We clean a lot of trash from river during each lighting. We’ll try and do better next time. Thanks for your note.

  3. Good Afternoon
    I am the activity director at a senior living community and would love to take my residents to this event. Just not sure where they would have easy access and if the boat ride is still offered. I know you had one where the Indian greeted and blessed them that would be great. The wheelchair one wouldn’t work they only have walkers…. Any information would greatly be appreciated. They have expressed great interest in this…
    Thanks Sheila

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