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July 28th, 2018 – Full Lighting

C is for Cure: A WaterFire Lighting for RI Defeats Hep C sponsored by GILEAD.

Saturday, July 28th
C is for Cure: A WaterFire Lighting for RI Defeats Hep C
Full Lighting – Events Start at 6:00 p.m. – Sunset: 8:08 p.m.
Sponsored by GILEAD
Music Program

WATERFIRE IS GOING AHEAD AS PLANNED! We are closely monitoring the forecast and expect the showers/storms to pass through well before the lighting begins at sunset.

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.

Opening Ceremonies will begin with a performance by Festival Ballet and the Gendo Taiko drummers starting at 8:10 p.m. on the Waterplace Park Basin Stage. Tina Broder, MSW, MPH; Karen T. Tashima MD; Sapna Chowdhry, MD; Michael Poshkus, MD and Dr. Lynn Taylor will lead 100 torchbearers into the basin for lighting. The procession will recognize those living with hep c and include doctors and medical professionals who have worked to bring awareness to hep C and have been influential in finding a cure.

For the fifth year running WaterFire Providence joins in a public awareness campaign about hepatitis C as part of Dr. Lynn E. Taylor’s RI Defeats Hep C campaign. “We are organizing a statewide campaign to eliminate hep C in RI. With the powerful new medicines we now have available and the cooperative networks for care in RI organized by the RI Department of Health we have a chance to greatly improve the health of all Rhode Islanders impacted by this disease.”

WaterFire Providence welcomes back GILEAD as a sponsor “At GILEAD, we are inspired by the opportunity to address unmet medical needs for people living with potentially life-threatening diseases. We are proud to sponsor WaterFire Providence and light a fire in recognition of the more than 3 million Americans living with hepatitis C.”

The Rhode Island Defeats Hep C Resource Fair, with support from the Rhode Island Department of Health, will take place on College Street Bridge. Johnson & Wales University and the Brown University Alpert Medical School will be among the booths present at the resource fair. There will also be free confidential hepatitis C screening on the College Street Bridge.

The Steeple Street Music Stage sponsored by GILEAD will be live from 7:00 p.m. to 11:15 p.m. The stage will feature local musicians. Between musical acts, there will be speaking programs helping to bring awareness to hep C and its cure.

  • The Keith Munslow and Chris Stovall Brown Band will play two sets from 7:15 – 8:00 p.m. and 8:15 – 9:00 p.m.
  • Rose Weaver and her Honeysuckle Rose Band will play two sets from  9:20 – 10:10 p.m. and 10:25 – 11:10 p.m.

The Narragansett Bay Commission Helps to Light Up the Rivers!

Clear Currents paddlers in Waterplace Basin. Photo by Jen Bonin.
Clear Currents paddlers in Waterplace Basin. Photo by Jen Bonin.

WaterFire Providence and the Narragansett Bay Commission have partnered to present this year’s Clear Currents community paddling event that celebrates improved water quality in RI. Clear Currents features close to 60 illuminated Japanese koi (fish) temporarily mounted on canoes and kayaks that registered participants will paddle up and down the river after sunset. The brightly colored fish will beautifully compliment the 80 wood-burning braziers installed on the river! Clear Currents celebrates the cleaner water that the opening of the Narragansett Bay Commission’s Combined Sewer Overflow; an initiative that has greatly improved water quality throughout the entire bay area.

WaterFire Walking Tour – Before the Fires are Lit!

Nonprofit management intern Sarah Hodgens speaks with guests during the walking tour at our June 30th event. Photograph by Noah Tavares.

Take a walking tour with one of our knowledgeable staff and volunteers to get an inside look into the history, theory of design, and management of WaterFire. Get the inside story of WaterFire with two exciting walking tours that begin at 4:30 and 7:00 p.m. This reservation-only tour allows those who want to learn the ins, outs, and background of the magic of WaterFire. For a donation of $10 registrants will walk the length of the canal with a tour guide and land at the basin just in time for lighting.

This weekend’s tours are SOLD OUT, please see our list of upcoming WaterFire Walking Tours for more dates.

The WaterFire Arts Festival Plaza

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

The WaterFire Arts Festival Plaza, in partnership with Bryce Studio, returns to Washington Street and Steeple Street for the 2018 WaterFire Providence season. The Arts Festival Plaza and will be active from 6:00 – 11:00 p.m. This outdoor artisan fair will showcase some of the great artwork created in Rhode Island in mediums such as glass, photography, sculpture, jewelry, and more. The WaterFire Arts Festival Plaza will offer visitors the opportunity to purchase an artwork by Rhode Island-based artists.

Visit the WaterFire Marketplace on Canal Street and help light up Providence. Support WaterFire with a donation or a purchase of locally designed apparel, glassware, books, and gifts. Pin where you are from on Map Center’s maps and watch glass blowing demonstrations by Gather Glass. Stop by the DipJar Tent at the WaterFire Marketplace on Canal Street – with every dip there’s a chance to win an exclusive WaterFire opportunity (plus other prizes!).

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

Washington Street

On the River Walk between College and Washington Streets

College Street

Various Locations:

Waterplace Park Basin & Memorial Park

Urban Wildlife: Learning to Co-Exist at the RISD ISB Gallery

Herons by Amy Chen

July 25th – August 18

URBAN WILDLIFE: LEARNING TO CO-EXIST presents artistic creations that explore the lives of wild animals in urban areas, and the human responses to this shared territory. Borne out of scientist/artist collaborations, the exhibit encourages the viewing public to take an active role in healthy co-existence with urban animals.

Co-Curator and RISD faculty member Dr. Lucy Spelman explains that while the expansion of villages, towns, and cities create new homes for some animals — it displaces others. The results are often problematic. Our scientific understanding of the actions we need to take in order to live in balance with urban wildlife is an important part of the solution. Science (urban ecology) can provide the guidelines, but we need the motivation to follow them. There is an equally important need to help more people understand that humans and animals are interdependent and that our continued success depends on a diverse and healthy animal kingdom.

Sponsored by Creature Conserve and Rhode Island School of Design.

Creature Conserve is a non-profit outreach organization dedicated to bringing artists and scientists together to foster sustained and informed support for animal conservation

Open late for WaterFire on from 5:00 – 10:00 p.m.

The ISB Gallery is a non-profit exhibition space that celebrates figurative art and illustration. Curated and underwritten by the Rhode Island School of Design, the space highlights professional artists from early June through RISD Weekend on Columbus Day. During school semesters, the gallery hosts a mix of student or curriculum-related exhibitions. 

Housed in the Illustration Studies Building at 55 Canal Walk in the heart of downtown Providence, ISB Gallery is open Wednesday through Saturday 12-5, and late for WaterFire events throughout the summer.  For more information email: or visit

Visit Starry, Starry Night

Starry, Starry Night. Photograph by Erin Cuddigan.
Starry, Starry Night. Photograph by Erin Cuddigan.

The Starry, Starry Night Installation will shine brightly in Memorial Park. Join thousands of WaterFire visitors in Memorial Park where the public is encouraged to add their own light to the night. For a small donation to WaterFire, make a wish upon a star, or make a dedication with a luminaria candle lantern in the park. The park will be aglow with hanging blue stars and a constellation of twinkling luminaria candle lanterns below.

WaterFire’s favorite characters and attractions are back!

Siena Moon
Siena Moon

Cirque De Light fire dance Sienna Moon will be performing on the river throughout the night.

Michael Grando
Mime artist Michael Grando

Mime artist Michael Grando will return again for this event. 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.

Andrew Anselmo

Origami Master Andrew Anselmo will delight crowds of all ages near the RISD auditorium.

Sidewalk Astronomy, photograph by Scott MacNeil.

Sidewalk Astronomy will offer visitors the opportunity to learn about the stars and planets in the sky. Stop by their learning lab on the riverwalk near College Street.

Charge up with National Grid

Photo by Tom Lincoln

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

Step back through history at the Governor Stephen Hopkins House

Governor Stephen Hopkins House

Make time to see The Governor Stephen Hopkins House located at 15 Hopkins Street (off Benefit Street). They are open for tours: Wednesdays from 11:00 2:00 p.m. and April through November on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. & until 10:00 p.m., when they fall on a full WaterFire lighting (the last tour begins at 9:30 p.m.).

Admission is free, but donations are gratefully accepted.

The museum is also open by appointment, for which there may be a modest admission charge. Please email to make an appointment.

About the author

Interactive Media Manager at WaterFire Providence | + 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.

3 thoughts on “July 28th, 2018 – Full Lighting”

  1. Tim: Thanks for putting this up. I am taking my girlfriend to see her first WaterFire (and my first in about 10 years!). Any particular suggestions for places to be/things to do, etc.?

    1. Try to get to the Basin for lighting ceremony between 8:00 & 8:45 p.m. the performances and the Clear Currents fish entering will be pretty awesome. Also, check out the WaterFire Music Stage on Steeple Street for some great music.

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