Sponsored by Amica Insurance and thanks to the generous support of the Textron Charitable Trust.
July 9th, 2016 Event Info:
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There is the potential for some passing rain showers in the forecast for Saturday afternoon and evening. The WaterFire lighting will be going ahead as planned. Check our Twitter or Facebook feeds for late breaking updates. Updated 7/9/2016.
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Sunset: 8:22 p.m.
Lighting time: 8:42 p.m.
The fires will remain lit until 12:30 a.m.
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:
French Consul Valery Freland to award the Legion of Honor to RI WWII Vet at WaterFire on July 9th
WaterFire is pleased to invite you to welcome French Consul Valery Freland to Providence this Saturday, July 9th, where he will be conveying a knighthood in the Legion of Honor to RI Seaman First Class Ernest Frank Corvese for his service in liberating France in WWII. Seaman Corvese was one of the first to land on Omaha Beach in the Normandy invasion as an advance Naval Demolitions Team charged with clearing mines, barbed wire and defense structures before the infantry arrived. He was just 18 and the only survivor of his boat. Mr. Corvese went on to fight in the Pacific as well. He returned to RI and worked as an engraver for the Providence Journal before retiring to Smithfield. The Legion of Honor is the highest award granted by the nation of France and is conveyed under the direct authority of the President of France. Here is Tom Brokaw’s report on Ernie Corvese.
WaterFire Providence is pleased to be hosting this ceremony at the Waterplace Basin Stage as part of our annual Bastille Day WaterFire. The ceremony for Bastille Day will begin at 8:20 with a short program by the Alliance Française Chorus singing four French songs. The ceremony for Mr. Corvese will begin at 8:30. Noted Jazz singer Rose Weaver will join the Alliance Française Chorus to sing The Star-Spangled Banner and La Marseillaise in honor of Consul Freland and Seaman Corvese. Ms. Weaver recently returned from a trip to Paris. Also attending will the RI Honorary Consul to France Roger Begin, Alliance Française de Providence Executive Director Dominique Gregoire, Tim Gray, the director of the World War II Foundation, Roseanna Gorham, director of the RI Washington Rochambeau Revolutionary Route (W3R). An additional honored guest will be the WWII Veteran Frank Simon, also a recipient of the Legion of Honor in addition to other awards and recognition.
Robert Burke, owner of the French restaurant Pot au Feu, will be sabering open a Jeroboam (3 liter) bottle of Moet Chandon champagne donated for the occasion by Moet Chandon. Sabering or Sabrage is a technique of slicing the glass neck off of a bottle of champagne that was first established by the Hussars, Napoleon’s light cavalry. Then rose petals will be scattered upon the water in honor of the many lives lost in World War II.
The officials will then form a torch-lit procession from Waterplace Basin to walk to the World War II Monument off South Main Street to lay a memorial wreath in honor of those who did not return from the war. The procession will then stop at the RI Holocaust Memorial nearby where a single memorial candle will be lit at sunset in memory of the late Elie Wiesel. The candle will be set precisely due north of the Holocaust Memorial’s central Hope Stone to represent the steady leadership and guidance provided by Elie Wiesel in focusing the world’s awareness upon the tragedy of the Holocaust and the necessity for everyone to be actively committed to pursuing justice for all. The memorial candle will be lit at 8:15 by Herb Stern and Cantor Jodi Blankstein. The Holocaust Memorial was designed by RI artist Jonathan Bonner and fabricated by Jack Afanso. The World War II Memorial was designed and fabricated by Jack Afanso, who also provided the stone base for the Elie Wiesel memorial candle.
Clear Currents returns for the 2016 Season
Clear Currents is the portion of the evening’s WaterFire lighting that incorporates 50 illuminated Japanese koi (carp) fish temporarily mounted on canoes and kayaks that registered participants will paddle up and down the river after sunset. The light from these brightly colored fish will beautifully compliment the 80 wood burning braziers installed on the river!
Shakespeare en el Verano : Romeo and Juliet
6:15 – 7:45 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). The inaugural production will premiere 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 9–July 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 6:15 p.m., no reservation is required.
Charge up the night with National Grid!
[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.
[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.
[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:
Canal Walk, near the RISD Campus
The Nutty Bavarian
Fat Belly’s Irish Pub and Grille
Gerbermuhle: Biergarten Unter den Weiden – Beer Garden Under the Willows
Waterplace Basin 7:00 to 11:00 p.m.
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:
Fire spinners Ember Flynne and Michael Farrell will dazzle you with their breathtaking performances throughout the night.
[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.
[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.
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
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.