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June 10th, 2017 – Full Lighting

This event is being sponsored by RI Day of Portugal and Rhode Island College with its Institute for Portuguese and Lusophone World Studies, with the generous support of Textron Charitable Trust

June 10th, 2017 – Full Lighting


Sunset: 8:20 p.m.
Lighting time: 8:40 p.m.
The fires will remain lit until 12:30 a.m.
Music Program






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.

Prior to lighting, there will be a Folkloric Dance Performance by Rancho Folclorico do Santo Antonio of Pawtucket on the Basin Stage at 7:30 PM.

WaterFire Providence welcomes sponsor RI Day of Portugal and Rhode Island College with its Institute for Portuguese and Lusophone World Studies. “RI Day of Portugal and Rhode Island College with its Institute for Portuguese and Lusophone World Studies are pleased to partner with WaterFire Providence in celebration of the 40th continuous celebration of Day of Portugal in Rhode Island. The full WaterFire lighting on the national Portuguese holiday, Dia de Portugal (Day of Portugal), on June 10th is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the sights, sounds and tastes of Portuguese culture in a beautiful artistic atmosphere in the heart of the capital city.” said Marie Fraley, director of the Institute for Portuguese and Lusophone World Studies at Rhode Island College.

WaterFire Providence also thanks Textron Charitable Trust for its generous support of this event.

Visit the “Portugal at WaterFire” Exhibition, from 6:00 – 10:00 p.m., located on Washington Street Bridge. Exhibitors include: “Study Portuguese at Rhode Island College” – Institute for Portuguese and Lusophone World Studies, “Come to Rhode Island College” – RIC Admissions, “Visit Portugal” – Portugal Tourism by Azores Airlines, “Discovering Your Portuguese Roots” – George Pacheco, Portuguese Genealogist and “About Day of Portugal” – RI Day of Portugal. Don’t miss “The Azorean Greenbean” – Book signing  by Maria Lawton, author of “Azorean Cooking, From My Family Table to Yours” and the art display by José L. Santos.

Sabin’s Tavern – The Great Debate

The Great Debate. Photograph Emily Gauvin.

From 9:15 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. discover a fascinating re-enactment of the lively debate that occurred at Sabin’s Tavern on June 9th, 1772 over whether or not the Colonies should demand independence from Great Britain. At the Rotunda in front of the Citizens Bank building (on Steeple Street between Canal Street and Memorial Boulevard) three engaging historians, John McNiff, John Concannon, and Jonathan Ryder , will lead us towards a deeper understanding of what was discussed that night from the perspective of the Providence residents who first started the American Revolution.

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 for the 2017 WaterFire Providence season. The Arts Festival Plaza and will be active from 6:00 – 11:30 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 artwork by Rhode Island-based artists.

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

Steeple Street

  • Fat Belly’s Irish Pub

Waterplace Park Basin

Various Locations:


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 place your very own message and 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 are back!

Julia Jerome, fire spinner.

Julia Jerome, fire spinner. Photo by Luis Andrade.

Fire Dancers Julia Jerome and Benjamin Reynolds will dazzle the crowds during several performances throughout the evening at the confluence, on boats, and on the wall of braziers near Memorial Park.

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.

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 station on Canal 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 HouseMake 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

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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.

5 thoughts on “June 10th, 2017 – Full Lighting”

    1. Yes, pets are welcome as long as they are leashed and you clean up after them. The crowds can pretty intense, so please use your best judgment when deciding to bring your dog.

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