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June 18th, 2016 – Full Lighting

Lighting the mall, photo by Jen Bedford.


Sponsored by CVS Health Charity Classic

CVS Health Charity Classic



and The Providence Journal

The Providence Journal


June 18th, 2016 Event Info:

Sunset: 8:24 p.m.
Lighting time:  8:44 p.m.
The fires will remain lit until 12:30 a.m.
Music Program

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Important Traffic, Parking, and Safety Guidelines | Planning for an Enjoyable and Safe WaterFire Experience

Please be aware that the weekend of June 18th is also the weekend of Rhode Island Pride Fest, which will be located on South Water Street but also includes a parade at sunset and many block parties throughout the city. For more details about Pride Fest please follow this link. Keep in mind that there will be additional street closings, South Water Street in particular, and parking will be more challenging due to these events occurring simultaneously. Please plan accordingly if you would like to see the lighting ceremony in the basin.

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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:

CVS Health presents: Helping People on Their Path to Better Health

Market Square from 6:30 – 11:00 p.m. 

CVS Health Charity Classic will present a Path to Better Health interactive display in Market Square, next to the RISD Auditorium, featuring participating sponsors KIND Snacks and Minute Clinic, who will provide informational materials and promotional giveaways. The Boys and Girls Club of Woonsocket will have Jumbo Version Games of family favorites for everybody to enjoy and play.

Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps Marching Band Performance in Union Plaza

Lesbian and Gay Big Apple Corps Marching Band

The Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps Marching Band will make an appearance and perform at Union Plaza following the PRIDE parade at approximately 10:45 p.m.

Remembering General Rochambeau’s departure from Providence to win the Battle of Yorktown

At 9:00 p.m. a wreath laying ceremony in dedication to French and American Soldiers will take place in Memorial Park in honor of General Rochambeau’s departure from Providence to win the Battle of Yorktown 235 years ago today on June 18, 1781.  Rochambeau and his troops had trained and billeted in Rhode Island since their arrival in Newport in July 1780.  The training in RI allowed the French and American troops under the leadership of General Rochambeau to defeat the British and win the American Revolution to found the United States.  A Parade March with fifers and drummers and the French HUSSAR group will be performing in Memorial Park from8:15 p.m. on.

Memorial Ceremony for the Victims of the Orlando Shooting

The Confluence, photo by Erin Cuddigan.

The Confluence, photo by Erin Cuddigan.

Join us on the Confluence (on the River at Steeple Street), we would like for you to share your thoughts, prayers, dedications, and condolences for the victims and families of the recent tragedy in Orlando, Florida. Torch lighting ceremonies will be held at  9:45 and 11:00 p.m.

Charge up the night with National Grid!

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

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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
Washington Street – 6:00 – 10:30 p.m.

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

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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:

Julia Jerome, fire spinner.

Julia Jerome, fire spinner. Photo by Luis Andrade.

Fire spinners 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

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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.

The Rhode Island Historical Society presents a special Gaspee Affair themed walking tour. The focus of this walking tour is the Gaspee affair of 1772 and the early American Revolution. It lasts for an hour, ending at the riverfront before the beginning of WaterFire. Tours depart from the John Brown House Museum located at 52 Power Street at 5:30 pm. Tickets are $10 each. For more information or to make reservations, please contact Jenn Wilson at 401-273-7507 x360 or [email protected]

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.

26 thoughts on “June 18th, 2016 – Full Lighting”

  1. Can’t wait to see the spectacle. We will be there on the 18th having traveled from California and staying one night (I think in Providence) before we head back west! Any tips are welcomed. Thanks!

    1. If you’re staying in Providence then you can walk right into the event. If you’re staying in a hotel outside of the city you should try and get into Providence early, parking dries up quickly and getting around by car can be a bear. June 18th is also the night of the Providence Pride Parade so there will be more streets closed and more people than usual. Check out for more info and we’ll be posting updates here as details become available.

  2. Hi there. I have known about the water fire fest and have been meaning to attend for 15 years now. I think this year might finally be the year. Sounds and looks exciting! I did want to inquire about the part(s) of Providence that will be hosting this event. Specifically, the degree of safety there in the later hours, sunset on. I have heard that Providence can be a bit rough at night? Any info you can provide and suggestions would be most appreciated, thanks!

    1. Hi Jamie, so glad to hear that you’ll be venturing out to see us this year. Like any city Providence does have some rough edges, but the WaterFire event site is located in the heart of the city. We are blocks away from the best hotels, dining and other nightlife the city has to offer. Frequented by thousands there is probably no safer place or time to be in Providence than during a WaterFire lighting. In addition to our trained and experienced event staff there is a significant police and fire safety contingent on hand at all times and we place the highest possible priority on visitor safety. In my thirteen years at WaterFire there has never been an injury at a WaterFire event more serious than a slip-and-fall. Please read this post for information about staying safe at WaterFire:

  3. I am planning on attending the June 18th water fire. Can’t wait! Heard such good things about this! Does it go on if it rains?

    1. Yes, WaterFire generally goes ahead rain or shine. Only a hurricane or sustained heavy downpours can cancel/delay a WaterFire lighting.

  4. We’ll be coming from MN. We heard about this last summer and have been planning our summer road trip around your July perfomance.

  5. My fiancé and I are attending water fire the 18
    She’s been talking about it for along time now I’ve never herd about it until she mentioned it it looks like a lot of fun I’m staying in Warwick is the at fee to attend and is there a fee for parking

    1. The lighting ceremony will be pretty minimal for this lighting, 16 torches only in the Basin amphitheatre. There are some performances later in the evening, but not before/during the lighting.

  6. Hi! My boyfriend and I plan on attending. I heard you mention some performances! Do you know when and where they will be? Also what they are of? I would love to go. What do you recommend?

    1. The Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps Marching Band will make an appearance and perform at Union Plaza following the PRIDE parade at approximately 10:45 p.m.

  7. I heard there are trolleys that you can ride throughout the city. Is it possible to park and then take a trolley to the Waterfire event? I know my kids would enjoy this! If so, where do you suggest we park and get on a trolley?

    1. Hey Jodi, the 92 Bus line has busses that looks like trolley’s, but they aren’t really like an usual tourist trolley. It’s just a bus line goes from College Hill to Federal Hill. This line does go by WaterFire and you can certainly use it to get around on Saturday. Here is the schedule:

  8. My family is coming from an hour away and will be driving in tomorrow. What time do you suggest we get there by so that we can get a parking spot?

    1. Hi Meg, there are several special events for the Salute to Veterans Fire. We don’t have all of the details nailed down at this time, but you can see what we did for last year’s event at Most of the memorials and celebrations will carry over to this year’s event. More details will be posted here as they become available. You can also sign up for our email newsletter to get event updates delivered directly to your inbox.

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