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June 28th, 2014 Full Lighting

Waterplace Basin, photo by Jeffrey Stolzberg

This event is being sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Association.

Unitarian Universalist Association

The Unitarian Universalist Association is proud to be the first-ever faith sponsor of WaterFire Providence. We are a covenantal faith community without spiritual boundaries, whose members are diverse in belief, identity, and background, united by a call to stand on the side of love, justice, and peace. Like WaterFire Providence, we believe in building community through creative transformation—the more we contribute to the greater good, the more we live out our moral responsibility as believers in what is good, what is right, and what is just.

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June 28th, 2014 Event Schedule:

Sunset time: 8:25pm

All Full WaterFire installations light up over eighty braziers from Waterplace Park to Memorial/South Main Street Park. Lighting occurs shortly after sunset and the event continues until just past midnight. Please check this page frequently for updated information. Updated 6/24/14.

This event’s music program is now available here.

5:30pm – 11:30pm The WaterFire Store on Canal Street

The Merchandise Tent on Canal Street, photo by Jennifer Bedford.

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.

Sunset to 11:00pm – the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Standing on the Side of Love Event

WaterFire is excited to welcome the Unitarian Universalist Association as the first-ever faith sponsor of WaterFire Providence. The Unitarian Universalist Association is a covenantal faith community without spiritual boundaries, whose members are diverse in belief, identity, and background, united by a call to stand on the side of love, justice, and peace. It affirms the worth of human beings, advocates freedom of belief and the search for advancing truth, and tries to provide a warm, open, supporting community for people who believe that ethical living is the supreme witness of religion. Reverend Peter Morales, President of the Unitarian Universalist Association, says, “Unitarian Universalists from around the world are coming to Providence to attend our faith community’s annual General Assembly. We are excited to join with the Providence community by sponsoring WaterFire, an evening that will celebrate the power of love and the importance of community. The principles of the Unitarian Universalist faith exemplify the spirit of WaterFire—we nurture our spirits and strengthen our communities by standing on the side of love, justice, and peace—so we are confident that this partnership will result in a powerful experience for the entire greater Providence community.”

The Unitarian Universalist Association and WaterFire Providence have collaborated and planned numerous events for the community to enjoy and participate in, including:

  • A “Make Way for Love” worship service that will be held at the Rhode Island Convention Center at 7:30 PM and will be open to all
  • Following the worship service will be the WaterFire procession and lighting
  • Just after 9:00pm, members of the local Unitarian Universalist choirs from around the region will join together for a community sing along. Lyric sheets for the five Shared Voice Projects are available in the June 28th Music Program or as a separate PDF document. Members of the choirs will also be handing out copies.
  • The Unitarian Universalist also invite visitors to join them in their Standing on the Side of Love Tent, lighting luminaria for love in Memorial Park, creating chalk messages and art about love on Steeple Street and Washington Street, and reflecting, meditating, or praying on love in Memorial Park


Empty Bowls Project

The Empty Bowls Project. Photo via Austin Pixel.



6:00pm – 10:00pm The Empty Bowls Project Tent on Washington Street Bridge

Empty Bowls is an international grassroots effort to fight hunger and was created by The Imagine Render Group. The basic premise is simple: Potters and other craftspeople, educators and others work with the community to create handcrafted bowls. Guests are invited to a simple meal of soup and bread. In exchange for a cash donation, guests are asked to keep a bowl as a reminder of all the empty bowls in the world. The money raised is donated to an organization working to end hunger and food insecurity.


6:00pm – 10:30pm WaterFires Arts Festival Plaza on Washington Street.

Located on Washington Street in the heart of the WaterFire installation, the Arts Festival Plaza is a showcase for local artists and crafts-people. 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.

On June 28th the WaterFire Arts Festival Plaza will feature the works of: Floweredsky Designs, SepiaLepus IllustrationsLotus Life DesignsWrist Candy CreationsHarliquinn Designs, Just Be Designs by: 52 Weeks of GratitudeLiquor Wicks,  Recycled Silverware, Anne Made Design,  Bonnie Lee’s Creations, Periodically Inspired, and Bryce Studios.

Grab a Bite To Eat

You can find food vendors on Washington Street adjacent to the Arts Festival Plaza including: Cilantro Mexican Grill, Dudley’s, Expo Productions, Kettle Corn Express, Rhode Illin’ Ice CreamUmelt. As well as on College Street near Memorial Park including: Blue Grotto Restaurant, Parkside Rotisserie & Bar, Ron’s Pastry Gourmet, and Taste of India. Also check out the Nutty Bavarian, Frenchy’s Popcorn, and Del’s Lemonade push carts located along the river walk .

7:00pm to 11:00pm WaterFire Providence presents the Steeple Street Performance Stage

7:00pm – 9:00pm The Sultans of Sax will be on stage performing music from the vaudeville era and early jazz age, considered by many to be the “golden age” of the saxophone. 


9:15pm – 11:00pm As part of the UUA Love Reaches Out event there will be live performances featuring Emma’s Revolution, Christopher D.  Sims aka UniverSoul, Mat Meyer, and Elandria Williams.



Fire dancer Benjamin Reynolds will be skillfully spinning fire during several performance throughout the evening.

Fire dancer Benjamin Reynolds, photo by Jennifer Bedford.

[sc name=photo-caption caption=”Waterplace Basin photo by Jeffrey Stolzberg. Fire dancer & Merchandise Store photos by Jennifer Bedford.”]

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.

6 thoughts on “June 28th, 2014 Full Lighting”

  1. Did anyone record a video with audio of the crowd singing along with “All You Need Is Love”? Talk about taking this collective experience to an even higher level! Love is indeed and always The Answer. <3

    1. Thank you Yana, We did have a team of videographers covering the event. I don’t know yet if they were able to capture the singing portion. We will post video of the event her and on our Facebook soon.

  2. In an age when we are concerned about carbon footprints why are we burning wood in a river? couldn’t we use lights from a renewable energy source to produce an even better show of light?

    1. Hi John, good question.

      The burning of wood is an integral part of the WaterFire installation. Everything from the glow of the firelight, sound of the crackling wood, and the smell the smoke have been specifically incorporated into the event by our Artistic Director and WaterFire creator Barnaby Evans. WaterFire is an attempt to get people from all walks of life to come together as a community and re-connected to a primal experience of gathering around a fire in a calming and spiritual ritual. We only burn reclaimed wood and we go to great efforts to ensure that wood will burn as cleanly as possible. We also trap and remove ash and debris to prevent polluting the river.

      Could we not burn wood? Yes. Would the event still be WaterFire? No. Even if we were to switch to using lights we would getting power from the cities electrical grid, which only gets a small of it’s electricity from renewable sources. Anytime you are providing entertainment for tens of the thousand of people there are going to be environmental costs, think of air conditioning the Providence Place Mall or keeping the ice frozen at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.

      I hope this has at least partially answered your question.

      Thanks, Tim

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