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May 27th, 2017 – Full Lighting

This event is being sponsored by Bank of America and Brown University


May 27th, 2017 – Full Lighting

Sunset: 8:10 p.m.
Lighting time: 8:30 p.m.
The fires will remain lit until 12:30 a.m.
Music Program



Bank of America




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.

WaterFire Providence welcomes back sponsor Bank of America “At Bank of America, we believe that arts matter. They help economies thrive, help individuals connect with each other and across cultures, and educate and enrich communities. There is no better example of this than Waterfire,” said Bill Hatfield, Bank of America Rhode Island President. “We are proud of our commitment to this great organization and to a 7 year tradition of bringing our community together to showcase the creative talent and energy within Providence.”

WaterFire Providence also thanks Brown University for its generous support in honor of their commencement weekend, for this event.

Catch performances by Japanese drumming group Gendo Taiko

Gendo Taiko performs on the Waterplace Basin Stage. Photo by Kevin Murray.
Gendo Taiko performs on the Waterplace Basin Stage. Photo by Kevin Murray.

Gendo Taiko, Japanese drumming group, will be performing on the basin stage during the opening ceremony (8:30 p.m.), followed by a second performance at 9:30 p.m. Both performances will take place on the Basin Stage in Waterplace Park. Gendo, loosely translating to “path of free imagination,” represents the journeys taken by members in years past, and the experience of creative inspiration they hope to pass down to future members and audiences in the years to come.

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!

Andrew Lindsay lights the braziers on the Wall in Memorial Park. Photograph by Shaun Martins-Torres.
Andrew Lindsay lights the braziers on the Wall in Memorial Park. Photograph by Shaun Martins-Torres.

Fire Dancers Spogga, Andrew Lindsay and Ember Flynne 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 stations on College Street and 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 [email protected] 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.

28 thoughts on “May 27th, 2017 – Full Lighting”

  1. Alfredo Hernandez Chavez

    Hi Friends Waterfire organizers, I would love to attend, but since don’t have place to stay overnight was wondering if you know AMTRAK is running trains from and back to Boston late this friday? Any information will be truly appreciated. Thank you.
    Alfredo Hernandez Chavez

    1. Hi Henry, thanks for asking. Here are the basic rules when it comes to chairs: Fire marshal regulations do not permit folding chairs to by set up on any of the river walks to assure safe passage for all of our visitors. WaterFire is an event to be explored and savored on foot as you wander around to discover its many surprises, leave you chairs in the car and start exploring all that our event has to offer. There are non-walkway areas where visitors can and do set up chairs. You are welcome to bring you own food or drink or purchase something from one of our vendors. You can find more about planning a fun and safe trip to WaterFire on our website.

  2. Hi, Just wanted to check, if May27th event is happening as scheduled. Given the weather condition looks rainy and or cloudy. Thanks for the help.

    1. Yes, everything is a go. Saturday’s forecast is looking relatively good, slight clouds with pleasant temps.

    1. They are performing during the lighting ceremony around 8:30 p.m. and again at 9:30 p.m. Both performances are on the Basin Stage in Waterplace Park.

  3. Hello!

    The information above about the WaterFire Arts Festival Plaza says that, “the Arts Festival Plaza and will be active from 7:00 – 11:30 p.m. on Friday night” – but tomorrow’s lighting is of course on a Saturday.

    Is this just a typo, or does that part of the event really only operate on Friday evenings, which in the case of this weekend’s lighting would be the day before the lighting event itself?

    Thanks in advance for the clarification!


  4. How do I ride the boats? I want to take my girlfriend on them but Im finding no info on how to ride. Help please!

  5. I’m from Providence , and Im married to a beautiful Polynesian family.. I wanted to share their culture with my RI family and friends. They do hula shows with the fire knife dancers… I was wondering if we can talk about a show.

  6. I have never been to WaterFire but it appears as though there is a lighting June 10. Can you tell me more in terms of time, exact location for the best activities and possibly a schedule of events? I am staying in federal hill.

    1. Hi Beth, there is indeed a lighting on June 10th. We are finalizing the details and the specifics will be post here on our website early next week. Thanks for supporting WaterFire Providence and enjoy your stay in Providence.

  7. May i know when is the next waterfire show ? from website looks like its on Jul 8th. So don’t we have anything ln the coming weekend of july 4th ?

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