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November 4th, 2017 – WaterFire Salute to Veterans

WalmartAmazon Studios and LAST FLAG FLYINGthe Rhode Island Broadcasters AssociationBank of AmericaDominion EnergyChase Canopy, the Providence VA Medical Center, and many other generous sponsors help WaterFire to honor Veterans across Southern New England

Things to see:

The WaterFire Salute to Veterans event is a collaborative, community-wide celebration whose mission is to honor and recognize all United States veterans, active and reserve military personnel and families for their service, sacrifice, and contributions to this nation, and to organize, exhibit and highlight the wealth of veteran-oriented organizations and services available to them. Learn more on the WaterFire Salute to Veterans website.

Opening Ceremonies will begin at the State House at 3:30 p.m. – Join Lt. Governor McKee, Director of the Office of Veteran Affairs Kasim Yarn, and special Keynote speaker ret. General Craig McKinley, National Chair of ESGR. We will present the colors, sing the National Anthem, and honor our Veterans.

The public is invited to join us in front of the State House steps at 4:30 PM, where the Opening Ceremonies will continue. Among the speakers will be the Naval War College President Admiral Harley, Adjutant General, Major General Christopher P. Callahan and our Keynote speaker, ret. General Craig McKinley, National Chair of ESGR, followed by an enlistment ceremony and swearing in of new recruits of the different military branches.

The WaterFire lighting will be kicked off with a spectacular Salute to Veterans Torch Procession and Ring of Fire in Waterplace Basin.  Starting at about 6:15 P.M., veterans from our community will process into Waterplace Basin led by the RI Professional Firefighters Pipes and Drums.  Here they will join their brothers and sisters in arms to surround the basin in a ring of fire ceremony with a presentation of the colors as the National Anthem and a full music program is played by the Navy Band Northeast and the Governor’s own Army 88th Band on the basin stage.

Before the Lighting Begins

Ladies of the Rolling Pin

Ladies of the Rolling Pin

The Ladies of the Rolling Pin will perform in Memorial Park from 3:30 – 5:15 p.m. The Ladies of the Rolling Pin is one of only a few all women’s Border Morris dance teams and have been stirring things up in Rhode Island since 1998 with just the right mix of leavening and levity. They never fail to get a rise out of audiences with a well-seasoned style, energy, and music.


November 4th, 2017 – Full Lighting

Sunset time: 5:36 p.m.
Music Program





All Full WaterFire installations light up over eighty braziers from Waterplace Park to Memorial/South Main Street Park. Lighting occurs shortly after sunset (6:15 p.m.) and the event continues until 11:00 p.m.

The WaterFire Arts Festival Plaza on Steeple Street starting at 5:00 p.m.

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

The WaterFire Arts Festival Plaza, in partnership with Bryce Studio, returns to Steeple Street for the 2017 WaterFire Providence season. The Arts Festival Plaza and will be active from 5:00 – 10:30 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.

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.

Cirque de Light fire dancers Andrew Lindsay and Michael Kevin Farrell will dazzle the crowds during several performances throughout the evening at the confluence and on the wall of braziers in Memorial Park.

Andrew Anselmo

Origami Master Andrew Anselmo will delight crowds of all ages near the RISD auditorium.


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

Interactive Media Manager at WaterFire Providence | + posts by 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.

16 thoughts on “November 4th, 2017 – WaterFire Salute to Veterans”

  1. What’s best for a large-ish group wanting to eat after the lighting? Restaurants seem fully booked … will there be the usual outdoor food & drink carts & kiosks, or have they closed up for fall?

  2. Can we bring in alcohol and plastic cups? I’m reading mixed reviews but want to insure we obey the law as we come from a family of law enforcement personnel. Thank you

    1. Hi Suzanne, sorry we missed your questions. For future reference, visitors are not permitted to bring in alcoholic beverages to the park. There are a couple outdoors bars open during most full lighting and we asked that alcoholic beverages remain in permitted areas.

  3. Hi – we are travelling possibly to rhode island 17th may2018 -20th may – is there any lightings or displays on at this time?

    1. Hi, Lisa, we don’t have our 2018 season schedule finalized yet. We are aiming to release the complete schedule in April. Please stay tuned for updates. Thanks for supporting WaterFire Providence.

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