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November 5th, 2016 – WaterFire Salute to Veterans

Gold Star Sponsor: Walmart | Silver Star Sponsors: Bank of America & National Grid | Bronze Star Sponsor: Dominion Power and Energy

Saturday, November 5th, 2016 – WaterFire Salute to Veterans

Sunset: 5:34 p.m.
Lighting time:  5:54 p.m.
The fires will remain lit until 11:00 p.m.
Music Program

For this incredibly important event the community comes together to recognize the service and sacrifice of the men and women that have served in America’s military. WaterFire Providence looks forward to celebrating and thanking our veterans at the 4th Annual WaterFire Salute to Veterans event which will include a Veterans Resource Fair, ceremonies and tributes throughout the night.


All Full WaterFire installations light up over eighty braziers from Waterplace Park to Memorial/South Main Street Park on the below scheduled evenings. Lighting begins shortly after sunset and the event continues until half past midnight.



Visiting from out of town? Check out our Plan Your Trip to Providence guide, it’s jam packed with info about parking, public transport, restaurants, hotels, and more.


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 begin in the Department of Administration Building: 3:30 p.m.  Join Governor Gina Raimondo, Director of the Office of Veteran Affairs Kasim Yarn, and special Keynote speaker, former Army Captain Craig Mullaney, Veteran of Afghanistan, West Point Graduate, Bishop Hendricken Valedictorian, Rhode Scholar, NYT Best Selling Author “The Unforgiving Minute.” We will present the colors, sing the National Anthem, and honor our Veterans.

Torch procession and WaterFire Lighting Ceremony

Herb Chambers Cadillac of Warwick helps to kick off the WaterFire lighting with a 150 Veteran Torch Procession and 300 Veteran Ring of Fire in Waterplace Basin.  WaterFire invites you to join us just after sunset as Veterans of our community process into the 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 is played by the Navy Band Northeast and the Army 88th Band.  A patriotic music performance by the Navy Band Northeast and the Army 88th Band will follow the lighting. The 88th Rock Band will play prior to the lighting ceremony from 4:30 – 5:00 p.m. on the Basin Stage.

Resource Fair -Washington Street and Washington Street Bridge

The 2016 WaterFire Salute to Veterans Resource Fair will open at 3:00 p.m.
Located at the center of the WaterFire installation on Washington Street and the Washington Street Bridge transforming it into an informational and educational center about issues Veterans can face after serving in the military. The 2016 WaterFire Salute to Veterans Resource is sponsored by Presented Sponsor: The Providence VA Medical Center along with Contributing Sponsors: Verizon and Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD.

See a full listing of events and Resource Fair Participants on the WaterFire Salute to Veterans website.

Ride with UBER on College Street

UBER will have two pick-up and drop-off locations on College Street at South Main Street and College Street and Memorial.

Charge up the night with National Grid!

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

[sc name=photo-caption caption=”Visitors make use of a National Grid Courtesy Phone Charging Station. Photo by John Nickerson.” ]

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 3:30 – 10:30 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 silkscreen prints by local artists.

The WaterFire Arts Festival Plaza
Steeple Street – 4:00 – 10:30 p.m.

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

[sc name=photo-caption caption=”The WaterFire Arts Festival Plaza on Washington Street. Photo by Jennifer Bedford.” ]

Located on Steeple 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.

Little Bitte Artisanal Cocktails – Cocktail Garden Under the Willows
Waterplace Basin 7:00 to 11:00 p.m.

Little Bitte Artisanal Cocktails. Photography by Drew Christhilf.

Little Bitte Artisanal Cocktails. Photography by Drew Christhilf.

Featuring drinks from Little Bitte Artisanal Cocktails.   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:

Andrew Lindsay and Liz Knights, photo by Jeffrey Stolzberg.

Andrew Lindsay and Liz Knights, photo by Jeffrey Stolzberg.

Fire dancers Andrew Lindsay and Liz Knights will dazzle the crowds during several performances throughout the evening at the confluence, on boats, and on the wall of braziers near Memorial Park.


Andrew Anselmo

[sc name=photo-caption caption=”Photo by Thomas Payne.” ]

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 Nursing Placement First Aid Station on Washington Street – 6:00pm – 11:00pm

Providing a safe environment for our visitors while they are enjoying WaterFire Providence is a top priority for us. Should you need assistance a first aid station is available at the top of Washington Street behind the Arts Festival Plaza.

The Nursing Placement Mobile First Aid Station

Nursing Placement the official first aid provider at WaterFire events will offer first aid care to the public at any time during the event. Additionally, the venue will serve as a meeting place for missing children and parents to reunite. The First Aid RV will be located on Washington Street and can be found on all WaterFire event maps. Nursing Placement will also be taking applications for new team members to help serve the RI population.

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.

3 thoughts on “November 5th, 2016 – WaterFire Salute to Veterans”

  1. What an amazing and uplifting ceremony – Providence should be proud!!

    I have never seen such a touching ceremony. Thank you for doing what you do for our soldiers and Vet’s!

    If you have never been to a show, I strongly recommend you do go see what “Water Fire” is all about!

    Thank you!!

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