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Saturday, May 23rd – Full Lighting

Visitors at WaterFire. Photo by Todd Monjar.

This event is being sponsored by Bank of America and Brown University in celebration of its 250th Anniversary.


Bank of America 2014

“WaterFire is a signature Providence event, a tremendous testament to the city’s creative talent and energy,” said Bill Hatfield, Rhode Island president, Bank of America. “It connects artists, businesses and the community as a whole in a partnership that reflects a collective commitment to making our city an engaging, culturally vibrant place to live and work.”



Brown University's 250th Anniversary

Brown University marks the 250th anniversary of its founding with 15 months of events and activities designed to share a fuller and deeper understanding of the University and its historic and ongoing partnership with Providence and Rhode Island. Sponsoring WaterFire Providence, founded by alumnus Barnaby Evans, is an opportunity to invite all Rhode Islanders to the magical open-air testament to creative expression that celebrates our capital city.


May 23rd, 2015 Event Info:

Sunset time: 8:06 p.m.
Lighting time: 8:26 p.m.
The fires will remain lit until 12:30 a.m.
Music Program

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.

The first full fire kick-off to the season. This event will be the finale for Brown University’s celebration of its 250th Anniversary for all the current students, alumni, brand new graduates, and their families. The WaterFire Arts Festival Plaza will be back in full swing with local artists selling their wares on Washington Street. We are also excited about the WaterFire food fair line up as well with some awesome local food vendors.

Grab a bite to eat! Visit one of our great food vendors:


College Street
Taste of India
Parkside Rotisserie & Bar
Ron’s Pastry Gourmet

Canal Walk, near the RISD Campus
Frenchy’s Popcorn
The Nutty Bavarian



Washington Street
UMelt – Lobster Rolls
Flatbread Company
Kettle Korn Express

Various Locations
Del’s Lemonade


Things to see:

The WaterFire Arts Festival Plaza on Washington Street 6:00 – 10:30 p.m.

Riker Art Glass at the WaterFire Arts Festival Plaza. Photo by Jeffrey Stolzberg.

[sc name=photo-caption caption=”Riker Art Glass at the WaterFire Arts Festival Plaza. Photo by Jeffrey Stolzberg.” ]

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.

National Grid lights up your night!

Canal Street Charging Station (Photo by Sean Chatham)

Make sure you can capture the magic of WaterFire all evening long by visiting National Grid’s courtesy phone charging stations located throughout the park to recharge your smartphone and other mobile devices during the lighting.

Catch the magic with all of your favorite WaterFire performers

The Gargoyles from Ten31 Productions – 8:00 – 10:00 p.m.

Gift from a gargoyle, photo by James Turner.

[sc name=photo-caption caption=”Photo by James Turner” ]

The gargoyles and other characters from Ten31 Productions are back for the 2015 WaterFire event season. Catch their performances at their usual location around the base of the World War Monument in Memorial Park.

Fire Dancers Benjamin Reynolds and Julie Jerome – Sunset – 10:30 p.m.

Ben and Julie will be performing  on the river starting with the lighting of the braziers on the wall in Memorial Park. They will be performing several times in various locations throughout the evening.

Origami Master Andrew Anselmo – 8:00 – 10:30 p.m. in Market Square

Andrew Anselmo

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

A delight for young and old alike. See Andrew make paper come alive in Market Square, outside of the RISD auditorium.

Hitch a ride with Sol Chariots Pedicab

Sol Chariots Pedicab

Sol Chariots Pedicab Cooperative is a local, worker-owned cooperative business operating in Providence RI that provides sustainable, pedal-powered transportation services.

Operating mostly in the downtown area, Sol Chariots primarily provides a bike taxi service for short-distance transportation, as well as a new way to experience and explore the city of Providence. A pick-up and drop-off location will be established along the northbound lane of Memorial Boulevard between College and Washington Streets.

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.

[sc name=photo-caption caption=”Featured image: Visitors at WaterFire. Photo by Todd Monjar.” ]

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.

16 thoughts on “Saturday, May 23rd – Full Lighting”

  1. We were planning on parking at Providence Place Mall. But then we decided to eat at Rye Whiskey. Is there better parking by that area? Thanks!

    1. Yes, here is the listing:

      Taste of India
      Ron’s Pastry Gourmet

      Frenchy’s Popcorn
      The Nutty Bavarian

      Flatbread Company
      Kettle Korn Express

      Del’s Lemonade

    1. No, we rarely cancel the event. Only heavy sustained rain storms and hurricanes have forced us to cancel. We’ve only cancelled 3 events in our 20 years history.

    1. Hi Chris, the dragon dance is part of the celebration we put on in conjunction with the Confucius Institute and Bryant University. That event is going to be on September 26th.

  2. I see a lot of pictures being taken during WaterFire by volunteer photographers. Where and when can I see these pictures?

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