2021 WaterFire Providence Event Schedule

A year without WaterFire was unimaginable.

We faced unprecedented challenges…

We are excited for the return of WaterFire to Downtown Providence later this year…

But we need your help.

Please donate to the WaterFire Relief Fund.

Stay tuned for more news and event dates.

In the meantime please check out what’s happening at the WaterFire Arts Center!

Moon over the burning river. Photograph by Armin Kososki.

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2021 Season Schedule

WaterFire will return to the rivers of Providence later this year. We are working with state and city leaders and public health experts to ensure that when we return our events will be totally safe. We also need financial support to get our event production team back up to speed. You can help to ensure our speedy return by supporting the WaterFire Relief Fund.

No events today. Select another day on the calendar.

All Full WaterFire lightings light up over eighty braziers from Waterplace Park to Memorial/South Main Street Park on scheduled evenings throughout the season. Lighting occurs shortly after sunset and the fires will remain lit until half-past midnight (unless otherwise noted).

Basin lightings include the circle of twenty-two braziers in the Waterplace Park Basin and the twelve braziers leading up to the Providence Place Mall. Partial lightings usually include all of the braziers from Providence Place Mall to Steeple Street.

WaterFire Providence would like to thank all of our 2020 sponsors, their ongoing support helped to light up Downtown Providence.

As support and sponsorships develop, WaterFire will announce additional lightings and programming – check back for updates here and on our Facebook page and Twitter account.

You can help us keep the fires burning by making a donation to keep the fires burning, joining the Brazier Society of WaterFire Providence, or by becoming a WaterFire Sponsor.

WaterFire Providence’s Plan Your Trip to Providence web page is the #1 resource for up-to-date details about the event, transportation, parking, hotels, restaurants, and other local attractions.

Each year WaterFire attracts nearly 1 million visitors to downtown Providence to experience art in the city. Annually, WaterFire activity creates $113 million in economic output for local businesses, generates over $9 million of tax revenue for the State of Rhode Island and supports 1,294 jobs for community residents.

Fire marshal regulations do not permit folding chairs to be set up on any of the riverwalks 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 your chairs in the car, and start exploring all that our event has to offer.

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26 thoughts on “2021 WaterFire Providence Event Schedule”

      1. are there any events scheduled for the weekend of July 10-11, 2021?
        also – do you know when the summer 2021 schedule will be released?
        Thank you so much

        1. Hi Donna,

          There is no summer schedule for 2021. We are planning to resume events in September. Due to the shutdown caused the by covid-19 pandemic we lost our production facility and had to let go of most of our production team. We are regrouping now and raising funds to return later this year. Please consider making a donation to the WaterFire Relief Fund to help us build back better. https://waterfire.org/relief

  1. Are there any events scheduled in June 2021 or do you know when a summer 2021 schedule is anticipated to be released?

    1. We are looking at having our first post-pandemic WaterFire lighting in September. There is nothing scheduled right now in June.

      1. AWESOME! I can’t wait to go in September. Your Water Fire Show is spectacular. Thank you for making this happen.

      2. Our bike club from Ohio will be in the area in September. Hoping to stop by and see the fires! I signed up for the newsletter.

        1. Tim Blankenship

          Excellent! We’re planning to resume lightings in September as long as public health conditions permit and we’re able to secure proper funding. Hopefully, the timing will work out for your bike club.

  2. Many, many years ago I was able go to a few WaterFire evenings. My favorite one that felt the most magical was an opera night where people singing opera floated along while all speakers broadcasted their music. I had chills all over my arms. I always wish I could repeat this experience. Do you ever repeat your themes? If so, I would travel the distance to be there!!

    1. Yes, we do repeat some themes over the years. We haven’t done an Opera night at WaterFire for many years, but it’s something we’d do again if we had the opportunity.

        1. Possible, but not likely. In 2020 because of the pandemic and the fact that we completely canceled our 2020 event season we had to lay off our entire production team and mothball all of our boats and equipment. We are currently seeking funding to rebuild our team and find a new shop space in which to work. We are hoping to begin prepping for an abbreviated 2021 event season starting in June. It will take us 3 months to prepare the braziers and our boats and re-installing all of the gear required to produce a WaterFire lighting. We are also still balancing public health requirements and working under pandemic conditions. We’d love to start our lightings in May like we normally do, but WaterFire isn’t something that we can turn on and off like a light switch. We’re planning to start lightings downtown in September. A late August lighting isn’t 100% impossible, but it’s not our current timeframe. Thank you for your support and understanding. If you’d like to make a donation please visit https://waterfire.org/help.

  3. Are Water Fire events generally scheduled on weekends? Or do they fall on weeknights too? I’ll be in town October 2021 for a few days and would love to attend if possible.

    1. Tim Blankenship

      Hi Cindy, our larger “Full Lighting” events are generally on Saturday nights. Smaller lightings do sometimes happen on weeknights. As we ramp events coming out of the pandemic we’re likely to have a series of smaller events. Details are still being worked out. Stay tuned for updates.

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