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2023 WaterFire Providence Event Schedule

WaterFire visitors are bathed in the warm glow of the fires. Photograph by Jen Bonin.
WaterFire visitors are bathed in the warm glow of the fires. Photograph by Jen Bonin.

Thank you to our 2023 WaterFire Season Supporters for helping to keep the fires burning.

Join us for the next WaterFire lighting:

2023 WaterFire Season Schedule

Saturday, April 1
Partial lighting, Memorial Park
401Gives Celebration
Supported by United Way of Rhode Island
WaterFire Lighting: Sunset (7:10 pm) – 9:30 pm

Wednesday, April 19
Partial lighting, Memorial Park
Strike the Match Season Kick-off &
WaterFire Day #SparkYourAppetite Fundraiser
WaterFire Lighting: Sunset (7:30 pm) – 9:30 pm

Saturday, June 3
Supported by the Rhode Island School of Design
Full Lighting
Food, artist vendors, and other activations are open at 6:30 pm
WaterFire Lighting: Sunset ( 8:15 pm ) – Midnight
Music Program

Sunday, June 18
Partial Lighting, Waterplace Basin

Sunset (8:23 pm) – 10:00 pm

Saturday, June 24
Supported by Textron Charitable Trust
Full Lighting
Food, artist vendors, and other activations are open at 6:30 pm
WaterFire Lighting: Sunset ( 8:24 pm ) – Midnight
Music Program

July 8, 2023
Supported by Dunkin’
Full Lighting
Food, artist vendors, and other activations are open at 6:30 p.m.
WaterFire Lighting: Sunset (8:22 pm) – Midnight
Music Program

Friday, July 14
Supported by Check the Stigma Hockey Classic to benefit Horizon Healthcare Partners
Partial Lighting, Waterplace Basin
Food vendors and resource fair programming will open at 7:00 pm
WaterFire Lighting: Sunset ( 8:19 pm ) – 10:30 pm

Saturday, July 22
Supported by Amica & Bank of America
Full Lighting
Onshore Programs & Vendors Open at 6:30 pm
WaterFire Lighting: Sunset ( 8:13 pm ) – Midnight
Music Program

Saturday, August 19
Supported by Cox Business & Cox Media
Clear Currents Fire Community Paddling Night
Full Lighting
Artist & Food Vendors Open at 6:30 pm
Capoeira Performances in Waterplace Park Start At 4:00 pm
WaterFire Lighting: Sunset ( 7:40 pm ) – Midnight
Music Program

Saturday, September 2
Supported by the Providence Tourism Council
Labor Day Weekend
Partial Lighting, Waterplace Park to Steeple Street
Onshore Programs & Vendors Open at 6:00 pm
WaterFire Lighting: Sunset ( 7:17 pm ) – 11:00 pm

Saturday, September 9
Supported by Providence Tourism Council and Fidelity Investments in collaboration with PVDFest, & FirstWorks
Full Lighting, PVDFest X WaterFire
Onshore Programs & Vendors Open at 5:30 pm
WaterFire Lighting: Sunset ( 7:05 pm ) – Midnight
Music Program

Saturday, September 30
Supported by Rhode Island Department of Education, XQ Institute, Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation, & Parsons Capital Management 
Full Lighting – WaterFire Lighting: Sunset ( 6:29 pm ) – 11:00 pm
Teacher of the Year awards ceremony will be held in Memorial Park from 2:30-7:00 pm
Art & Food Vendors Open at 5:30 pm 
Illuminations of Life torch procession into Waterplace Park Park at 6:30 pm
Music Program

Saturday, October 14
Supported by Brown University
Full Lighting
Onshore Programs and Vendors Open at 5:00 pm
WaterFire Lighting: Sunset (6:06 pm) – 11:00 pm
Music Program

Saturday, November 4
Supported by Rhode Island Energy & Manchester Street Station
Full Lighting, WaterFire’s Salute to Veterans
Salute to Veterans Ceremony and Military Band performances start at 4:30 on the Waterplace Park Stage
Onshore Programs & Vendors Open at 4:30 pm
WaterFire Lighting: Sunset ( 5:36 pm ) – 10:00 pm
Music Program

Saturday, December 2
WaterFire’s Holiday Lighting

Supported by Rhode Island Commerce with additional support from The City of Providence Department of Art, Culture and Tourism
Part of GoProvidence’s Three Nights of Lights Event Series
Partial lighting, Waterplace Park
5:30 – 9:00 pm

Friday, December 8
A Lighting for the 2023 Army-Navy Game
Supported by General Dynamics Electric Boat with additional support by BuildSubmarines.com and the site’s owners, BlueForge Alliance
Partial Lighting, Waterplace Park
5:30 – 9:00 pm

This page is the most up-to-date event schedule resource.

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Your support of the WaterFire Future Fund is more vital now than ever!

Braziers and rose petals at WaterFire. Photograph by Armin Kososki.
Braziers and rose petals at WaterFire. Photograph by Armin Kososki.

Celebrate at WaterFire

Proposals, anniversaries, date nights. Make memories at WaterFire.

No events today. Select another day on the calendar.

Thanks to our 2023 WaterFire Season Supporters

WaterFire Providence would like to thank our 2022 WaterFire Season Supporters for their ongoing support: State of Rhode Island, Governor Daniel J. McKee; Rhode Island Commerce; The City of Providence, Mayor Brett P. Smiley; The Providence City Council; The Rhode Island General Assembly; Dunkin’; Providence Tourism Council; PVDFest & FirstWorks; Rhode Island Energy; The 28th North American Catalysis Society Meeting; BankNewport; Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation; Brown University; Cox Business; Parsons Capital Management; Check the Stigma Hockey Classic hosted Horizon Healthcare Partners; Amica; Rhode Island School of Design; Fidelity Investments; Textron Charitable Trust; Bank of America; United Way of Rhode Island; Rhode Island Department of Education; XQ Institute; Rhode Island State Council of the Arts; Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau; BuildSubmarines.com; Cox Media; Rhode Island Monthly; WPRI 12 & FOX Providence & The Rhode Show; Cumulus Media; iHeartMedia, Inc.; The Providence Journal; IGT; JP Morgan Chase & Co.; Starwood Energy Group; Gooseneck Vineyards; RI Day of Portugal; BioLife; United Site Services Northeast; Stanley Tree Service, Inc.; AJT Supplies; Fire Works Catering; McLaughlin & Moran, Inc.; Dan’s Management Company a Dunkin’ Franchisee; Let’s Roam.

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 midnight (unless otherwise noted). Full lightings include onshore programming such as performance stages, art and food vendor, and the Starry, Starry Night installation in Memorial Park.

Basin Lightings include the circle of twenty-two braziers in the Waterplace Park Basin and the eight braziers leading up to the Providence Place Mall.

Partial Lightings can include braziers in any section of the river. Examples include a Memoria Park Lighting which would include the 12 wall-mounted braziers in Memorial Park or a “Basin to Steeple Street” lighting which would include all the braziers in Waterplace Park as well as the braziers in the two downstream sections of the installations ending at the Steeple Street Bridge. Typically Basin and Partial lightings of WaterFire do not include onshore programming or food vendors unless otherwise noted.

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 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 $149 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.

Learn more:

21 thoughts on “2023 WaterFire Providence Event Schedule”

  1. I can’t believe that there is no WaterFire on Memorial Day Weekend. For almost 40 years we had our anniversary dinner at Capriccio’s and then enjoyed a stroll around WaterFire. There is always a huge crowd since it’s not only a holiday weekend but it’s also Brown Commencement Weekend.

    1. Hi Sadie,

      Times do change and WaterFire changes with the times. We’re only really able to product our large-scale “Full WaterFire” lightings when we have direct financial support for each specific date. Consequently as funding streams have changed from year to year so has our schedule. We haven’t had a Memorial Day lighting since 2018. While Brown continues to be an active supporter they are concentrating on sponsoring WaterFire events in September. WaterFire or not, a night out in Providence and dinner at Capriccio’s is guaranteed to be a good time. Hope you have nice night this year for your anniversary. Our next event and first full lighting of the season will be on June 3rd.

      All the best, Tim

  2. I can still remember my first WaterFire event, as if it was yesterday, although it was actually 1994.
    For many years I did not miss a single event, however, at 77, my attendance has been limited physically, but not spiritually.
    As long as I live, WaterFire Providence will ALWAYS hold a special place in my heart and mind.
    To each and every one associated with WaterFire Providence, Staff and Volunteers alike, God Bless all of you.
    During my career as a U.S Marine, there was no higher HONOR then having been told.
    “A Job Well Done.”
    Which each and every one of you deserve.

    Please give my highest regards to Barnaby for me, he and I go back a long way.
    I am proud to have known such an accomplished artist as Barnaby, all of these years.

    To one and all, Keep Up Your Good Works.

    Sincerely,
    Joe “Ski” Pomoranky
    Semper Fi

  3. On August 24, 2013, I was married in Providence on the same night that Waterfire had a full lighting with a theme for H.P. Lovecraft. This was an incredible night that I will never forget. Before I continue – thank you for the bottom of my heart for organizing Waterfire, it’s such a cool community event that I wish more communities took inspiration from.

    We’ve talked about returning many times, but haven’t been able to make it to Providence on a Waterfire night since (we live quite far away). As we are coming up to our ten-year anniversary I checed the schedule and noticed there doesn’t appear to be “theme nights” advertised. Are there still themes to the full lighting nights, or is this something that is determined by the financial supporters?

    1. Hi Mark, thank you for your support and congratulations on closing in on nearly 10 years of marriage. We’re delighted to have been even a small part of your big night 10 years ago. Many of the WaterFire lightings have themed signature events. The Lovecraft event(s) in 2013 were aligned an co-sponsored by the annual Lovecraft Necronomicon convention and that alignment hasn’t happened in many years. In recent years we’ve shifted to what we’re calling our #Art4Impact event series, including our annual Salute to Veterans, Flames of Hope (for Breast Cancer awareness), Celebration of Educational Excellence, and our Clear Currents Community Paddling Event (celebrating the improved healthiness of Providence’s rivers). And yes, you are correct that the themes and signature events are aligned with the programming and missions of our financial supporters. I hope this answers your question and I hope you make it back to Providence for another WaterFire.

  4. Hi, Tim, thank you so much for your response! We do hope to get back soon! I totally respect the Art4Impact approach, it’s important to show support for causes, and seeing the kind of support Providence brings is wonderful for those affected by various situations.
    A personal perspective – since Providence is also a college town, I think it would be a relatively easy win to include nights that attract a wide audience based on pop culture.

    For example:
    >Anime Night with bubble tea vendors could get support from cosplay enthusiasts and indie musical talent
    >Bollywood Night with indian street food vendors could support the huge interest in Indian cinema and music
    >70’s / 80’s / 90’s nights would bring out a lot of nostalgia from older generations and could generate signficant vendor profit with vendors selling foods popularized during each generation
    >I would love to see a Halloween-theme type of lightning in the autumn – once again that would encourage all generations to come out in costume – vendors could sell candy apples, candy, popcorn etc.

    Sorry for the ramble, I love to see these organizations supported, and I think more theme nights could offer that support if the companies supporting WaterFire were open to it. Once again, thank you for the insight Tim! We’ll be back to WaterFire soon!

    Sincerely,

    Mark

  5. Hello dear my name Malen Boba tea food truck owner . We’re interested in joint the as vendor for the next coming event or for the rest of season. Please provide me some information how to become a vendor . 401 965 3963 my email [email protected]
    Hope to hear from you soon thanks

    1. No, but we do have a holiday basin lighting planned for early December. We don’t have the exact yet. Stay tuned for details.

  6. My husband and I went to the watwrfire last year on October 20th (Friday) Our anniversary is October 21st. We wanted to go on the gondola but needed make reservations. So I did for this year. And our anniversary is on October 21st (which is on a Saturday now) but yet no waterfire. Very upset about that.

  7. We are planning an 80th birthday celebration….joining from NY and Maine. Planning to stay in Providence and would love to attend a WaterFire display in March or April 2024.

    The last time we got tickets for a family reunion, we were rained out. Would love to try again with grandkids!

    Any idea of your 2024 schedule yet? Thanks

    Susan

    1. We won’t have our 2024 dates confirmed until next year. March/April dates are a bit tough as our season typically doesn’t open until May. Stay tuned for updates.

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