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2024 WaterFire Providence Event Schedule

Photograph by Michael Hayes
Photograph by Michael Hayes

Thank you to our 2024 WaterFire Season Supporters for helping to keep the fires burning.

The 2024 WaterFire season currently includes six (6) full lightings and two (2) partial lightings. The 2024 WaterFire Season will kick off with a wall lighting in Memorial Park in coordination with the scheduled release with the first full lighting to follow on Saturday, June 1st. Community favorite events including, honoring Rhode Island Educators, Breast Cancer Survivors, and Rhode Island Veterans will return in 2024 and bring our friends and neighbors together to learn from and celebrate with each other. Additional lightings may be added to the schedule as funding becomes available.

Want to learn more about our 2024 season and what we’ve got planned? Send us a text: (401) 399-4460. You can also stay up-to-date by following us on social media on Instagram: @WaterFireProv and @WaterFireArtsCenter and Facebook: WaterFire Providence and WaterFire Arts Center.

2024 WaterFire Season Schedule

Thursday, April 18
Partial Lighting, Memorial Park
Sunset (7:30 pm) – 9:30 pm
WaterFire Day – Season Schedule Announcement
Celebrate by Dining Out in Providence

Saturday, May 11
Partial Lighting in Waterplace Basin
Sunset (7:55 pm) – 10:00 pm
Onshore programming and vendors open at 6:30 pm
Supported by Governor’s Office, Always Learning Rhode Island, National Governors Association, Rhode Island Department of Education in celebration of Learn365RI

Saturday, June 1
Full Lighting
Sunset (8:14 pm) – 11:00 pm
Onshore programming and vendors open at 6:30 pm
Music Program

Thursday, July 4*
Full Lighting
Sunset (8:24 pm) – 11:00 pm
Onshore programming and vendors open at 6:30 pm

Tuesday, July 30
Partial Lighting in Waterplace Basin
Sunset (8:05 pm) – 10:00 pm
Supported by American Association for State Compensation Insurance Fund (AASCIF) Annual Conference

Saturday, August 31
Full Lighting
Sunset (7:07 pm) – 11:00 pm
Onshore programming and vendors open at 6:00 pm

Saturday, September 21
Full Lighting
Sunset (6:43 pm) – 11:00 pm
Onshore programming and vendors open at 5:30 pm

Saturday, October 5
Full Lighting
Sunset (6:19 pm)- 10:00 pm 
Onshore programming and vendors open at 5:00 pm

Saturday, November 2
Full Lighting
Sunset (5:38 pm) – 10:00 pm
Onshore programming and vendors open at 4:30 pm

* There will be limited vendors and other onshore programming at our July 4 lighting as it is taking place on a weekday. There will also be no Brazier Society Reception on July 4.

Your support of WaterFire Providence 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.

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

Learn more:

Upcoming Starts at Sunset Events

A Community Gathering on the Michael S. Van Leesten Memorial Pedestrian Bridge on June 20, July 25, and September 12

Starts At Sunset is a community gathering on the Michael S. Van Leesten Memorial Pedestrian Bridge supported by the Providence Tourism Council (PTC). 

Celebrate at WaterFire

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

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2024 WaterFire Lightings At A Glance

Thanks to our 2024 WaterFire Season Supporters

State of Rhode Island, Governor Daniel J. McKee; Rhode Island Commerce; The City of Providence, Mayor Brett Smiley; The Providence City Council; The Rhode Island General Assembly; Representative Scott A. Slater; Providence Tourism Council; Rhode Island State Council of the Arts; Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau; Always Learning Rhode Island in celebration of Learn365RI; American Association of State Compensation Insurance Funds; Amica Insurance; Rhode Island School of Design; Bank of America; General Dynamics Electric Boat; Blueforge Alliance; Bank Newport; IGT; Red Bull; Cox Business; Dunkin’; Fidelity Investments; Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation; Manchester Street Station; Day of Portugal; igus; Rhode Island Department of Education; RI Energy; Textron Charitable Trust; Cox Media; Cumulus Media; iHeartMedia, Inc.; Rhode Island Monthly; The Providence Journal; WPRI 12 & FOX Providence & The Rhode Show; JP Morgan Chase & Co.; AJT Supplies; Cirque De Light; Escape Rhode Island; Fire Works Catering; Gooseneck Vineyards; McLaughlin & Moran; Ocean State Rental; R1 Indoor Karting Entertainment Center; Stanley Tree Service, Inc; and United Site Services Northeast.

WaterFire Lighting Lingo Explained

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 vendors, 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 Memorial 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 Partial Lightings of WaterFire do not include onshore programming or food vendors unless otherwise noted.

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

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.

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.

Fire marshal regulations do not permit folding chairs to be set up on any of the riverwalks to ensure 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.

32 thoughts on “2024 WaterFire Providence Event Schedule”

  1. I am trying to plan a trip to Providence this spring. Is there a date for a “main event” for Water/Fire? I want to optimize the experience for myself and my friends. I first heard about Water/Fire Providence RI from YANKEE on PBS and new I right away I had to see it in person!

    1. Hi Jenda, depends on when in the Spring you plan to visit. We’re planning to a few smaller events in April and May with our first Full Lighting of the season on June 1 (RISD Commencement). At this time we do not have any event dates fully confirmed. Thank you for your support and patience.

    1. Hi Abby,

      Good question. The short answer is “it depends.”

      The longer answer is that most of the time our event schedule is determined by factors that we don’t totally control. Each year we start our season schedule by first looking at tide charts and identifying all of the “good” dates for a WaterFire lighting. Due to the tidal nature of the Providence river we need high tides between certain levels to accommodate our fire tending boats, both to set up the event and then light/feed the fires from sunset until the end of the event. We then take that list of good dates and working with sponsors and partners we identify funding sources that will pay for each event.

      So we can only produce a WaterFire lighting on a certain date if both the tides/weather and funding sources line up.

      For many years the Memorial Day weekend had been the unofficial start of WaterFire season, but in that past few years we haven’t secured funding for an event that weekend. We won’t have all of our 2024 season schedule confirmed until we announce our schedule on April 18th on WaterFire Day, but right now it does not look like we’ll be doing a lighting that weekend.

    1. Hi Glori, yes Full Lightings are typically on Saturdays. We’re likely to have one or two lightings in August.

    1. Hi Louise, the 2024 season schedule will be announce on Thursday, April 18 at WaterFire Day. You can sign up for a our newsletter or stay tuned to this space for details.

  2. Any dates for June 2024 yet? I’ll be up with my grandkids 6/4-17 and would love for them to experience it!

    1. We’re looking a doing a Basin Lighting on the 11th. It will be in partnership with the “Learn 365 RI” convention.

  3. I get your texts and I just got the 2024 schedule. How do I tell whether the kayaks will be parading, like they were in August of 2022?
    Thanks, and I hope you have a wonderful season.
    Kate

    1. We’ll be announcing the date of our Clear Currents Community Paddling night later this spring. Stay tuned (we’re working to secure funding to announce additional lighting dates).

  4. WaterFire 2025 Schedule???
    Hello,

    I would like to plan a trip for a group of approx.. 20 – 30 people to go to WaterFire 2025.
    Is there any information on the dates for WaterFire in 2025 yet?
    If not when would the dates be available?
    Where should I look for the 2025 dates?

    Thank you for your time.

    1. Hi Elaine, at this point you’re going to need a time machine to locate the 2025 season schedule. Typically each season schedule is not published until the spring of the year in question. You can follow up with Kristina McKenzie in our operations department, they may have some “good tide” dates in 2025 on which we’d potentially schedule lightings, but fair warning that any of those date would be hypothetical right now.

  5. Hello-
    I was wondering if you can see the fireworks on July 4th from WaterFire? I want to do a boat tour at 8:25pm and would also like to see the fireworks.

    Thanks,
    Grismaldy

    1. The City of Providence’s fireworks display will be on July 2nd. So at this time there will no fireworks during the WaterFire lighting on July 4th.

  6. What exactly is a “partial lighting” ??? Do you not get the full experience ? Is there food/drinks etc?? We have never been and don’t know if it’s worth going with partial lighting so trying to find out what that means. Thank you

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