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2024 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.

Keep an eye out for our 2024 WaterFire Season Schedule to be announced in April! 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
WaterFire Day – Season Schedule Announcement
Celebrate by Dining Out in Providence

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.

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

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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.

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 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 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.

8 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.

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