Skip to content

Saturday, June 9th 2012

This page is updated continuously with new information. Please check back frequently!

Sponsored by:

Mayor Angel Taveras and the City of Providence to welcome the Netroots Nation Convention

Netroots NationWe amplify progressive voices by providing an online and in-person campus for exchanging ideas and learning how to be more effective in using technology to influence the public debate. Through our annual convention and other events, we strengthen the community, inspire action and serve as an incubator for ideas that challenge the status quo and ultimately affect change in the public sphere.

Also Sponsored in part by Amica Insurance

Amica: Auto, Home, LifeAmica Insurance enjoys partnering with WaterFire Providence, and our employees return year after year to volunteer. It is one of our favorite ways to spend a summer evening in Rhode Island. Founded in 1907, Amica is the nation’s oldest mutual insurer of automobiles. With corporate headquarters in Lincoln, Amica is a national writer of automobile, homeowners, marine and personal umbrella liability insurance. Life coverage is available through Amica Life Insurance Company, a wholly owned subsidiary. Amica is proud of its deep roots in the Ocean State and strong bonds with WaterFire Providence. Best of luck on a wonderful season!

WaterFire Providence presents The Gaspee Project
From Flash Mob to Freedom

The attack on the British customs schooner HMS Gaspee by the citizens of Providence on June 9th 1772 is acknowledged as the first act of war against the British Crown. The raid’s success and the colony’s complicit resistance to civil sanction marked the start of the American fight for independence a year and a half before the Boston Tea Party. For more history, links and schedule check out The Gaspee Project microsite.

The Twitter Story

The events of the afternoon and night of June 9th, 1772 are represented by the tweets of fourteen characters who participated in the Gaspee Affair. These tweets are based on historical record, more or less. The actual time of the events have been advanced from the 4:00 am burning of the Gaspee to have the events finish by midnight. The hashtag is#WFGaspee.

Live Performances and Discussions

WaterFire Providence is pleased to present “Revolutionary Fire” a dynamic, short play for families that is a great introduction to the characters, issues and history of the Gaspee Affair. Performances are free and will be held at 5:30 pm and 7:00 pm on Saturday, June 9th, 2012 in the Old State House located at 150 Benefit Street. The play is followed by a lively discussion of the significance and impact of this event on American History. The play was prepared by the RI Council on the Humanities as part of the RICH Legacy Series and is presented with the support of the RI Council on the Humanities.

The Passage of the Long Boats

Approximately 70 men rowed out from Providence in eight long boats at 10:00 pm on June 9th, 1772 to attack the Gaspee and fired the first shot of the Revolutionary War.  To commemorate this event, members of the Buzzards Bay Rowing Club and the Azorean Rowing Club, are passing through the fires at 10:00 pm with their whaling boats.  Whaling boats are similar to the original long-boats and we thank them for their participation.  The Pawtuxet Rangers Fife and Drum Corps will be on the Crawford Street Bridge at 10:10 pm playing as the longboats pass beneath them on their way to Namquid Point. The Pawtuxet Rangers were commissioned in 1774 to help protect the ports, ships, and shoreline of RI against the Royal Navy.

New Sabin’s Tavern Performance

One block from the original site of Sabin’s Tavern we are creating The New Sabin’s Tavern in cooperation with The Wild Colonial at the intersection of South Water Street and Power Street (250 South Water Street).  Sample period liquors and fine ales in a historic site and witness a recreation of this historic debate among the citizens of Providence.  Performances will be during the evening from 9:00pm on at the high table out front by Power Street.

WaterFire Schedule (June 9, 2012)

5:00pm – Midnight

  • The WaterFire Store at Canal & Steeple Street buy a hoodie, t-shirt, poster or local artist designed WaterFire pendant and support a great cause!

5:30 pm & 7:00 pm

  • “Revolutionary Fire” a dynamic, short play for families that is a great introduction to the characters, issues and history of the Gaspee Affair in the Old State House located at 150 Benefit Street.

8:00pm – 10:00pm

  • Spogga, the fire dancer, skillfully dances amidst the sparks spinning fire along the river.
  • Stop by to see Andrew Anselmo, The Origami Guy making paper come alive in Market Square
  • Catch Mime Artist Michael Grando portraying Pierrot (Pedrolino) from the Commedia del’arte, in his naive and everlasting quest to win the heart of a beautiful girl. He will be making his way up and down the river tossing visitors complimentary carnations which reflect the connection between life and art!

Sunset (8:19pm) – 12:30pm

Sunset (8:19pm) – 11:00pm

  • Donate today by lighting a Luminaria!
  • Make it a Starry, Starry Night by wishing upon a star and become a part of the installation!
  • World War Memorial: Be mesmerized The Gargoyles and the Oracles from Ten31 Productions
  • Special tonight! Show your support and be a part of the installation by donating and receiving a Ribbon of Light! There will be one (1) special red ribbon of light which will give you and three (3) friends a VIP boat ride through the installation.


  • Torch Ceremony and procession from the Basin Stage to the Bank of America City Center (skating rink) to open the Portuguese Heritage Festival.


  • Check out live entertainment by Jorge Ferreira and Joey Medeiros, at the Bank of America City Center and also taste some traditional Portuguese food. Visit the Day of Portugal website for more information.

9:00 pm

10:00 pm

  • Buzzards Bay Rowing Club and the Azorean Rowing Club longboats navigate through the installation

10:10 pm

  • The Pawtuxet Rangers Fife and Drum Corps on the Crawford Street Bridge

Other Events

8:00pm – 9:30pm at Roger Williams National Memorial

  • The Rhode Island Shakespeare Theatre will be preforming ‘As You Like It’ for free, all weekend, as part of the Downtown Sundown Series.

Download the Music Program!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.