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September 22, 2018 – Full Lighting

Photograph by Jeff Meunier


Saturday, September 22nd
Full Lighting – Sunset 6:43 pm
Made possible by the generous support of Textron Charitable Trust
Music Program

WaterFire’s Salute to Rhode Island Educators
In Memorial Park starting at 4:30 p.m
In collaboration with Rhode Island Department of Education
With support from the Rhode Island Federation of Teachers and Healthcare Professionals and the National Education Association Rhode Island

Big Bang Science Fair at WaterFire
In Market Square from 3:00 – 10:00 PM
Sponsored by Brown University and CS4RI




All Full WaterFire installations light up over eighty braziers from Waterplace Park to Memorial/South Main Street Park on the below scheduled evenings. Lighting occurs shortly after sunset and the event continues until half past midnight.

WaterFire’s Salute to Rhode Island Educators
Starting at 4:30 pm in Memorial Park.

Together with the community we celebrate our successes in education across Rhode Island, showcase interesting and successful projects, and commending teachers and educators who have been recognized for excellence. WaterFire and the Rhode Island Department of Education invite everyone to Memorial Park in the afternoon for an award ceremony followed by a torch ceremony recognizing and thanking our educators.

“Big Bang Science Fair” at WaterFire
3:00 – 11:00 pm in Market Square

Sponsored by Brown University, CS4RI, USCMS Collaboration, IEEE Superconductivity, and Harvard University, with collaborating support of Bryant University, Citizens Bank, and CERN’s USCMS and USATLAS experiment.

The event celebrates the intersections between science and the arts. We invite kids and adults of all ages to participate in the free, hands-on activities and discover science in our daily lives. For one exciting day, famous scientists team up with musicians, programmers, artists, and chefs to explore the wonders of science. Do not miss Musician Micky Dolenz from the legendary band The Monkees and meet the researchers working with the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, Geneva. Check out the schedule of presentations and performances in the RISD auditorium, make sure to collect a free ticket 30 minutes before for the interactive workshops in The Lab @ Market Square and drop in at the surrounding hands-on activity tents… all for the very first time at WaterFire! We start at 3:00 pm and go until late at night.

Visit College Bound Savers on the corner of Steeple and Canal Street, which will give out informational materials about all your options to make sure that your child will enjoy a bright future. Administered by the Office of the Rhode Island General Treasurer Seth Magaziner, this tax-efficient savings program is designed to help Rhode Islanders prepare for the expense of pursuing higher education.

Also on Canal Street make sure to stop by Bryant University’s booth to learn more about it’s Graduate Studies program including their Physician’s Assistant Program. The Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies Program (MSPAS) is a 27 month program at the heart of the University’s School of Health Sciences with a mission to improve universal access to health care by graduating highly competent and confident Physician Assistants prepared to provide exceptional quality, patient-centered ethical health care in a collaborative environment. Representatives from the graduate schools, the PA Program, and the Innovative Health Care Leadership Certificate programs will be present to discuss the programs. Blood pressure checks will be available throughout the event.

The Gordon School is hosting a reception on College Street Bridge, where families, faculty, alumni and the extended Gordon community can meet up over the course of the night and celebrate the new school year together. At Gordon this year, we are thinking about the ways that we all stand up and stand out. Gordon is a passionate advocate for thoughtful, progressive education, both in Rhode Island and in the national education community. Our students learn to take a stand – and to bravely stand out in a crowd – beginning at age three. We are so proud to be partnering with Waterfire, an event that stands up and stands out like Gordon does, inspiring conversations worldwide while staying true to its Providence roots. -Dr. Noni Thomas López, Head of School

In honor of Classical High School’s 175th anniversary, Classical High School will be hosting an Alumni check-in area and information center, near College Street Bridge, where visitors can get information and a purple glow necklace to show Classical High School pride.

WaterFire Walking Tour – Before the Fires are Lit!

Nonprofit management intern Sarah Hodgens speaks with guests during the walking tour at our June 30th event. Photograph by Noah Tavares.

Take a walking tour with one of our knowledgeable staff and volunteers to get an inside look into the history, theory of design and management of WaterFire. Get the inside story of WaterFire with two exciting walking tours that begin at 2:00 and 4:30 p.m. This reservation-only tour allows those who want to learn the ins, outs, and background of the magic of WaterFire. For a donation of $10 registrants will walk the length of the canal with a tour guide and land at the basin just in time for lighting.

This weekend’s tours are SOLD OUT, please see our list of upcoming WaterFire Walking Tours for more dates.

The WaterFire Arts Festival Plaza

The WaterFire Arts Festival Plaza on Washington Street. Photo by Jennifer Bedford.

The WaterFire Arts Festival Plaza, in partnership with Bryce Studio, returns to Washington Street and Steeple Street for the 2018 WaterFire Providence season. The Arts Festival Plaza and will be active from 6:00 – 11:00 p.m. This outdoor artisan fair will showcase some of the great artwork created in Rhode Island in mediums such as glass, photography, sculpture, jewelry and more. The WaterFire Arts Festival Plaza will offer visitors the opportunity to purchase artwork by Rhode Island-based artists.

Visit the WaterFire Marketplace on Canal Street and help light up Providence. Support WaterFire with a donation or a purchase of locally designed apparel, glassware, books, and gifts. Pin where you are from on Map Center’s maps and watch glass blowing demonstrations by Gather Glass.

Grab a bite to eat! Visit one of our great food vendors:


Washington Street

On the River Walk between College and Washington Streets



College Street

Various Locations:

Waterplace Park Basin & Memorial Park


The Steeple Street Unplugged Stage

Steeple Street Unplugged at the June 30th, 2018 lighting with Christopher Sadlers and Steven Jobe. Photograph by Erin Cuddigan.

The Steeple Street Unplugged Stage returns with another night of live local music during WaterFire. Keith Munslow of Superchief Trio will be performing a mix of swing, blues and boogie-woogie in two sets on Steeple Street between 8:30 – 9:15 p.m. and 9:30 -10:15 p.m

David Weisner: Journeys in Visual Storytelling at the RISD ISB Gallery

August 29 – October 7th
Artist Talk: October 4, 2018, @ 6:15 pm in the ISB Gallery (55 Canal Walk, Providence, RI 02903)
RISD Weekend Talk: October 6, 2018, @ Metcalf Auditorium, Chace Center in the RISD Museum | Time TBA
Open late for WaterFire on 8/8, 8/22, & 8/29.

The ISB Gallery is a non-profit exhibition space that celebrates figurative art and illustration. Curated and underwritten by the Rhode Island School of Design, the gallery highlights professional artists from early June through RISD Weekend on Columbus Day. During school semesters, the gallery hosts a mix of student or curriculum related exhibitions. 

Housed in the Illustration Studies Building at 55 Canal Walk in the heart of downtown Providence, ISB Gallery is open Wednesday through Saturday 12-5, and late for WaterFire events throughout the summer.  For more information email: [email protected] or visit

Visit Starry, Starry Night

Starry, Starry Night. Photograph by Erin Cuddigan.
Starry, Starry Night. Photograph by Erin Cuddigan.

The Starry, Starry Night Installation will shine brightly in Memorial Park. Join thousands of WaterFire visitors in Memorial Park where the public is encouraged to add their own light to the night. For a small donation to WaterFire, make a wish upon a star or make dedication with a luminaria candle lantern in the park. The park will be aglow with hanging blue stars and a constellation of twinkling luminaria candle lanterns below.

WaterFire’s favorite characters are back!

Liz Knights performing at WaterFire Providence, photo by John Nickerson,
Liz Knights performing at WaterFire photograph by John Nickerson,

Fire dancers from Cirque De Light will be performing on the river throughout the night.

Michael Grando
Mime artist Michael Grando

Mime artist Michael Grando will return again for this event. Be sure to catch Michael, in costume as the Commedia dell’arte character Pierrot, as he cruises the river tossing carnations to visitors along the shore.

Andrew Anselmo

Origami Master Andrew Anselmo will delight crowds of all ages near the RISD auditorium.

Sidewalk Astronomy, photograph by Scott MacNeil.

Sidewalk Astronomy will offer visitors the opportunity to learn about the stars and planets in the sky. Stop by their learning lab on the riverwalk near College Street.

Charge up with National Grid

Photo by Tom Lincoln

Make sure you can capture the magic of WaterFire all evening long by visiting National Grid charging stations on College Street and Steeple Street to recharge your smartphone and other mobile devices during the lighting.

Step back through history at the Governor Stephen Hopkins House

Governor Stephen Hopkins HouseMake time to see The Governor Stephen Hopkins House located at 15 Hopkins Street (off Benefit Street). They are open for tours: Wednesdays from 11:00 2:00 p.m. and April through November on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. & until 10:00 p.m., when they fall on a full WaterFire lighting (the last tour begins at 9:30 p.m.).

Admission is free, but donations are gratefully accepted.

The museum is also open by appointment, for which there may be a modest admission charge. Please email [email protected] to make an appointment.


About the author

I've worked at WaterFire Providence since 2003. For the first 9 years of my career, I worked in the Production Shop learning all of the details that go into the physical production of the event. In 2012 transitioned to the role of managing WaterFire's social media and web presence. I now head up WaterFire Providence's digital projects including, web, social, databases, and our physical IT infrastructure.

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