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September 24th, 2016 – Full Lighting

Sponsored by the Confucius Institute & US-China Institute at Bryant University and Nortek


Confucius Institute and US-China Institute at Bryant University



Nortek, Inc.


Saturday, September 24th, 2016


Sunset: 6:38 p.m.
Lighting time:  6:53 p.m.
The fires will remain lit until 12:30 a.m.
Music Program



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



Visiting from out of town? Check out our Plan Your Trip to Providence guide, it’s jam packed with info about parking, public transport, restaurants, hotels, and more.


Before the lighting: The 7th Annual Big Drum Powwow


Daryl Black Eagle Jamieson of the Pocasset Pokanoket Tribe and Raymond Two Hawks Watson welcome you to the Big Drum Powwow featuring The Eastern Host Drums, The Eastern Medicine Singers, and The Mountain Spirit Singers presenting American native music, singing, drumming, dancing, food, and crafts. Saturday and Sunday at Roger Williams National Memorial from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Things to see:

Chinese Culture Night at WaterFire

Chinese Dragon performance on the Waterplace Basin Stage. Photo by Jeffrey Stolzberg.

Chinese Dragon performance on the Waterplace Basin Stage. Photo by Jeffrey Stolzberg.

Chinese Culture Night at WaterFire is hosted in celebration of the 10 Year Anniversary of the Confucius Institute at Bryant University. In partnership with WaterFire, Bryant University has had the honor of hosting the International Confucius Institute Day celebrations for native Rhode Islanders, members of the Rhode Island Chinese community, and visitors from surrounding states. These past ten years have solidified our commitment to promoting diversity and nurturing a more global perspective at Bryant University and the greater community. The program will include an array of traditional Chinese music, dance, and cultural performances at the Basin Stage from our partner Chinese University of Geosciences (Wuhan), a full Basin Stage Lighting with WaterFire Providence lead by the highly anticipated dragon dance team, and a series of Chinese cultural tents on Steeple Street.” Kun Xie, Assistant Director for Confucius Institute at Bryant University.

The US-China Institute and Confucius Institute will be sharing Chinese Culture all evening long:

6:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
WaterFire guests are encouraged to visit Steeple Street to learn about all of the incredible facets of Chinese Culture abroad and right here in New England. The display tents will feature hands-on activities for families and children, as well as some displays of Chinese cultural items.

6:00 p.m. – 6:45 p.m.
Prior to lighting The Confucius Institute will be hosting special performances highlighting Chinese culture and performance art including a Chinese Dragon Dance performance on the basin stage in Waterplace Park. The Chinese University of Geosciences Art Troupe will showcase a variety of art performances including Chinese martial arts, folk music, and traditional dances.

WaterFire Providence’s Salute to RI Educators

The Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) will be recognizing the Rhode Island Teacher of the Year as well as 70 additional distinguished Rhode Island educators at WaterFire this Saturday. The commended educators will gather to be recognized in a ceremony taking place on the Washington Street Bridge.   Education Commissioner Ken Wagner will speak as well as the Teacher of the Year. Starting at 6:40 p.m., teachers will be participating in a torch procession from the Washington Street Bridge to the basin for the lighting of WaterFire. A very special thank you to Bananagrams and Thames & Kosmos who will be supplying each of the distinguished Rhode Island Educators with game sets for their classrooms.

Innovation in Education: A Showcase of Success in Rhode Island will be located on College Street from 6:00 p.m. -10:00 p.m. WaterFire will host an inspiring display of exhibits and interactive projects showcasing a wide variety of creative and innovative approaches in education happening in RI. The organizations appearing in the showcase include, RI Treasury, RI Museum of Science and Art, and the Providence After School Alliance. The Salute to Rhode Island Educators is brought to you by Nortek.

Fusionworks  2016 Northeast Choreographers Festival Preview
Waterplace Basin Stage starting at 8:15 p.m.

Photography via Fusionworks Dance Company.

Photograph via Fusionworks Dance Company.

Fusionworks Dance Company welcomes you to a free First Look of the 2016 Northeast Choreographers Festival. Enjoy excerpts from the country’s most innovative dance makers during WaterFire’s full lighting on Saturday, Sept 24th, beginning at 8:15pm at the Basin Stage.

IALD New England: Light Night at WaterFire

Images from the 2015 IALD: New England Light Night at WaterFire.

Images from the 2015 IALD: New England Light Night at WaterFire.

The International Association of Lighting Designers New England Annual Convention is presenting two student projects, which will be the lighting of the Irish Famine Memorial installation and a Shadow Play performance near the World War I monument in Memorial Park just off of College Street.

Queen Boudicca a Metal Opera – Unplugged

Queen Boudicca

The cast of QUEEN BOUDICCA a Metal Opera, Composed by Robert E. Schlink, will perform selections from the piece using only ancient Celtic instruments such as the Warrior’s Lyre and the Carnyx War Trumpet. Performances will have from 7:00 – 10:00 p.m. at Citizens Plaza on Steeple Street and along the riverwalk Washington and College Streets (RISD campus).

QUEEN BOUDICCA a Metal Opera shares the epic struggle of a Celtic Warrior Queen to free her people from the grip of the Roman Empire… told in a radical reimagining of opera. Follow her story in this dramatic Metal Opera that marshals the forces of Metal band, Choir, Chamber orchestra, Celtic drumline, and ancient instruments to create an overwhelming wave that propels all headlong to its tragic conclusion. Performed in its entirety at RISD AUDITORIUM, Oct. 29, 2016 at 8pm. For tickets go to: .

Charge up the night with National Grid!

Visitors make use of a National Grid Courtesy Phone Charging Station. Photo by John Nickerson.

[sc name=photo-caption caption=”Visitors make use of a National Grid Courtesy Phone Charging Station. Photo by John Nickerson.” ]

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

The WaterFire Merchandise Store on Canal Street – Open 5:30 – 11:00 p.m.

WaterFire Providence volunteers at the The WaterFire Store on Canal Street, photo by Jennifer Gervais.

[sc name=photo-caption caption=”WaterFire Providence volunteers at the The WaterFire Store on Canal Street, photo by Jennifer Gervais.” ]

The WaterFire Store on Canal Street is open for business. Stop in and buy a t-shirt, hoodie, poster, magnet, pendants and much more to help support WaterFire and keep the fires burning. Also make sure to check out the Photos of WaterFire tent on Washington Street. This tent will have matted photo prints, featuring the work of our Volunteer Photographers; WaterFire Providence postcards; large format photo posters; and silkscreen prints by local artists.

The WaterFire Arts Festival Plaza
Washington Street – 6:00 – 10:30 p.m.

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

[sc name=photo-caption caption=”The WaterFire Arts Festival Plaza on Washington Street. Photo by Jennifer Bedford.” ]

Located on Washington Street in the heart of the WaterFire installation, the Arts Festival Plaza is a showcase for local artists and craftspeople. From photography and sculpture, paintings and hand-crafted ceramics, to jewelry and specialty textiles, the WaterFire Arts Festival Plaza features a wide range of locally crafted artisan wares to exhibit for sale to WaterFire’s visitors.

Featuring: New Moon Ceramics, Greg Stones, Stella Marie Soap CompanyRiker Art GlassBlack Sheep DesignsAnne Made DesignsWrist Candy, Chelsea Biggs, George Thomas, Kim V GlassRI Artisan Birdhouse.

Little Bitte Artisanal Cocktails – Cocktail Garden Under the Willows
Waterplace Basin 7:00 to 11:00 p.m.

Little Bitte Artisanal Cocktails. Photography by Drew Christhilf.

Little Bitte Artisanal Cocktails. Photography by Drew Christhilf.

Featuring drinks from Little Bitte Artisanal Cocktails.   Located just upstream of  Waterplace Basin in the heart of the downtown river park, under the willow trees at the foot of the IGT building.  Forty five tables, specially made by WaterFire will mount on the river railing overlooking the double row of bonfires for your dining pleasure.

Catch your favorite WaterFire performers:

Andrew Lindsay lights the braziers on the Wall in Memorial Park. Photograph by Shaun Martins-Torres.

Andrew Lindsay lights the braziers on the Wall in Memorial Park. Photograph by Shaun Martins-Torres.

Cirque de Light fire dancers Andrew Lindsay and Liz Knights will dazzle the crowds during several performances throughout the evening at the confluence, on boats, and on the wall of braziers near Memorial Park.

One of Ten31 Production's gargoyle characters at WaterFire Providence. Photo by John Nickerson.

[sc name=photo-caption caption=”One of Ten31 Production’s gargoyle characters at WaterFire Providence. Photo by John Nickerson.” ]

Visit the living statues in Memorial Park at the World War I monument. Ten31 Productions returns with their interactive living statues and gargoyles in Memorial Park shortly after lighting.

Andrew Anselmo

[sc name=photo-caption caption=”Photo by Thomas Payne.” ]

Origami Master Andrew Anselmo – 7:00 – 10:30 p.m. in Market Square. A delight for young and old alike. See Andrew make paper come alive in Market Square, outside of the RISD auditorium.

Historical Tours

Make time to see The Governor Stephen Hopkins House located at 15 Hopkins Street (off Benefit Street) and open for tours between 10:00 a.m. to 10:0 p.m., the last tour begins at 9:30 p.m. Admission is free, donations are always welcome. As part of the Chinese Culture Night celebrations there will one tour,  at 7:00 p.m., of the Stephen Hopkins House hosted in Mandarin.

The Nursing Placement First Aid Station on Washington Street – 6:00pm – 11:00pm

Providing a safe environment for our visitors while they are enjoying WaterFire Providence is a top priority for us. Should you need assistance a first aid station is available at the top of Washington Street behind the Arts Festival Plaza.

The Nursing Placement Mobile First Aid Station

Nursing Placement the official first aid provider at WaterFire events will offer first aid care to the public at any time during the event. Additionally, the venue will serve as a meeting place for missing children and parents to reunite. The First Aid RV will be located on Washington Street and can be found on all WaterFire event maps. Nursing Placement will also be taking applications for new team members to help serve the RI population.

About the author

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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.

4 thoughts on “September 24th, 2016 – Full Lighting”

  1. My wife and me have been coming to Warerfire for many years and sincerely enjoy each and every one. We do miss seeing more musical performances throughout the ‘city streets’.

    We are very appreciative for the efforts put forth by all of the volunteers. Well done all!!!

  2. Hi! I’m bringing my daughter to a Summer Program at Brown University this July and would love to know what exactly Waterfire is…an Arts Festival I’m assuming? It looks very fun! Is there anything going on the weekend of July 7?

    1. Hi Lori, WaterFire is a sculpture created by the Providence based artist Barnaby Evans. WaterFire Providence is the arts organization that has evolved from the initial installation of the WaterFire artwork in the rivers of Providence in 1994. You can find more info here: and here:

      We expect to have our full schedule of 2017 events posted by the end of the month.

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