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September 29, 2018 – Full Lighting


Saturday, September 29
Full Lighting – Sunset 6:31 pm
Sponsored by Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation
Music Program



Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation


This WaterFire lighting will light up over eighty braziers from Waterplace Park to Memorial/South Main Street Park. Lighting occurs shortly after sunset and the event will continue until 11:00 p.m. For this lighting, only half of the braziers in the Waterplace Park Basin (along with the rest of the installation downstream from the Bridge of Stars) will be lit during the first lighting after sunset. The remaining braziers in the Basin will be lit to coincide with the Flames of Hope Torch procession’s arrival later in the night.

Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation – Flames of Hope Celebration Village in Station Park

Lighted State House at dusk to honor breast cancer survivors. Photograph by Erin Cuddigan.

Lighted State House at dusk with State Ballet of Rhode Island performers on the steps. Photograph by Erin Cuddigan.

The Illuminations of Life Torch Ceremony will begin on the Statehouse steps at sunset and the torches will arrive in Waterplace Park Basin approximately 60 minutes later. Half of the braziers in the Waterplace Park Basin will remain unlit until approximately an hour past sunset. At this time the Illumination of Life 150-person torch procession will arrive in the basin from Station Park leading into a Ring of Fire and the remaining fires will be lit.

Once a year, tens of thousands of people gather to light the way towards hope and healing for anyone touched by breast cancer. Gloria Gemma’s Flames of Hope: A Celebration of Life™ was created to honor Breast Cancer Awareness Month by turning the city of Providence PINK and sparking a movement to inspire awareness, compassion, and support. This weekend-long celebration embraces everyone who has been impacted by cancer.

8:00 am to 2:00 pm – Passport to Survivorship Expo 
Experience Your Wellness! Keynote speaker: Dr. Michael Greger MD
For details and registration please visit

3:00 pm to 12:00 am – A Celebration of Life Festival at Flames of Hope™
In Station Park, across the street from the Providence Place Mall
Visit for details.

GeneMatch at WaterFire with Butler Hospital
College Street Bridge – 5:00 – 9:00 pm

The Memory and Aging Program (MAP) at Butler Hospital, a member of Care New England and a major teaching affiliate of the Alpert Medical School of Brown University, will host a GeneMatch swab and information booth on College Street Bridge. In partnership with the Global Alzheimer’s Platform Foundation, the purple-clad MAP Swab Squad will be offering free genetic testing and answering questions about Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and the research being done at Butler Hospital.

Stephen Salloway, MD, director of MAP and Martin M. Zucker Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Brown University states, “We need to engage the public in a major way and encourage them to participate in research to help move the field forward.  GeneMatch could be a game-changer for Alzheimer’s research. We’re excited to be partnering with Waterfire Providence to offer the chance to swab as many Rhode Islanders as possible and spread the message of hope about research.”
To participate in GeneMatch individuals must be 55 to 75 years old, live in the United States, and not have a diagnosis of cognitive impairment, such as mild cognitive impairment (MCI), Alzheimer’s disease, or dementia. Participants should not have anything to eat and only drink water for one full hour prior to swabbing. The swab kits collected at Waterfire will be mailed for processing by MAP team, and the person’s name will be added to a registry of potential research participants.

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

The Steeple Street Unplugged Stage returns with another night of live local music during WaterFire.  Brian McKenzie is a versatile singer-songwriter, guitarist, producer, and musician whose music has been described as heartfelt truths, intertwined with emotional musicality and memorable melodies. With 3 albums under his belt, Brian continues to spread his soulful, melodic songwriting, touring nationally and performing with acts such as Toad the Wet Sprocket, The Mavericks, Tyler Farr, Phil Madeira, and The Mallett Brothers, among others. He will be playing two sets on Steeple Street between 8:30 – 9:15 pm and 9:30 – 10:15 pm.

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: 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!

Spogga is an engine of fire. Photo by Thomas Payne.

Fire dancers Spogga and Cirque De Light’s Liz Knights will be performing on the river throughout the night.

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 to make an appointment.


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.

3 thoughts on “September 29, 2018 – Full Lighting”

  1. Hi Tim,

    This was beautifully done, but not at all like ‘the bare necessities’ info sheet sent to me a two days ago. I printed my own copy and comparing it to this site, there is little the same. Shouldn’t we working the fire have the information about things people might ask about to us? This used to be pro forma, but this year, no, and so I bring my own. But I won’t copy all this.

    Thanks for doing all this~

  2. Hello all. Hello, I hope you are well. I was at Watefire on Saturday September 29, 2018. There were various tables set up for artists who were selling their works. I was wondering if anyone knows of the artists that had stands that night? One of the artist’s had an item that I’d very much like to buy for my girlfriend for Christmas. I have a picture of the item itself, but I lost the person’s business card! So I have no idea how to contact them. Any help you could provide me would be greatly appreciated. Feel free to contact me at my e-mail address:

    Thanks and be well.

    1. Hi Jesse,

      These are some of the vendors, sorry I don’t have a complete listing – The Attic Project Jewelry, Jessie Jewels, Anne Made Designs, Debs Designs, Relic, Bonnie Lee’s Creations. I hope this helps.

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