WaterFire is an amazing experience that embraces all of Providence, RI, as well as all of the senses. Guests come to relax, enjoy themselves, and discover a fascinating new city experience in a remarkable modern city. While the event is presented at no costs to those who come to see it, donations are accepted to help keep its fires burning. The event is a celebration of beauty and community, with continuously changing, eclectic music along the city's rivers. WaterFire is an experience designed to be explored and enjoyed on foot, so it's recommended that guests wander around in order to discover the event's many surprises.
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The WaterFire event can often become quite crowded, particularly during peak times right before and after the lighting. It's strongly advised that those wanting to experience the event keep this in mind when planning their trip, and try to arrive early in order to get a good spot in the parks or along the riverfront. The lighting of the experience usually happens in Waterplace Basin, about fifteen minutes after the sun sets. However, guests are encouraged to look at the schedule for the event for specific details on the lighting they want to attend.
The signature event of Providence, WaterFire is an award-winning sculpture installation of fire along the three rivers of the city's downtown area. The installation was created by Barnaby Evans, a local artist, and has become a must-see attraction for visitors. It is centered around a string of almost one hundred bonfires blazing just above the water's surface. The series of fires illuminate almost two-thirds of a mile of downtown Providence's parks and urban public spaces. Both visitors and residents alike gather to explore WaterFire along the rivers, watching performances, and listening to music. Performers dressed all in black tend to the flames from sunset until midnight, as boats quietly pass by the fires.
WaterFire is held from May until November, usually about twice a month on Saturday evenings. The event is an experience that completely surrounds its viewers and has an impact on all five senses. The amazing music from across the globe, torch-lit boats carrying performers along the river, the silhouettes of those tending the fires, the flickering firelight on arched bridges, the crackling flames, and the smell of blazing pine and cedar all engage the senses and bring about emotions from the numerous viewers strolling along the rivers. As the event is free to the public, everyone is welcome to attned the WaterFire experience.
Since the WaterFire experience begins around sunset, many viewers may be thinking about enjoying a meal at a restaurant along the route of the event. Jacky's Waterplace, Hemenway's, The Capital Grille, and Café Nuovo all feature excellent views of the river. Guests wanting to eat at one of these restaurants should be make sure to reserve a table at least a week before the event, as tables with river views fill up very quickly during the presentation of WaterFire. There are also several other great restaurants within walking distance just off the route of the event.
100 Canal Walk, Providence, Rhode Island, Phone: 401-273-1155