The Wonder of WaterFire in Providence, Rhode Island

  • What is WaterFire?

    What is WaterFire? - WaterFire Images
    ••• WaterFire Pictures from the 2010 15th Anniversary Season in Providence, RI What exactly is WaterFire? This "sculpture" is a series of 80 bonfires along the Woonasquatucket and Moshassuck Rivers, which run through the heart of Providence, Rhode Island. The fires are lit on select summer and fall evenings. © 2010 Kim Knox Beckius

    Check the WaterFire schedule, and don't miss one of New England's most spectacular free events, held on select dates in Rhode Island's capital city: Providence.

    the award-winning sculpture by Barnaby Evans presented on the rivers of downtown Providence, RI. It was first created by Evans in 1994 to celebrate the tenth anniversary of First Night Providence, and has since become an annual public art phenomenon.

    WaterFire is simultaneously a free public art installation, a performance work, an urban festival, a civic ritual, and a spiritual communal ceremony, well known nationally and internationally as a community arts event. WaterFire’s symbolism and interpretation is both inclusive and expansive - reflecting the recognition that individuals must act together to strengthen and preserve their community.[1]

    On WaterFire evenings, downtown Providence is transformed by eighty six anchored burning braziers (each with approximately 33 pieces of wood) that float just above the surface of the rivers that flow through Waterplace Park(the Woonasquatucket river) and the middle of downtown Providence (the Moshassuck and Providence rivers). The public is invited to come and walk the riverfront and enjoy the beauty of the flickering firelight, the fragrant scent of aromatic wood smoke, the changing silhouettes of the volunteer firetenders, and the music from around the world. Average attendance is 40,000 a night,[2] ranging from 10,000 to 100,000. WaterFire is presented for free, with only ten percent of the funds needed to host WaterFire acquired through governmental means and the remainder coming from private and corporate donations.