Waterfire Providence Providence Nightlife Providence River

As night falls, the city of Providence lights up as the river through Rhode Island’s capital city glows with something we call WaterFire. Only someone who has witnessed WaterFire in person can truly describe the sights, sounds, and emotions that it provides. Romantic, inspiring, and artistic are just a few of the words that best describe the feelings evoked at WaterFire. As people gather around the river banks, fire stokers in boats set fire to braziers in the middle of the river. Soon the river is aglow with the crackling sounds of a hundred bonfires and the scent of aromatic wood burning through the night air. 

WaterFire takes place on several different nights during the summer in Providence and some years on New Year’s Eve. Originally created by local artist Barnaby Evans in 1994, WaterFire is funded by a non-profit group and attracts thousands of visitors to Providence not only for the beauty of the floating fires in the river currents but for the art that takes place around them. ‘Riverwalk’, a winding walkway that lines the banks of the river and it is filled with local artists, musicians, and performers showcasing their talents throughout the evening. 

While donations are encouraged, WaterFire is a free event that is sponsored by local businesses to showcase the city of Providence and its beautiful sites. WaterFire and ‘Riverwalk’ are strategically set in the middle of the gorgeous Providence skyline with awe-inspiring sites like Venetian style bridges, historic buildings, and artistic sculptures. The night is filled with sights and sounds for everyone to enjoy. 

Couples, young and old, walk hand-in-hand along the river, and families gather together at ‘WaterPlace Park’ for an evening of outdoor entertainment, away from the television and computer. Visitors can also make the night complete as WaterFire is conveniently located within walking distance of many of Providence’s most renowned restaurants. It is also a short walk to the convention center, the outdoor skating rink, and the ‘Dunkin Donuts Center’ which is home to a professional hockey team, many different family events and concerts all year round. 

Unfortunately because of the expenses involved in WaterFire, it doesn’t take place every night. A schedule is created each year, so be sure to check their website and plan your trip around a night that features the magic of WaterFire in downtown Providence. It really is something you should experience in person.