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waterfire providence by Adnan Islam

Blazing Rivers

The unofficial kickoff to summer is upon us, and many fantastic activities are available to enjoy.  An often-recommended idea to consider is WaterFire in Providence, Rhode Island.  If you have never seen this dazzling display, it’s almost certainly worth a visit.

What is WaterFire?

It’s an imaginatively inspired sculpture arranged on the three rivers in downtown Providence.  Actually, over eighty wood-scented, crackling bonfires fashion an ingeniously mesmerizing exhibit.

People line up early for great viewing as torchbearers carefully ignite the floating wonders.  Flickering flames along the romantic arched bridges and winding river pathways add to the enchanting experience.  Likewise, lively revelry such as artistic presentations, gondola rides, multicultural food offerings, musical performers from far and wide, and tempting brasseries grace the periphery of the glowing waters to ensure a delight time (if you do decide to dine at one of the popular eateries, be sure to make a restaurant reservation in advance).

Barnaby Evans, a Brown University graduate, multi-talented artist, and architect of award-winning WaterFire, created FirstFire in 1994 to commemorate the tenth anniversary of First Night Providence.  The evening was a considerable success, and since 1996, FirstFire has become known as WaterFire.  In fact, thousands of people from all around come to Providence each year to check out the captivating scene.  Notably, WaterFire has even attracted international appeal, and a variety of versions now take place in locations around the world.

Okay, so when will the magnetic event be held?  Here are the 2016 dates going forward.

  • Saturday, May 28.  Full lighting—Sunset: 8:11 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 18.  Full lighting—Sunset: 8:24 p.m.  (Historic tours will be on hand throughout the day).
  • Saturday, July 9.  Full lighting—Sunset 8:22 p.m.
  • Saturday, July 23.  Full lighting—Sunset 8:12 p.m.
  • Saturday, August 6.  Full lighting—Sunset 7:59 p.m.
  • Saturday, August 20.  Full lighting—Sunset 7:37 p.m.
  • Saturday, September 24.  Full lighting—Sunset 6:38 p.m.
  • Saturday, October 1.  Full lighting—Sunset 6:26 p.m.
  • Saturday, November 5.  Full lighting 5:34 p.m. (Salute to Veterans Event).

WaterFire is a one-of-a-kind tour de force.  It’s magical, community-driven, free, and has offerings to please just about every age category.  A bonus?  Getting there from Worcester takes under an hour.

For complete details, go to http://waterfire.org/

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