WaterFire Providence Returns for the 2021 Season

Starting September 4, WaterFire Providence’s full and partial lightings will resume, celebrating a variety of people and anniversaries.
2018 8 25 Waterfire Lighting Photograph By Matthew Huang

Check out the schedule for upcoming lighting events for this year’s WaterFire Providence season. Photo by Matthew Huang.

The world-class art experience of WaterFire Providence is back for the 2021 season. Due to the pandemic, 2020 was the first year without any lightings from WaterFire Providence since it started 25 years ago, but starting on Saturday, September 4, the season will open with a full lighting during Labor Day Weekend, thanking COVID-19 heroes, especially essential workers.

“We couldn’t be happier, or more excited, about getting back downtown and on the river to make the magic of WaterFire happen,” says Peter A. Mello, WaterFire Providence’s managing director and co-CEO. “In addition to the state of Rhode Island and the city of Providence, we are grateful that many other businesses and organizations have stepped up to make the 2021 season possible.”

Overall, the season includes four full lightings and five partial lightings for different celebrations, including WaterFire’s twenty-fifth birthday celebration and a BIPOC arts, technology and business night in October; the ninth annual salute to veterans in November; and a celebration of the holidays in December.

“We are all tremendously grateful for the outpouring of public support for WaterFire from the entire community and our many hospitality partners,” says WaterFire Providence’s executive artistic director Barnaby Evans. “As an entirely admission-free event, WaterFire continues to be hard hit by the challenges of the COVID crisis, and with the community’s ongoing support, we pledge to be here to literally keep the home fires burning.”


The 2021 WaterFire Season Schedule includes:

September 4 – Thanking COVID heroes including essential workers (full lighting)

September 9 – Supported by Pannone Lopes Devereaux and O’Gara LLC, celebrating their fifteenth anniversary (partial lighting)

September 18 – Celebrating educational excellence in Rhode Island with RI Department of Education (partial lighting)

September 24 – Supported by University of Rhode Island URI Foundation and Alumni Engagement (partial lighting)

October 2 – “Then. Now. Next: Fifty Years of Women at Providence College,” supported by Providence College (full lighting)

October 16 – Supported by BIPOC arts, technology and business and Brown University (full lighting)

October 27 – WaterFire’s twenty-fifth birthday celebration, supported by the RI Manufacturers Association (partial lighting)

November 6 – Ninth annual WaterFire salute to veterans (full lighting)

December 4 – WaterFire celebrates the holidays (partial lighting)


WaterFire Providence, 4 North Main St., Providence, 401-273-1155, waterfire.org.



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