WaterFire Providence Announces 2023 Season Schedule on City’s First-Ever WaterFire Day

The upcoming lineup includes seven full lightings and five partial.
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Photo by Kaitlyn Murray

Yesterday evening marked a beautiful night for WaterFire Providence’s annual season schedule announcement, complete with a partial lighting and appearances by Governor Dan McKee, Providence Mayor Brett P. Smiley, House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi and City Council President Rachel Miller, at Memorial Park in Providence. WaterFire Providence also hosted #SparkYourAppetite fundraiser which encouraged attendees to explore Providence’s thriving restaurant and bar scene. The campaign featured ten locally owned eateries — including Bayberry Garden, Bellini Providence, Black Sheep, Blu Violet, Hemenway’s Restaurant, Hot Club, Moonshine Alley, Sports & Leisure, the River Social and Troop PVD — and as part of the initiative, all participating restaurants plan to donate 10 percent of last night’s proceeds to WaterFire Providence to keep the fires burning.

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Providence Mayor Brett smiley addresses the crowd at the WaterFire 2023 Press Conference. Photo by Kaitlyn Murray

But perhaps the most exciting news of the night came in the form of a new holiday designation: April 19 shall henceforth be known as WaterFire Day in the city.

“We are thrilled to announce the 2023 WaterFire season on the first-ever WaterFire Day,” says Peter A. Mello, Managing Director and Co-CEO of WaterFire Providence. “Our #Art4Impact initiative continues to highlight the intersection of art and community engagement, with WaterFire’s lightings serving as a powerful catalyst for economic growth and vibrancy in the city of Providence. This year’s season includes an exciting lineup of full and partial lightings, made possible with the support of our generous sponsors and community partners; and we invite everyone to join us throughout the season to experience the magic of WaterFire and the beauty of our city.”

While more dates and events may be added throughout the season, the current 2023 lineup includes seven full lightings and five partial lightings. The first full lighting will kick off on Saturday, June 3, and the season will culminate with WaterFire’s Salute to Veterans on Saturday, November 4. In between, other WaterFire favorites such as the Clear Currents Community Paddling Night and the Flames of Hope Celebration supported by the Gloria Gemma Foundation will return in August and September. As a new addition, WaterFire will also partner with PVDFest, the city’s annual arts and culture festival held in downtown Providence, for a full lighting on September 9.

“All of us are looking forward to welcoming the entire community back to the river as well as greeting the many thousands of new visitors who will come to Rhode Island to see WaterFire for their first time this season,” says Barnaby Evans, the creator and artistic director of WaterFire. “Your heartfelt notes and good wishes as you look forward to the new season have been much appreciated. For nearly thirty years WaterFire has filled downtown with joyous crowds, exciting art and peaceful music and our entire team is eager to see you once again in the firelight.”

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Photo by Kaitlyn Murray

Keep scrolling for the full 2023 WaterFire schedule:

Saturday, June 3: Full Lighting
Supported by Rhode Island School of Design
Sunset (8:15 p.m.) – Midnight


Sunday, June 18: Partial Lighting at the Waterplace Basin
Supported by the 28th North American Catalysis Society Meeting
Sunset (8:23 p.m.) – Midnight


Saturday, June 24: Full Lighting
Supported by Textron Charitable Trust
Sunset (8:24 p.m.) – Midnight


Friday, July 14: Partial Lighting at the Waterplace Basin
Supported by Check the Stigma Hockey Classic to benefit Horizon Healthcare Partners
Sunset (8:19 p.m.) – Midnight


Saturday, July 22: Full Lighting
Supported by Amica Insurance and Bank of America
Sunset (8:13 p.m.) – Midnight


Saturday, August 19: Full Lighting
Supported by Cox Business and Cox Media
Clear Currents Fire Community Paddling Night
Sunset (7:40 p.m.) – Midnight


Saturday, September 2: Partial Lighting
Labor Day Weekend
Sunset ( 7:17 p.m.) – Midnight


Saturday, September 9: Full Lighting
Supported by Providence Tourism Council & Fidelity Investments
Sunset (7:05 p.m.) – Midnight


Saturday, September 30: Full Lighting
Supported by Rhode Island Department of Education, XQ Institute, Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation
Sunset ( 6:29 pm ) – 11:00 pm


Saturday, November 4: Full Lighting
WaterFire’s Salute to Veterans
Sunset ( 5:36 pm ) – 10:00 pm