Initially very bizarre, but then we learned to enjoy it!
We took the train from Boston (only $10!) to explore Providence. We checked the Firewater schedule in advance. We came in the early afternoon, and we were surprised to find that the downtown area was completely dead! We couldn’t find an open bar or restaurant. Luckily, as the city began setting up for WaterFire the town came alive. There were many vendors, and a stage with salsa lessons. There were also several private functions set up (no fun for us tourists!)
So when it started, we thought the vibe was a little weird – the music was like chanting, the participants dressed in black and acting morbid rather than excited and friendly (like San Antonio Fiesta style)…it was just very dark. Not quite sure what effect they were going for. Once we ignored the attempt of darkness, we enjoyed the bonfires, the kayaks mingling between the flames with lit fish mounted, and the stars. We walked up and down the river area, which was very crowded. But the crowd was subdued, so it wasn’t a crazy, party environment (too bad!)
A beautiful idea and I think a big economic boom for downtown. Just wish there would have been more to do during the afternoon.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.