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“A Beautiful Setting Adds up to An Opportunity Wasted!”

WaterFire Providence
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: WaterFire Providence is an independent, non-profit arts organization whose mission is to inspire Providence and its visitors by revitalizing the urban experience, fostering community engagement and creatively transforming the city by presenting WaterFire for all to enjoy. This award-winning sculpture by Barnaby Evans installed on the three rivers of downtown Providence, has been praised by Rhode Island residents and international visitors alike as a powerful work of art and a moving symbol of Providence’s renaissance. WaterFire’s over eighty sparkling bonfires, the fragrant scent of aromatic wood smoke, the flickering firelight on the arched bridges, the silhouettes of the fire-tenders passing by the flames, and the enchanting music from around the world engage all the senses and emotions of those who stroll the paths of Waterplace Park. WaterFire has captured the imagination of over ten million visitors, bringing life to downtown, and revitalizing Rhode Island’s capital city.
Reviewed July 14, 2013

Waterfire is physically beautiful - when all the bonfires in the river are lit.

However, the day we were there, July 13, 2013, accompanied by thousands of other tourists, the bonfires were lit at 8:15 pm By 9:20 pm , when we left, the musical performances had not reached the basin, no other music was provided and thousands of tourists had been staring at themselves facing a barren stage for an hour. Not in the least interesting.

This was a beautiful river setting deserving of best in beautiful classical music played over the excellent sound system, or performances by local entertainers rotating through all other stages available. As a specified time limit appears, the performers should rotate to the next venue, so that there is something worth seeing simultaneously all through the river walk - and to encourage people to walk the entire length of the park. Do you mean that Rhode Island has no homegrown talent? Hardly likely. Even passing the hat, they would do well after a good performance. Use Fanuel Hall in Boston as an example.

I must say that European sites do this much much better.

I was so disappointed!

5  Thank bostongirl120
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"the river"
in 466 reviews
"street performers"
in 56 reviews
"food vendors"
in 61 reviews
"lighting ceremony"
in 18 reviews
"wood burning"
in 26 reviews
"unique experience"
in 72 reviews
"living statues"
in 17 reviews
"beautiful music"
in 29 reviews
"great event"
in 23 reviews
"music playing"
in 30 reviews
"spend an evening"
in 24 reviews
"beautiful evening"
in 21 reviews
"saturday night"
in 35 reviews
"water fires"
in 19 reviews
"great night"
in 40 reviews
"gondola ride"
in 63 reviews
"waterplace park"
in 17 reviews

1,382 - 1,386 of 1,781 reviews

Reviewed July 14, 2013

Something to see! Very family friendly, all ages enjoy it. Basically a crowded walk along the waterfront, watching boats pass by the fires. Boats range from gondolas, to fire feeders, to floating lounges. There are many restaurants along the way that offer outdoor seating (reserve ahead of time).

Not too many venders are set up, we only saw Del's, light-up toys, and donation collectors. The area by South Main Street has a large tented area offering various food choices. Find parking in various lots, at the mall or the convention center. Plan to spend an hour to two, if only walking and stopping to sight see.

Thank Kris91
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 3, 2013

for me, it was all about the music backdrop. The idea is very cool as well, but the musical selections are really really good. I'd compare it to Buddha Bar ... fusion of world beat and club music. I really enjoyed seeing a cross section of young families, couples, and all ages hanging out on the stairs taking it all in.

Thank abauman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 1, 2013

So if you are in Rhode Island one place thats a must see is WaterFire! I didn't actually get a chance to see it at night when it was all lit up, but I did go during the day and saw the pictures of when it was in full swing :^) If you want to see it at night make sure you check the event schedule they have for when they light the pits up. Its a nice stream/canal that has a line of fire pits that get lit and when its on its the talk of the town! nice to take pics at anytime of day

Thank krazyray42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 26, 2013

maybe some more planning on our part would have helped, but the downwind side of the river was pretty thick with the smoke from the braziers burning in the river, it was difficult to walk through the crowds, and not all that exciting.

2  Thank joekr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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