Tag Archives: Providence

Setting the Rivers on Fire

6 Oct

In the late 1990s, Providence, RI, enjoyed a Renaissance.

Credited to the infamous and much-loved former mayor, Vincent “Buddy” Cianci, Jr., the capital city underwent a massive revitalization project, uncovering two rivers that were once buried below concrete. Cobblestone walkways along the rivers, quaint bridges, and the creation of Waterplace Park led to the sprouting of shops, restaurants, residences, and the mammoth Providence Place mall.

The biggest coup for the city during this period was the creation of WaterFire, an award-winning installation of 80-plus bonfires along the Providence rivers.

WaterFire is quite the event. The small state buzzes in anticipation of the dozen or so lightings between Memorial Day and Columbus Day each year.

A couple of weeks ago, Scott and I decided to take the kids to the penultimate lighting of the year.

First stop: Harry’s Bar & Burger for some delicious–and affordable–wings and sliders.

And a jalapeno bloody mary, ya know, for energy.

The threat of rain kept the crowds manageable, so we walked along the river pre-lighting and watched the gondoliers.

And the lighting begins . . .

We even got a preview of the Roger Williams Park Zoo’s Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular–WaterFire style.