Last Saturday, Travis and I traveled down to Rhode Island for the Providence WaterFires. We've been meaning to go since we moved up here, and this year we made it just in time – this was the last one of the season! Our friends, Christian and Laci, were in Providence celebrating their anniversary, so we met them for dinner and to enjoy the festivities.
WaterFires started as an art installation (sculpture) by Barnaby Evans and is made up of over 80 floating bonfires down the middle of the river in the heart of Providence. Now, each lighting is sponsored by a different group. With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it was appropriate that Saturday’s Fire was dubbed “Flames of Hope”.
After dinner, we walked further downtown and sat down along the river to wait for the lighting of the fires. Throughout the night, there were lots of boats traveling up and down the river. One group of these boats did the initial lighting and replenished the fires all night long. The people in these black boats wore all black and unless they were tending to the fires, were very solemn. So solemn in fact, it seemed like something you’d see in a film set during olden times on the way to a funeral! Weird…
|Floating bonfire before it was lit.|
|Volunteers lighting the fires|
Once the fires got going, we walked along the river enjoying the sights and music.
There were also special things going on along the river, like a luminary/memory garden , fire twirlers (probably not their technical name), and a Pierrot character that sailed along the edge of the water, handing our flowers all evening.
After we walked the length of the river, we made our way to the “basin” – a large round area at one end. They were supposed to have a basin lighting ceremony a little before 8 (which we were planning on missing), but when we got there a little before 9, it still hadn't happened! Luckily for us, things were (way) off schedule, so we watched the basin lighting ceremony, which was beautiful!
This was also the point in the evening when I stood up to take a picture (found out that Providence doesn't fill in the holes around their sprinkler system), fell down, and took a chunk out of my foot. BUT we trudged along for the State House, which was flooded with pink lights, inspirational words, and search lights! It was AWESOME!
Travis and Christian had a lot of fun playing with the spotlights...if you couldn't tell.
It was an awesome evening! If you've never been to WaterFires and live in New England (or plan to visit), you MUST go!