Press Release: WaterFire To Help Bright Night

DECEMBER 15, 2009
John Crisafulli
(401) 255-3739

Updates for New Year’s Eve 2009
  • WaterFire to light Waterplace Basin and Memorial Park
  • Bright Night announces headliners
  • Eyes Wide Open Masquerade celebrates WaterFire’s 15th Anniversary

PROVIDENCE – The fires will burn brightly this New Year’s Eve thanks to a generous gift from a longtime donor to WaterFire.  WaterFire was first lit on New Year’s Eve in Waterplace Basin exactly fifteen years ago, so when WaterFire heard that Bright Night Providence was struggling and that the city might be dark on New Year’s Eve, they asked a long-time donor to help both WaterFire and Bright Night.  WaterFire is pleased to join with Bright Night and Mayor David N. Cicilline to announce they will share this anonymous gift with Bright Night Providence to ensure that the Capital City is alive with light, art, and community this New Year’s Eve.  Join WaterFire in Waterplace Basin at Waterplace Park at 5:30 p.m. on December 31st to kick off the evenings’ events!  Enjoy the fires and then explore all the great performances that Bright Night is offering.

WaterFire to light Waterplace Basin and Memorial Park
The circle of fires in Waterplace Basin will burn from 5:30 to 10:00 p.m. and the 12 fires in Memorial Park will burn until after midnight.  Please join us in Memorial Park for the stroke of midnight and a group singing of Auld Lange Syne and Happy Birthday to WaterFire, to start off the New Year!  

Executive Director of WaterFire Providence Barnaby Evans said, “Like every other arts group we are struggling financially, but our mission is to use the arts to enliven the City of Providence.  We felt we had to keep the fires burning to make it a bright New Year’s Eve.  I am delighted our staff, volunteers, and donors have stepped forward to make a lighting on our 15th anniversary possible.  And we are tremendously pleased we could help Bright Night and its wonderful artists as well.”

Bright Night announces headliners
“We’re so thrilled to be working with WaterFire on their fifteenth anniversary celebration” said Adam Gertsacov, Festival Director of Bright Night Providence, “and of course immensely grateful for this donation.  This has been a tough year. It’s really making a big difference for us to ensure that this New Year’s Eve remains Bright.”
Bright Night Providence is Rhode Island’s Largest New Year’s Eve Celebration.  Begun in 2003 when First Night Providence announced it could not go forward, this artist-run festival creates a family-friendly and fun atmosphere to ring in the New Year, with a focus on showcasing local artists and performers.  

This year’s festival will feature over 150 performers in 15 venues throughout downtown Providence.  Highlights include IllusionQuest, a full-stage magic and illusion spectacular featuring master illusionist David Garrity, local legends Big Nazo Puppets, Grammy-winner Bill Harley, Jazz saxophonist Greg Abate, the RI Children’s Chorus, blues band Black and White and a host of other performers.

Tickets for Bright Night Providence are $10 if purchased before 12/24/09, $15 beginning December 25. Schedules, tickets, and more information are available online at or by calling 401-621-6123.

“Providence is fortunate to have two great arts organizations–Bright Night and WaterFire–that will join together on New Year’s Eve to light up the city,” said Mayor David N. Cicilline. “Grammy Award-winning musicians, illusionists, Big Nazo puppets and many more exciting entertainers will contribute to in the inimitable energy and joy shared by our community on Bright Night.”

Eyes Wide Open Masquerade celebrates WaterFire’s 15th Anniversary
Also on New Year’s Eve, WaterFire will host a Venetian Masquerade Gala, Eyes Wide Open, celebrating fifteen years of WaterFire.  This fundraising gala hosted by Barrett Bready and the WaterFire Board of Directors is going to be a sensational event in the historic Old Stone Bank Building on South Main Street. The evening will include a performance by Quixotic Fusion, a Kansas-City based ensemble of inventive, avant-garde musicians, dancers, aerialists and composers, some of whom will perform mid-air, while suspended from the Gold Dome.  The event will also feature world renowned tenor Nathan Granner, one of the Three American Tenors, who will present a range of wonderful offerings.  For more information please visit

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