It’s one of the hottest events of this summer (literally)
If you live in Rhode Island or plan to visit the state this summer, you must visit Wakefield on a Thursday night.
That’s because the village’s annual RiverFire summer event is back this year – taking place Thursday evenings from June 24 through August 19. It was canceled last year due to COVID-19 restrictions.
What is RiverFire?
On Thursday evenings in summer, bonfires are lit in special braziers along the Saugatucket River. From 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., participants can walk along the riverbank through historic downtown Wakefield, watch bonfires on the water, and visit local shops, artisans and vendors.
“Enjoy the serene view of the Saugatucket River as the sun sets peacefully and the woods of the fire ponds begin to glow and crackle,” the Wakefield Village Association said in a statement.
Local bands will play live music. Starting at 8 p.m., the Contemporary Theater Company will present a RiverFire cabaret on its outdoor stage.
Plus, your children or grandchildren can even play on the local elementary school playground.
A good cause
RiverFire is one of many events hosted each year by the nonprofit Wakefield Village Association, which includes downtown merchants, artists, nonprofits, residents and local stakeholders. All of the events aim to “promote local shops and restaurants, as well as a theater, bike path and other establishments, all along the beautiful river and Saugatucket Bridge”.
Entrance to RiverFire is free, but a site will be set up to collect non-perishable food items for the Jonnycake Center For Hope. The mission of the center is to “provide basic needs, resources and hope to the members of our community” to create a community “without hunger and poverty, where everyone can reach their full potential and improve their quality of life.”
If you can’t make it to Wakefield for RiverFire, or love it and want the summer season not to end so quickly, don’t worry. You can still visit WaterFire in neighboring Providence – starting in September.
Know before you go
Wakefield is just over 10 miles from Newport, Rhode Island, and just over 30 miles from Providence.
Entrance and parking are free. You can find more information about RiverFire here.