Saturday, an exceptionally warm April evening, Tony, Josh and I traveled to see the WaterFire in the city of Providence. The WaterFire takes place by the Riverway and WaterPlace Park, along the walkways bordering three Providence Rivers. I was pleased to find the entire area wheelchair friendly and fully accessible.
The WaterFire of Providence is FREE to all!!
I was blown away by the incredible experience of seeing the spectacular Waterfire of Providence. The WaterFire of Providence is sculpted by Barnaby Evans, an artist of architectural projects, garden design, photography, sculpture installation, writing and conceptual works.
We valet parked at the WaterPlace Restaurant & Lounge in Providence, R.I.. There are plenty of other parking areas available. The walkways in Providence were designed to be accessible to all persons!! Since mobility can be difficult for us wheelers in crowded situations, WaterFire provides special accommodations for persons with all kind of disabilities; physical, visual and hearing.
I saw a boat ramp, located at the WaterFire that is fully wheelchair accessible. We were told this is the WaterFire Access Boat drop off point; this Access Boat takes you to and from the WaterFire. Wow, I thought, this is awesome!
I was pleased to find this entire area fully wheelchair accessible, spacious and amazingly beautiful. There are many cement ramps, slopes and bridges that make getting around in a wheelchair a cinch. I did come across some areas that have cobblestone walkways that can be difficult to wheel on. I was in my manual chair so my friends took turns pushing my chair. We’ve been on cobblestone walkways many times, so they are experts at this. I wish I had brought my Permobil C350 Power Chair for it would have been easier. If you have a Power Chair, I would highly recommend bringing it here. Only a few areas did not have wheelchair access, but due to their location it was impossible to make these areas accessible; yet everything could easily be seen from where I was sitting.
I enjoyed meeting three very friendly and accessible Gargoyles. They moved very, very slowly through the crowd; they all took the time to shake my hand. Gargoyles were known in the Renaissance time to have protected the city of Providence. It was nice to see them still here protecting this beautiful accessible city.
We arrived early and were able to take a stroll through Waterplace Park.
I saw Union Plaza and ‘Wall of Hope’, a memorial tribute dedicated to the love ones lost and the heroes of the 9/11 tragedy and to our hopes for the future.
Located on some walls at WaterPlace Park are beautiful tiles made by more than 10,000 R.I. residents of all abilities, ages, races, religions and cultures. Union Plaza has cobblestone walkways.
As I exited the plaza, I saw a police officer and I asked him “Why this plaza is called Union Plaza”. He kindly explained that the plaza was the old train station before it was moved by the State House. He told us much of the in depth history and architecture. He was very kind and thoughtful.
Then it was time for the WaterFire to begin! The opening ceremony began with the playing of eccentric music. It first reminded me of Spain, then Tahiti and then Africa. Then I realized it reminded me of the Walt Disney Parade in Epcot Center; for they play music from many different countries.
On land was a stage where torches were lit. These torches were then passed onto the others in who were traveling in boats along the river; these fire handlers carried the torch to the bon fires; lighting them up so brightly. After a while the flames grew bigger and I could feel the heat and I could smell the aroma of the wood burning. It warmed my body for the chill of the night air had set in.
I told my friends, Tony and Josh that I noticed all the elements of life were present at this given moment; EARTH, AIR, FIRE, WATER and SPIRIT! We all smiled because it reminded us of the pentacle I purchased at Laurie Cabot’s Shop, The Cat, The Crow and The Crown in Salem; the five points of the star represent these elements of life.
Suddenly, out of the night came a fire twirler. It was cool seeing him handling the flames and creating a display of bravery. The sparkling bonfires, the scent of burning wood, the flickering firelight, the fire handlers passing by the flames, the torch-lit vessels traveling down the river, and the remarkable music are all amazing to experience.
I recommend ALL to see the very accessible and spectacular FireWork of Providence.
I give WaterFire at Waterplace Park and the city of Providence FIVE STARS for wheelchair accessibility. They have done an outstanding job making this place very wheelchair friendly and accessible to all. THANK YOU!