A Presentation of "Trois Venues"

Have you ever traveled to Europe and explored the city squares of Italy or France? Dotted along St. Mark’s Square, around the Trevi Fountain in Rome, and in small groups peering up at the grandiose Eiffel Tower in Paris, you’ll find a communal gathering of people leisurely strolling for a daytime or evening promenade. Whether you stroll along the banks of the waterfront in Europe or in downtown Providence’s Waterplace Park with new acquaintances, close friends, or visitors to the Renaissance City in search of a way to slow down, to saunter or to take pleasure in the streets lined with people, a feeling of tranquility surrounds you.

Barnaby Evans, artist and creator of WaterFire, presents the four elements of nature; water, fire, earth, and air along the riverbanks of three rivers merged together in the city of Providence. A one of a kind work of art, WaterFire, has generated a unique meaning to downtown Providence, similar to our European counterparts.

Photo by Linda S. Manning

WaterFire clearly represents two of the elements, water and fire, two opposing similarly ferocious fundamentals. Water has the capability to nourish, to care for and in some cases, to destroy us with her furious rains and storms; as fire warms us, and cooks our food, and provides light; it too can be just as lethal. Experience the breathtaking incorporation of the contradictory forces of water and fire.

With each step, your senses capture the invigorating and matchless display of nature’s elements. Watch the sleek Gondolas slide past you in a river glowing with fire while the black-clad fire tenders stoke each brazier. Inhale the perfumed scented air of incense, pine, and cedar, as the flame from the wood in the metal basins anchored atop the rivers sparkle through the air as dancing embers,

Step along the riverbank towards the New Rivers Restaurant to listen to some of the finest local and international Jazz musicians as they transmit their music at the Steeple Street Stage. The Verizon Stage performers blast their tunes into the air in a melodic wave of resonance, fulfilling those who came to enjoy the sounds of the trumpets echo in unison.

Walk further along the banks of the river to an amazing event about to take place. Enter the trio of scarlet curtains draped behind the keystones on the Turks Head Building located in the financial district; include a raised dance floor donned with colorful lights, and an elevated stage for performers and musicians. Add the audience waiting in anticipation of an event about to take place at the Sovereign Plaza Ballroom.

Photo by Linda S. ManningPhoto by Linda S. Manning

Lastly, the newest of the venues, the WaterFire Access Boat, a pontoon-style boat specially equipped to offer those with wheelchairs or disabilities to partake in the festivities along the river. The disabled and companions are provided free tours along the Woonaquatucket and Providence Rivers. Located at the Dyer Street dock across from Heminway’s and Capriccio’s, the waiting area at the Gazebo has a cutout to make wheelchair access a cinch, enabling those with disabilities to participate in the collective get-together.

Photo by Linda S. Manning

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