If you live in Rhode Island or plan to visit the state this summer, you need to visit Wakefield on a Thursday night.
That’s because the village’s annual RiverFire summer event is back this year — taking place on Thursday nights from June 24 to August 19. It was canceled last year due to COVID-19 restrictions.
What Is RiverFire?
On Thursday nights in the summer, bonfires are lit in special braziers along the Saugatucket River. From 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., attendees can walk along the river, through historic downtown Wakefield, look at the bonfires on the water, and visit local shops, artisans, and vendors.
“Enjoy the serene views of the Saugatucket River, as the sun peacefully sets, and the wood in the fire basins begin to glow and crackle,” the Wakefield Village Association said in a statement.
Local bands will be playing live music. Beginning at 8 p.m, The Contemporary Theater Company will present a RiverFire Cabaret on its outdoor stage.
Plus, your kids or grandkids can even play on the local elementary school’s playground.
A Worthy Cause
RiverFire is one of several events hosted each year by the non-profit Wakefield Village Association, which is comprised of downtown merchants, artists, non-profits, residents, and local stakeholders. All of the events are intended to “promote local shops and restaurants, as well as a theater, bike trail, and other establishments, all along the beautiful Saugatucket River and bridge.”
Admission to RiverFire is free, although a site will be set up to collect non-perishable food items for the Jonnycake Center For Hope. The center’s mission is to “provide basic needs, resources, and hope to our community members” 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 if you love it and wish the summer season wouldn’t end so quickly, there’s no need to worry. You can always visit WaterFire in nearby Providence — beginning in September.
Know Before You Go
Wakefield is a little over 10 miles from Newport, Rhode Island, and just over 30 miles from Providence.
Admission and parking are free. More information about RiverFire is found here.