If you have yet to experience ‘WaterFire’ in Providence, RI, it really is a must-see. The next scheduled event is http://waterfire.com/saturday-august-22-2009 on August 22nd. Although you may wonder what this has to do with gardening, this is what good design is all about - connecting people to the environment. It is this connection to the senses that make a garden or a cityscape come alive. This is a world-class example of a city supporting a comprehensive idea and plan to revitalize and energize a downtown area. The man behind the fire and all the many volunteers and sponsors that make this happen, continue to create a magical experience between two very simple yet powerful elements: water and fire.
Whether you experience WaterFire by strolling along the canal, dining at a local cafe or meandering through the water by boat, all participants are mesmerized by the sights and sounds. As the crews begin the procession of lighting 100 fire baskets carefully positioned along the canal, the crowds begin to cheer. The soothing sounds of music are carefully composed to set a scene; so much so it makes you wonder if you are in another country. The tranquil combination of water and fire come to life when the crowds dissipate later in the evening so I recommend you don’t rush your way through it; take your time and make an evening of it.
Although WaterFire is sponsored and funded by donations, there is no admission and there are plenty of places to find free parking. Having traveled to many cities, home and abroad, Providence and WaterFire are real gems. If it isn’t on your bucket list of the top things to do, put it there. These powerful elements are bound to leave a lasting impression.
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© 2009 Ann St. Jean-Bilowz/Bilowz Associates Inc. (including all photographs, unless otherwise noted in Annie's Gardening Corner are the property of Bilowz Associates Inc. and shall not be reproduced in any manner nor are they to be assigned to any third party without the expressed written permission and consent of Bilowz Associates Inc.)