Wednesday, October 12, 2022
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City, arts, and tourism officials on Wednesday announced that a new major holiday extravaganza is coming to Providence.
Three of Providence’s leading arts organizations – WaterFire Providence, The Avenue Concept, and FirstWorks – are joining forces with the Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau and the City of Providence to launch the new signature holiday event for the Creative Capital.
“Three Nights of Lights” will be held December 1–3 and will feature three partial WaterFires, a series of events centered around the illumination of many of Providence’s murals, three performances by an international ice dancing company, and at least two holiday tree lightings.
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The initiative is being funded by Placemaking Grants from Commerce RI, as well as the City of Providence. The project was conceived by the PWCVB as a way to spur tourism activity.
“December is typically the slowest month for Providence hotels. We plan to market the weekend across the Northeast region,” said PWCVB President and CEO Kristen Adamo. “We also encourage neighborhood associations, arts and cultural organizations and others planning holiday events any time during the season to enter them at ThreeNightsofLights.com. We all want this to be a citywide initiative that brings visitors to every corner of the city.”
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WaterFire Providence will hold three partial fires on December 1, 2, 3, with additional holiday activities being planned to evoke the season.
“WaterFire is traditionally both a community celebration and a powerful tourism draw,” said Managing Director and Co-CEO Peter Mello. “We have never done three consecutive fires before and are looking forward to welcoming everyone to Providence for the holiday season.”
The Avenue Concept will create a nighttime public art gallery with illumination, sound, and cultural experiences to offer different ways to interact with mural and sculpture exhibits throughout downtown.
They will partner with musicians, such as Digital Artist Julio E. Berroa, as well as cultural organizations like Tomaquag Museum, Center for Southeast Asians, Columbus Theater, and more. Surrounding businesses will join the fun by creating signature specials and promotions that connect to the experience.
“Public art sparks conversations within neighborhoods between artists, businesses, and people of all ages. It offers space for belonging and strengthens community connections. For these events, we’ll build upon our 2-D and 3-D artworks by adding sound, movement, and illumination, to invite attendees to connect with the stories and people who make our communities special,” said Avenue Concept Executive Director Yarrow Thorne.
FirstWorks will present international “rebels on ice” Le Patin Libre in three free performances of “Carte Blanche” at The Providence Rink – BankNewport City Center on Thursday, Dec. 1 at 6 p.m., 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. The Montréal-based group, whose name translates to “Free Skate” is comprised of former high-end ice-skaters who use ice, skates and glide as pure mediums of artistic storytelling. The final, 8 p.m. performance will be followed by an hour-long, public Ice-Skating Dance Party, open to all.
“FirstWorks is proud to contribute to our cultural ecosphere by doing what we do best: creating extraordinary performing arts experiences that gather people together, create community and celebrate Providence,” said Kathleen Pletcher, FirstWorks Executive Artistic Director. “We continue this community building through the arts on a variety of stages, in all seasons – this engagement is FirstWorks’ third Urban Carnevale project produced with support from Rhode Island Commerce.”
The City of Providence will host its annual tree lightings at Providence City Hall on Friday, December 2 and at The Providence Rink – BankNewport City Center on Saturday, December 3.
“Providence has long been a destination during the holiday season, and I’m excited to partner with great organizations to bring even more vibrancy and activity to downtown,” said Mayor Jorge O. Elorza. “Through this new weekend of events, we are excited to both support our tourism, retail and arts partners and give families across the region a chance to make new holiday memories.”
The PWCVB will be adding hotel promotions and additional activities to ThreeNightsofLights.com as the holiday season draws closer. The Bureau is planning an integrated marketing campaign to promote the weekend and other holiday events throughout the month.