WaterFire

The first Providence International Arts Festival, held last weekend, was such a success that Mayor Jorge Elorza is moving ahead with plans for another such celebration next year, said mayoral spokesman David Ortiz.

Thousands thronged a downtown transformed into a giant music stage and pedestrian arts mall last Saturday and Sunday. ``It met our expectations and we’re looking to grow it in the future,’’ said Ortiz.

The weather cooperated both days as the sun washed over downtown. ``We did get lucky,’’ acknowledged Ortiz.

This Saturday, WaterFire Providence is dedicated to raising awareness about hepatitis C. Organizers are offering free hepatitis C screenings at the event.

WaterFire volunteers will light more than eighty bonfires along the downtown river on Saturday night. A group called Rhode Island Defeats Hep C, led by Dr. Lynn Taylor, organized the lighting.

Wikimedia Commons

Once again, Rhode Islanders are making national news for the low regard we have for our tiny state. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says it’s time to stop taking Rhode Island  for granted.

The Gallup poll discovered that Rhode Island is the state least appreciated by its own residents. Just 18 percent of Rhode Islanders said our small slice of southeastern New England was the best place or one of the best places to live.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

There will be a tent set up at Saturday’s Waterfire to educate residents about Rhode Island’s growing food sector. The tent will offer samples from a wide variety of locally made foods and beverages. By luring people through their taste buds, project coordinator Melissa Withers said they can then show the public the diversity of expertise in the state’s food economy.

John Bender / RIPR

Gov. Lincoln Chafee, and Rhode Island’s entire congressional delegation was on hand to celebrate the unveiling of the new headquarters for Providence Water Fire.

The old Uniroyal Rubber Plant building on Valley Street near Eagle Square is getting a second life after being shut down and sitting unused. 

The arts non-profit WaterFire Providence will be moving in thanks to 800-thousand dollars in federal grants secured from the Environmental Protection Agency.

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