Chafee plans Waterfire inaugural reception

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Incoming Gov. Lincoln Chafee is planning what his office says is a frugal inauguration on Jan. 4, featuring Rhode Island's favorite free public arts event, Waterfire.

Chafee's office says Wednesday it recognizes the difficult economic climate and to cut costs, there won't be an inaugural ball. Instead, the five general officers will hold five evening receptions in Providence in restaurants overlooking Waterfire.

Waterfire takes place several times a year, as fires are lit in the rivers running through downtown.

Creator Barnaby Evans says the inauguration idea was to make an event that would be warm, open to everyone and symbolic of uniting the state.

Waterfire and the receptions will be funded through private donations. The state has budgeted $75,000 for the swearing-in ceremonies that begin at noon.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you.