Providence Announces Three Nights of Lights Holiday Festival

The Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau and the city of Providence announced Friday the return of Three Nights of Lights. The citywide celebration runs December 1-3. This year’s Three Nights of Lights festival will benefit Special Olympics Rhode Island.

“I am thrilled to welcome visitors from near and far as we activate downtown with three days of vibrant performances and holiday festivities,” said Mayor Brett P. Smiley. “Weekends like these exemplify why Providence is the entertainment capital of Rhode Island. Three Nights of Lights is the best way to gather together with our community to celebrate the holiday season and witness first-hand why Providence is a travel destination all year long.”

The PWCVB’s signature holiday event is designed to bring people to Providence with a weekend of curated programming for the whole family. The festivities will include tree lightings, a partial WaterFire lighting, ice sculptures, a holiday market, live performances and illuminated murals and installations throughout the city.

“Three Nights of Lights is a special weekend in the city where the best of Providence is in the spotlight,” said Kristen Adamo, PWCVB president and CEO. “Visitors and locals can come downtown to get in the holiday spirit and experience Providence under the festive glow of city lights. We are grateful for the partnership of our presenting sponsor, Dunkin’, and look forward to kicking off Special Olympics Donut Week together!”

This year’s Three Nights of Lights holiday festival kicks off Special Olympics Donut Week, an annual initiative where Dunkin’ franchisees in Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts donate 25 cents from every donut sold to Special Olympics. Special Olympics Donut Week runs Saturday, December 2 – Saturday, December 9, 2023. Visitors to Three Nights of Lights will find numerous opportunities to donate to Special Olympics Rhode Island, with a portion of proceeds from certain vendor sales also benefiting the organization.

“We treasure our nearly 30-year partnership with Dunkin’,” said Ed Pacheco, president and CEO of Special Olympics Rhode Island. “Kicking off our annual Donut Week with Three Nights of Lights adds such an exciting element to this important fundraising initiative. We’re grateful to Dunkin’ for including us in this partnership, and encourage everyone to buy a donut!”

As part of the Three Nights of Lights festival, Mayor Smiley and the City of Providence will be hosting two tree lightings on Friday, December 1, including the annual City Hall Tree Lighting Ceremony beginning at 5:30 p.m. This will feature an appearance by Santa and performances from the Sackett Street School Choir, Lillian Feinstein Elementary School Choir, Alexus Lee, International Soul Brothers and the Exalt Choir of the Mixed Magic Theatre. The tree lighting at The Providence Rink will take place at the same time.

FirstWorks will illuminate the historic Grace Church with a winter lights spectacle commissioned from Boston’s MASARY Studios. The immersive performance installation, titled “Recursion and Release,” will activate the Church’s courtyard, pavilion and sanctuary with video projections, dynamic lighting, digital audio manipulation, and a new composition for acoustic vocal ensemble by pioneering composer Kitty Brazelton, each evening from 5-9 p.m. A live ensemble performance will take place on Saturday, December 2.

See Downtown Providence like you’ve never seen it before with The Avenue Concept’s mural and sculpture illumination as well as activations at the Providence National Bank Facade and Mathewson Street Parking Lot. Programming will include a live mural painting, storytelling and musical performances.

WaterFire Providence presents A Holiday Celebration at WaterFire with a basin lighting in Waterplace Park on Saturday, December 2. The fires will be lit at 5:30 p.m. and will burn until 9 p.m., and Santa will make a special appearance by WaterFire boat. Take photos in Santa’s Village and check out the fully illuminated 15-foot Christmas Tree donated by Stanley Tree Service, Inc.

WaterFire Providence will also be organizing a toy drive with The Providence Center and its program, Anchor Recovery, that offers a supportive environment for individuals in all stages of recovery. Toys gathered at this year’s WaterFire will bring smiles to the faces of Anchor member’s children who might not otherwise have a gift for the holiday.

New this year, check out the Ice Sculpture Garden and Irish stepdance performances happening at The Providence Rink, as well as a roving photo station. Scheduling and programming details will be updated at




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