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Providence RI Waterfire

Four of us are doing a September weekend in Rhode Island. One friend just discovered, much to my dismay, that Waterfire is scheduled. We aren't staying in Providence and will be in Newport for a good portion of the day. I have already purchased food tour tickets for Providence on Friday. She has never been to Waterfire so I should honor her request. DH and I have been and it's not the type of crowded event we like. Friend #2 suggested I make reservations for a late dinner, possibly outside of town.

I found one reference on chowhound that it's easy to eat on Federal Hill then hop on the trolley to get to Waterfire. I know it is walking distance but 3 of us don't like walking so if we eat after Waterfire, a trolley ride would be nice for the up hill walk. If I remember correctly, we need to get there early if we want a good viewing spot for the lighting which is around 6:45 pm.

We might have dinner on Federal Hill on Friday. Does anyone have restaurant recommendations in a less crowded part of Providence or heading east out of town? We are staying in Warren.
Where is the best viewing spot to watch the lighting?

I think it might be easiest to park someplace and use the trolley or Uber to get to Waterfire and a restaurant. I am familiar with parking at Providence Place but someplace less confusing for entering/exiting with the car would be good. We would prefer not to eat at a chain and I know all the restaurants around Providence Place are going to be crowded.

Sorry to sound grumpy. A lot of people really like Waterfire and she will probably enjoy it so I'll be nice about it.

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