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After the coronavirus pandemic forced RiverFire to pull the plug on last summer's slate of shows, the event will return to Wakefield this month.

The heat is on in Wakefield this summer.

After a one-year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Wakefield Village Association recently announced the rekindling of the Wakefield RiverFire summer event series. The first lighting will begin on June 24 from 6 to 10 p.m. on the Saugatucket River in historic, downtown Wakefield. The event continues every Thursday evening until Aug. 19.  

Enjoy the serene views of the Saugatucket River, as the sun peacefully sets, and the wood in the fire basins begin to glow and crackle. Live music from area bands will perform on stage at the river’s edge and Saugatucket Bridge, beginning at 6 p.m. Music and cabaret will continue into the evening at The Contemporary Theater Company outdoor stage. On Main Street, local artisans and vendors will be selling their goods. Local shops and restaurants and the adjacent elementary school playground will be open.

The series will kick off June 24 with a performance from Doctor Brenda’s Rhythm Army, a five-piece rock band playing the classics including The Allman Brothers, Grateful Dead, Tom Petty, Marshal Tucker and more. The group will be joined by Peace Collective.

On July 1, the series will help usher in the Fourth of July holiday weekend with a dual-bill show featuring Where’s Lewis, a duo playing the music of Jethro Tull, and UnderEstimated Propher, a six-piece rock band playing the music of the Grateful Dead.

On July 8, the Stattones, a five-piece rock band, will play popular covers and original music with special guest Jason Colonies.

July 15 features a double bill of Poor Man’s Gibson, an acoustic trio playing styles of folk, rock & country, and Gooseberry Road,  an acoustic trio playing music including The Beatles, Carol King, Hollies, Bee Gees, mixed with some originals.

In a night sure to feature plenty of fun dancing, Gary Hopp brings his Good Vibe Tribe Experience to RiverFire July 22. One week later, on July 29, the series takes a slightly different turn as Deep Blue Sea, a four-piece surf and psychedelic rock band with a perfect summer night vibe play a mix of covers and originals like “Pipeline” and “Kook Slam.”

In August, Riverfire welcomes the always-popular Dudemanbro to the stage as the so-called three strange men, sometimes dudes, or bros, make groovy roots rock reggae-ish music Aug. 5.

One week later, on Aug. 12, Stone Cold Gypsies leads the bill with an eclectic mix of music. The local favorite five-piece rock band will bring rock, R&B with a mix of country and reggae to Wakefield with songs from such artists as Fleetwod Mac, Susan Tedeschi and The Byrds.

The series concludes Aug. 19 with a special performance from Chakulla and Friends. The multi-genre  and instrumentalist artist will be joined by special guests Bill Metts, an American folk and blues finger-style guitarist from Florida and Grant Maloy Smith, a Billboard Top Ten artist playing a blend of American roots, folk and country Music. The artists are contributing their talents to help promote the weekly RiverFire Food Drive as part of their “1 of 52” Hunger Network.

Admission to Wakefield RiverFire is free but donations will also be accepted toward the event and to bring back other events in the near future. A non-perishable food collection site will be provided for the Johnnycake Center of Hope. For more information, or if you’re interested in becoming a vendor, please visit WakefieldVillageAssociation.com or email WVAvendors@gmail.com.  

The Wakefield Village Association is working with local and State officials to keep things safe for everyone of all ages. In addition to screening artisans and vendors, both vendors and visitors will be required to follow state guidelines for face coverings, social distancing and other guidance.  

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