Providence is the capital and the most populous city of Rhode Island and one of the first cities established in the United States. Located in Providence County, it is estimated to be the third largest city in the New England region. Situated at the mouth of the Providence River, on Narragansett Bay, the city's small footprint is crisscrossed by seemingly erratic streets and a rapidly changing demographic.
Providence was founded in 1636 by Roger Williams, a religious exile from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He named the area in honor of "God's merciful Providence" which he believed was responsible for his finding such a haven to settle. After being one of the first cities in the country to industrialize, Providence became noted for its jewelry and silverware industry. Today, Providence city proper alone is home to eight hospitals and seven institutions of higher learning, which has shifted the city's economy into service industries, though it still retains significant manufacturing work. The city was once nicknamed the "Beehive of Industry", while today "The Renaissance City" is a more common nickname.
During the summer months, the city regularly hosts WaterFire, an environmental art installation that consists of about 100 bonfires that blaze just above the surface of the three rivers that pass through the middle of downtown Providence. There are multiple Waterfire events that are accompanied by various pieces of classical and world music. The public art displays, most notably the sculptures, change on a regular basis.