Monday, December 25, 2017


The average person celebrates New Year’s Eve either quietly at home in front of a roaring fire with a hot toddy or champagne or else at a rowdy party with dozens of their closest friends.  For the 29th year in a row residents of Hartford and its environs are invited to start at 2 p.m. and party non-stop until the bewitching hour of midnight and beyond to welcome in 2018.

First Night Hartford 2018 is a genuine happening.  Look in all directions around the capital city for more than a dozen venues featuring live music, and you can travel in style from place to place in a horse-drawn carriage.  What fun!   Make sure to purchase a First Night wristband at sites like the Old State House, Highland Park Markets, Whole Food Markets, AAA branches, CBT/Berkshire Bank branches and the Radisson Hotel Hartford.  Area hotels even have special packages for participants who want to extend the celebration.  You can also go online to or call 860-727-0050.

Because the family is at the heart of the party, the theme is non-alcoholic with many events free, like two family fireworks displays at Bushnell Park, at 6 p.m. and again at midnight.  Other highlights of the festivities include a Samurai demonstration at 3 p.m at the Butler McCook House and Garden, free ice skating at Bushnell Park until 1 a.m., and music at a variety of venues with groups like Ireland, Erie Canal, and The Boys of Wexford.

Start the hoopla early at the XL Center with a rousing basketball game at 1 p.m. when the UCONN Women Huskies face the Memphis Lady Tigers. Come tune in to Story City Troupe at the Center Church or enjoy Hot Jazz! at Paris 1937 on Pratt Street.  How about Couples Paint Night at 451 Restaurant or a Full Moon Hike or a Back to the Times Carol Sing? 

Come to Hartford and let the arts sweep you from the old year to the new, in a  family friendly atmosphere that is all available for you for the taking.

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