This year, because of the calendar (it's Saturday Night!) and the city's emphasis on Bushnell Park, the annual First Night Celebration on New Year's Eve could very well be the best ever. From singing around the fire in the Pump House pavillion to a world class concert at the Cathedral of Saint Joseph, Hartford should have a night to be proud of.
This year, Bushnell Park will have a dazzling variety of events and destinations. With two fireworks, 6 pm and 12 midnight, a radio station broadcast, lighting throughout the park and the large skating rink, thousands of revelers willl enjoy the city's premier park.
Other notable events and attractions in the park will include a sing-a-long with world renowned folksinger Don Signeti, accompanied by Steve Roys and Hartford favorites (all the way back to the Mad Murphy Days) Bill Wallach. The Pump House Art Gallery will also be open.
Tours will be available of the Memorial Arch. Such a tour is very fitting this year, the 150 anniversary of the Civil War. The views of the city, the park and the capitol from this vantage point are really special. Bring a camera!
And, of course, the Bushnell Park Carousel will be open all day and night for rides for those with wristbands.
Be sure to buy your first night wristbands early, to get a jump on all the fun and activity. The best place to park is at the free state lots across from the Bushnell auditorium.
One last note, a high tech game van will be positioned by the park. Be sure to come early as all these venues will be extremely popular. Food, drink, restrooms and a warming fire will be available there, so plan to spend at least a few hours in our treasured park. For full information, go to www.firstnighthartford.org.
The best way to see the New Year/First Night is to get a hotel room for you and the kids. The Hilton and Marriot have pools, and the Homestead Inn and Holiday Inn Express face the fireworks. It will be a night they will never forget.