First Night’s mission is to broaden and deepen the public’s appreciation of the visual and performing arts through an innovative, diverse and quality New Year’s Eve program which offers the community a shared cultural experience that is inexpensive and accessible to all.

First Night Hartford 2020 is the 31st Anniversary of the celebration, so be sure to come this year on Tuesday, December 31, 2019.


The history of First Night began in Boston in 1976 with a small local group of artists who were inspired to create a new kind of New Year’s revelry emphasizing community spirit. Decades later, there are more than 100 First Nights celebrated in cities and towns across the United States. Hartford joined in 30 years ago.

The day is a multicultural, artistically unique, alcohol-free New Years experience with countless professional musicians, artists, performance groups and exhibits that inspire thousands of people of all ages to attend each year. It’s also an affordable way for everyone to ring in the New Year.

The day includes two spectacular fireworks shows at 6 PM and midnight in Bushnell Park that can be seen throughout the city by thousands of residents and visitors.

Venues include as the Public Library, City Hall, The Old State House, State House Square, Wadsworth Atheneum, Center Church and Charter Oak Cultural Center, The Bushnell Carousel and more participate in the fun by welcoming the public on this New Year’s Eve holiday.

First Night Hartford is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization.