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'First Night Hartford' welcoming 2021 virtually amid COVID-19 pandemic

The New Year’s celebration will look very different this year with a 10-hour broadcast experience on Thursday, December 31.

HARTFORD, Conn. — The 32rd annual First Night Hartford celebration is going virtual!

Officials say the message is clear: Stay Home, Stay Safe, and Tune In.

The New Year’s celebration will look very different this year with a 10-hour broadcast experience on Thursday, December 31.

From 2 p.m. to midnight, First Night Hartford 2021 will be broadcasting on Hartford Public Access TV, live streaming on Youtube and Facebook, and hosting workshops on Zoom. 

The event is free this year, but attendees are asked to RSVP at this link

"The First Night team looks forward to hosting again in person next time around in downtown Hartford," they wrote in a release. "There may be no fireworks this year, but they will still have a finale you won’t want to miss when the clock strikes midnight on a year most of us are looking forward to being behind us."

Hosted by two local talents, Rosanna Karabetsos and Zaawadi Kalema, First Night 2021 will highlight the past year with discussion on the COVID-19 pandemic and social justice movements in Connecticut. 

But, it wouldn't be a celebration without the arts!

Those tuned in will get to see performances by the following Hartford artists and arts institutions:

  • Hartbeat Ensemble
  • Nelson Bello and Friends
  • Chad-Browne Springer
  • Phat A$tronaut
  • Studio 860
  • Hartford Symphony Orchestra.
  • Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art
  • NightFall
  • New England Ballet Theatre
  • Connecticut Science Center
  • Hip-hop for the Homeless
  • Hartbeat Music Festival
  • Hartford Jazz Fest
  • Monday Night Jazz, and more.

How to watch:

The TV broadcast will be live on Hartford Public Access TV. For Hartford residents that have Comcast/Xfinity Cable TV, they can tune in on Channel 5 PUB or 95 EDU. For residents in the State that have Frontier Cable TV, they can tune in on Channel 6030 PUB or 6031 EDU. Anyone worldwide can tune in online via the HPATV website by visiting the link here. The broadcast will also be available on First Night Hartford’s Facebook, and Youtube channels.

As always, First Night is a celebration for the entire family. And this year, you can enjoy live workshops from your living room with local teaching artists on Zoom.

The full schedule and Zoom registrations will be on the First Night website.

With First Night 2021 not taking place in-person, the traditional First Night Button will not be needed to attend this year.

However, they were still designed by Hartford artist Lindaluz Carrillo and are for sale.

First Night Hartford 2021 Party Kits including a coloring book, party masks, temporary tattoos, crayons, and an activity book with word search, crossword puzzle, madlibs, connect the dots, maze, matching, and scavenger hunt – are also available for purchase.

Click here for more information or visit Highland Park Market starting Monday, December 27.