Though the weekend’s temperatures will hardly make it past the low teens, there are plenty of reasons to bundle up and enjoy the end of 2017 in Hartford.
First Night, the family friendly New Year’s Eve stalwart, has drawn between 10,000 and 12,000 on the last day of every year and event organizers say the 29th annual event will be no exception.
“It's just a really fun, cherished event for all ages and it’s a fun, safe way to spend New Year’s Eve with your friends and family,” event coordinator Nicole Glander said. “There’s something for all ages. It’s appealing to everyone.”
Starting on Sunday afternoon, events around Hartford will usher in the New Year. First Night attendees will need to pick up a wrist band to enjoy events like a performances by Sea Tea Improv and musical performances by local acts such as Bill Walach and the Chat Noir Gypsy band.
On Pratt Street, revelers will be transported to Paris 1937 with the help of the Mark Templeton Quartet. The group will play pre-War music at 64 Pratt St. from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Glander said the jazz music is a new event, as are the free tours of the Wadsworth Atheneum.
Across town on Bartholomew Street, the inaugural Year’s End Hartford, hosted by the Tone Wheel Music Group, will take over The Dirt Salon from 8 p.m. to 1 p.m.
Mitch Moriber, president of the Tone Wheel Music Group, said that the event will feature music from local bands, local art and beer brewed by Hog River Brewing Co.
“We thought there was a little void in the night life in the city of Hartford and we thought this event would bring a little of that," Moriber said. “People can except amazing music, multiple live performances from the Dance Collective, there will beer brewed especially for our event and we have Waypoint Spirits from Bloomfield supplying our spirits so we’ll have a custom cocktail menu.”
Moriber said he hopes the event will bring people together to appreciate the local art, music and food scene in Hartford.
“The whole idea of the event is sort of a taste of Hartford, the art the food, the beverage community,” he said. “We’re hoping to make Year’s End Hartford an annual event.”
Tickets are available online for the event.
Sports fans will have two opportunities to cheer on the UConn Huskies at the XL Center, as both the men’s and women’s teams will play over the course of the weekend.
On Saturday, the UConn men’s basketball team faces Wichita State at noon, and on Sunday the women will take on Memphis at 1:30 p.m.
After the UConn men’s game, the Hartford Wolf Pack will square off against the Springfield Thunderbirds at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Those looking for a special bite to eat on New Year’s Eve or a champagne toast won’t have to look very far with numerous restaurants offering New Year’s specials.
City Steam Brewery on Main Street will be hosting stand up comedians Geno Bisconte and John Iavarone and musical guest Kevin Howard. Tickets are $30 for the comedy show.
At Little River Restoratives on Capitol Avenue, New Year’s Celebrations will begin at 8 p.m. with a drink and food specials, as well as complimentary champagne toast at midnight.
A free bus, sponsored by J Bar in Hartford’s South End, will pick passengers up at the Keeney Memorial Cultural Center on Main Street, Wethersfield and stop at the restaurant before heading to Bushnell Park hourly between from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.