First Night Hartford 2023 Returns In Full Across Venues In Downtown Hartford, Including Major Stage On Trinity Street And Its Two Traditional Fireworks Shows

HARTFORD, CT December 27, 2021 First Night Hartford is back to ring in 2023 for its 34th year running! The theme of this year’s celebration is “Transformation” and the hosts invite you to Downtown Hartford transform with the whole community. The celebration takes place this Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022 from 2 p.m. to Midnight with the traditional 2 fireworks shows at 6 p.m. and midnight.


BUY YOUR PIN HERE (and show your ID to pick it up)!

Several of Downtown Hartford’s arts and culture hotspots host activities ranging from live music performances, dance, comedy, improv, theater, face painting, crafts, and more. Community partners include the Bushnell Park Carousel, Winterfest Ice Skating Rink, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Old State House, SeaTea Comedy Theater, and Christ Church. This year attendees of the XL Center’s Hartford Wolf Pack game and The Bushnell’s showing of the Hip Hop Nutcracker will also receive buttons to attend the indoor First Night venues. Purchase of a button is required to attend the indoor First Night programming while the outdoor main stage, fireworks, and Winterfest ice skating are free to all. Buttons are available online at and will be available at the event at all locations including their Union Station Great Hall headquarters for the day. Guests are encouraged to start their day at Union Station. Vendors will be located in the Great Hall with some additional vendors and food trucks on Trinity Street by the main stage. 

This year’s performance partners and artists include Magic Soul Drumline, Dj Kasey Cortez, Nekita Walker, Nat Reeves, Phat A$tronaut, DJ Reefa, Briana Mala, Love Laight Galaxy, and Kella Miles and many more.  The main stage is located on Trinity Street,  beneath the Soldier and Sailors Arch, serves as a common gathering place for entertainment, food vending, information, and the best vantage point for viewing the fireworks. Their will be a full line up at the mainstage from 2pm to midnight.  The 6pm show will kickoff with the arrival of the beloved and traditional People’s Parade (curated by Nightfall and featuring the drums of Hartford Proud) and the midnight show will kick the New Year off and feature musical performances across the day.  

Updates can be found on the Facebook event page here or the First Night Hartford page here

Mainstage Schedule (Soldiers and Sailors Arch)

2 p.m.- Event Kick Off–Magic Soul Drumline

2:15 p.m.- Studio 860 & Lost Tribe 

3 p.m.- DJ – Kasey Cortez

5 p.m.- Nekita Waller

5:15 p.m.- Jazz with Natt Reeves

6 p.m.- Parade arrival, Fireworks, and DJ REEFA live mixing to the show

6:15 p.m.- Phat A$tronaut

7 p.m.- Dj REEFA

7:30 p.m.- Briana Maia

8:15 p.m.- DJ REEFA

8:45 p.m.- Adjovi Simpini

9 p.m.- Love Light Galaxy

9:45 p.m.- DJ Ch’Varda

10:15 p.m.- Joey Batts

11 p.m.- Keila Myles

Midnight- Fireworks

About First Night Hartford

Since 1989, First Night Hartford has been Hartford’s New Year’s Eve party; a friends and family-friendly, multicultural, artistically unique New Year’s celebration with countless professional musicians, artists, performance groups and exhibits that inspire thousands of people of all ages to attend each year. The First Night marks the passage from the old year to the New Year with art, ritual and festivity. First Night Hartford’s mission is to broaden and deepen the public’s appreciation of the visual and performing arts through an innovative, diverse and high-quality program that offers the community a shared cultural experience that is accessible and affordable to all.