Write-up by Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb.com007


Lace up a pair of skates and join members of the UConn Men’s Hockey Team tomorrow between 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. on the ice rink at Bushnell Park in downtown Hartford, Connecticut. It will be just one of the multiple opportunities and attractions available at multiple venues during First Night Hartford 2015.


Now in its 26th year, First Night Hartford organizers are asking visitors to share “fond memories” of past events on their website.


Don’t miss this year’s horse drawn carriage rides around Bushnell Park. Nearby, tours of the towering Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch offer a chance to view the top. Over at the Wadsworth Atheneum join in making Mythical Masks & Necklaces; then wear those creations, or don holiday hats in the Grand Procession at Bushnell Park scheduled for 5:15-5:45 p.m. And, there will be two opportunities to enjoy fireworks displays, earlier or later in the evening to welcome in the New Year.


According to the First Night website, an interesting variety of music and other entertainment is on tap such as: Celtic, Bluegrass, Maritime and American songs sung by Bill Walach; an aerialist; sounds of cathedral organs; a classical music concert; performances by the Connecticut Academy of Irish Music at Center Church on 675 Main Street between 3-5 p.m.; a youth circus; learn Irish Gaelic with Brendan Kane; crafts and tours of the historic Butler-McCook House on 396 Main; magic & face-painting; Kwanzaa celebration from 6-8 p.m. at Charter Oak Cultural Center; storytelling at Hartford Public Library 500 on Main Street; comedy improv and more. A food court will set up inside State House Square on 10 State Street from 3-9 p.m.


The 2012 Veterans Parade in Hartford, Conn. passes through the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch.

Photo by Jacqueline Bennett  The 2012 Veterans Parade in Hartford, Conn. passes through the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch.

Skating rink -Hartford, CT

Photo by Jacqueline Bennett  Skating rink  at Bushnell Park in downtown Hartford, CT.

Wrsit band prices are $12 for adults, $3 for ages 3-15 and age 2 and under are free. Details about wrist band purchase can be found on their website. An information booth will be open on the corner of Main and Asylum Streets from 12 noon to 9 p.m. on December 31.


As well UConn Men’s Basketball takes on Temple at 1 p.m. at the XL Center.



Go to http://www.firstnighthartford.org for more information and a complete schedule of activities, or to share a story of a past First Night experience.








(079Writer’s note: A memorable First Night experience for me was attending a New Year’s Eve game of the former NHL Hartford Whalers at the Hartford Civic Center – before the hockey match got underway we stopped in for a bite to eat and a drink at Margaritaville that was also located in the HCC. Just outside the windows of the packed restaurant we could see glorious First Night fireworks lighting up the Hartford skyline – that brought “ahs “and “ohs” from the crowd!)