Hartford’s Riverfest began on Thursday with a Food Truck Festival.
In addition to the food trucks, the three-day event on Mortensen Riverfront Plaza features 50 vendors and exhibitors, 11 bands and more than 2,000 fireworks fired from four barges.
This year marks Riverfest’s 36th year.
“At 11 a.m. each day, more than 20 food trucks will provide delicious food, and live entertainment is offered throughout the day and evening,” said Charlie Myers, Riverfront Recapture’s director of programs and events. “The Food Truck Festival culminates on July 11th when we bring back some Riverfest favorites including Shaded Soul, the Neybas, Eight to the Bar, the 102nd Army Band, bounce houses, Birds of Prey, and plenty of kids' activities.”
Organizers said the Great River Park in neighboring East Hartford will also be transformed into a Country Fair. There will be a lumberjack competition, pony rides, a petting zoo, children’s arts and crafts, rock wall, bungee jump, logroll, bull riding, K9 demonstrations and a beer garden.
"This event is about the community coming together to do something good and celebrate this area, food, fireworks and Independence Day," Myers said.
The famous fireworks show is slated to begin at 9 p.m. on Saturday, where more than 2,000 fireworks will fly.
The whole festival is being put on by Riverfront Recapture with support of the city of Hartford and town of East Hartford.
"I think this is fantastic. I really am very impressed. I was walking by all the food places and was like oh yes, I'm ready to get a corned beef sandwich," said Barri Fox of Hartford.
Travelers is the presenting sponsor, Mohegan Sun is the Fireworks sponsor and WFSB is the Hartford site sponsor.
Parking is available in Hartford’s downtown garages and East Hartford’s private and public lots.
Handicap parking is available at the Connecticut Science Center in Hartford and the Constitution Plaza garage. In East Hartford, it can be found at the Commerce Center on East River Drive. State-issued handicap permits are required.
Boaters can also watch the fireworks from the river. Hartford’s Riverside Park boat launch will be open, but the Charter Oak Landing and Great River Park launches will be closed.
The rain date for the festival is Sunday.
For more information about the events, head to riverfront.org.
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