Thousands celebrated the New Year during First Night in the capital city as fireworks helped ring in 2016.
First Night Hartford is in its 27th year, and seems to get bigger and better every year. It is a family-friend event, bringing everything from music to magic, comedy acts to arts and crafts, and of course, free ice skating.
There were more than 100 first nights celebrated in places across the country on New Years Eve.
"This is the first time that we’ve ever come here so we’ll definitely turn it into a tradition," Glen Waldron, of Hartford, said. "That’s for sure."
Organizers said they anticipate to see upwards of 10,000 people throughout the day.
“It really gives families an opportunity to come out in a safe event. It’s alcohol-free and (lets people) enjoy themselves with their children,” said Nicole Glander, event organizer.
Shelly Mason, who was visiting from California, called First Night "fun."
"This is so fun festive and beautiful and really fun for the kids," Mason said.
There were fireworks at 6 p.m. and at midnight.
Security was in full force to keep everyone safe.
"Families come to downtown Hartford for a great event and we expect the same thing again this year, a lot of people coming downtown," said Hartford Deputy Police Chief Brian Foley. "You will see a lot of uniformed police presence. You also won't see a lot of the culvert stuff. Some of the electronic stuff and the technology we use to protect our citizens."
Foley also said the city's ShotSpotter will be used to address celebratory gun shots on New Year's Eve.
For more information on First Night Hartford, click here.
At midnight, Mayor-Elect Luke Bronin was sworn into office.
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