HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Rain didn’t put a damper on the festivities in Hartford Saturday night, as hundreds came out for dancing, ice skating, vendors, and two fireworks shows. 

After two years of toned-down festivities, First Night Hartford is back to full strength to ring in the new year. Crews set up the stage early Saturday morning, and nine musical artists performed, starting at 6 p.m.

There were also food trucks and various vendors on Trinity Street and Union Station.

“We’re really excited for this year,” First Night Hartford Event Director Jeff Devereaux said. “Last year, a lot of the indoor events got cut short due to that last-minute surge but this year we’re back in full for the first time since the first night in the 2020 celebration so we’re really excited to be back. We have a great program for the day, we hope people come out.” 

Those who attended didn’t mind the rain or slight chill. 

“The rain was a bummer but rain or shine, we’re going to have a good time. It’s about the company,” said Seamus Flynn from Manchester. 

First Night Hartford has been a staple in the capital city for decades. For some families, this was their first time attending. 

“We heard there were a lot of things going on in the city tonight. My son really wanted to come out and enjoy New Year’s. This is the first year he’s really taking grasp of the New Year,” said Anthony Cardwell from New Britain. 

Fireworks lit up the Hartford skies at midnight to ring in the new year.

Around the corner, the J Restaurant and Bar hosted their own ball drop on the hour, every hour. They do it every year so the kids at Connecticut Children’s next door can have a countdown. 

“Honestly they are the best neighbors in the world. They would trade places with us in a heartbeat to be here, so we want to do something fun for them,” said Jordan Dikegoros, the owner of J Restaurant and Bar.