HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The City of Hartford celebrated Fourth of July a day early on Sunday, with the first fireworks show in two years commemorating the holiday.  

A sea of colors shined cross the Hartford sky, as both young and old looked up in awe.  

Anticipation was high leading up to the big show, especially for 10-year-old Ethan Cohen from West Hartford.  

“It’s like a bunch of shooting stars,” Ethan said. “We haven’t seen them in a long time, so it’s like a big surprise.” 

It marked the first July Fourth fireworks in the city since 2019, and this time it was a part of a holiday event called ‘Hartford Bonanza,’ that started last summer. 

Mayor Luke Bronin said it’s great to see everyone working hard to revitalize the city.  

“We for a long time had the tradition of ‘Riverfest’ and fireworks down at the river, this is a different thing, it’s a new thing, but we’re all about creating new traditions,” Bronin said. 

It was hosted by ‘First Night Hartford,’ which also puts on the New Year’s Eve festivities downtown.  

Eugene Morton Jr. was one of the organizers.  

“As we make our way out of the pandemic, liberation is what we’re all looking for, to be outside with our friends, be outside with our families, and be outside and shop, be outside and hear live music,” Morton Jr. said.  

From live music, to vendors and food, families and friends found much to enjoy, coming together as a community. 

“It’s just literally like a breath of fresh air to be able to kind of come outside and walk around and take our masks off and be with other people,” Ethan’s dad, Eric said.  

Tayjoh Gardner of Hartford was also thrilled to be back out, spending the holiday with loved ones.  

“It’s more exciting when you get to see other families enjoying themselves too,” Gardner said.  

Independence Day festivities have looked different in Hartford, but those in the city are taking it as a fresh start combining new celebrations and old traditions.  

Sarah Falcetta and Chip Yates of Hartford put it this way.  

“It’s a reboot. We need to get back to normal,” Falcetta said. “It’s Hartford fireworks 2.0,” Yates added.