Event-Packed Weekend in Hartford Includes Jazz Festival, Food Trucks and More

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This weekend Hartford is filled to the brim with events. Friday night it starts with the nearly sold-out Luke Bryan Concert at Xfinity Theatre along with the Riverfront Food Truck Festival and the Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz.

Charles Christi, the president of the Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz, called the weekend "the reboot of Hartford" and shared what people can expect.

"We have our Latin flavor opening us up Latin jazz and then our headliner, The Dennis Edwards' Temptations Revue - powerful powerful group and we just want you to experience it," Christi explained.

With the pandemic at play, the festival hasn’t taken place in person since 2019 - and Christi knows its presence will bring more to the community than just music.

"Our theme we picked is hope, a time of hope, which is very important because people have been cooped up for roughly 16 months. We need to be outdoors and we need to connect and we’re built to connect and this event does that," Christi said.

"I think there’s an awful lot of people who are hungry to be together and hungry for great music," Mayor Luke Bronin, D-Hartford, said.

According to the mayor, the city expects the festival to bring out nearly 40,000 to 50,000 people but the packed events of this weekend mean more than just a number.

"We had so much momentum and so much energy coming into 2020 and like elsewhere we got slammed in the gut with the pandemic but the city is coming back quickly and it’s coming back beautifully," Bronin said.

Another big event is The Riverfront Food Truck Festival and the co-owner of Poutine gourmet Lisa Greene knows she’s bringing something special.

There are 18 food trucks and a variety of entertainment at the festival in Hartford this weekend.

"It evokes so many memories and emotions. That’s one of the amazing things about poutine and something I’ve never experienced before is about how many people come in recollect and reminisce over childhood memories," Greene said.

But in a tough business and with many food vendors having to pack up their trucks after a year of Covid-19 - it means the world to Greene to do what she loves.

"If we have great weather we succeed, if we don’t we flop. So there’s no guarantees in this business but with everything opening up and this event going on means the world to us because at least we get a shot we get to try and that’s really what we all want," she told NBC Connecticut.

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