What to Know
- The Riverfront Fireworks in Hartford are set for July 8.
- The fireworks will be part of a "Summer in the City" program announced by Mayor Bronin and the Greater Hartford Arts Council.
- Other events this summer will include the Festival of Jazz and Riverfront Dragon Boat & Asian Festival.
The popular Riverfront Fireworks will be returning to Hartford this summer following a year off due to financial challenges. The fireworks show is now scheduled for July 8 as part of a larger summer series of events called the "Summer in the City" program.
These events were announced Tuesday by Hartford mayor Luke Bronin and Cathy Malloy, CEO of the Greater Hartford Arts Council. United Technologies and other partners are helping support the events in the capital city this summer.
“Hartford has a great lineup of concerts and festivals every summer, but the City has never had the resources to promote and support these events as part of a coordinated summer series," said Bronin. “These events happen every year because of committed, dedicated volunteers. As our fiscal challenge forced the City to cut back on subsidizing those events, we asked private funders to help us do what we really aspired to do, which is not just to help keep particular events going, but to bring them together into one, well-branded Summer in the City series. I’m grateful to our program supporter and to the Greater Hartford Arts Council and the event organizers for their tremendous partnership.”
At the time of the fireworks cancellation in 2016, the mayors of Hartford and East Hartford were disappointed that they weren't able to justify the expense of a fireworks show with budget crises. At the time, Riverfest and the fireworks display on the Connecticut River cost the two municipalities $100,000 each year. In addition, last year the cities were expected to pick up the cost of state troopers.
But now, leaders in both communities are looking forward.
“Riverfront Recapture is pleased to be bringing back our mid-summer fireworks display to the Connecticut River,” said Mike Zaleski, CEO of Riverfront Recapture. “Many have worked hard over the past year to secure the private sector funding required to put on this fun, free celebration. My thanks to Mayor Bronin, the Greater Hartford Arts Council and the numerous companies and corporations that stepped up to support fireworks on the river and all of our summer events.”
This year's “Summer in the City” events will include:
• June 17: Black-Eyed and Blues Festival
• June 24: Greater Hartford Latino Fest
• July 8: Riverfront Fireworks
• July 14-16: Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz
• August 5: Taste of the Caribbean and Jerk Festival
• August 12: West Indian Independence Celebration
• August 19: Riverfront Dragon Boat & Asian Festival
• September 9: Hartford Capital City PrideFest
The city has set up a special website for the "Summer in the City" program at www.SummerinHartford.com