Hartford First Night Saved by Private Donation

This is a big weekend in Hartford with several major events taking place including The Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz.

And as it got underway it appears another signature event for the Capital City has been saved.

“The word had gotten out there that we were in limbo and somebody had heard,” Nicole Glander, First Night’s event manager, said.

Organizers of First Night needed to secure money by now so they could start the planning process.

That’s when an anonymous donor came to the rescue.

“This is a miracle. A lot of us thought we would have to throw in the towel,” Glander said.

The popular New Year’s Eve celebration includes fireworks, performances, and other family-friendly activities.

“I’m glad they were able to save it because it’s a fun night and people get a lot out of it,” Lori Steiner of Farmington, said.

First Night’s search for cash came when the city dropped its funding for the event during tough budget times.

“One of the things we’ve really focused on at this time when we at the city have had to cut back is building new partnerships,” Mayor Luke Bronin, D-Hartford, said.

Bronin says events including First Night and the jazz festival show that donors realize having a vibrant Capital City is important to the whole state.

“A lot of people have stepped up in big ways,” Bronin said.

While city staff helped raise money for the jazz festival, that does not include the gift of any city cash.

You can check out more jazz starting Sunday at 3:00pm at the Bushnell Park pavilion.

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