Riverfront Recapture to End Annual July Fireworks Display in Hartford

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The fireworks display that was supposed to take place in July at Riverfront Recapture in Hartford will not happen. Riverfront Recapture posted on its website that the annual display will no longer take place.

“This constantly evolving event has grown in attendance and exceeds the capacity of our parks. We are disappointed as this is one of our most popular events but the safety of our park visitors, and our parks, is paramount,” Michael Zaleski, Riverfront Recapture’s president & CEO, said in a statement.

The statement points out “significant development” around Mortensen Riverfront Plaza and says parking lots that were once available for viewing the fireworks now house new buildings and popular attractions and that people are gathering in more condensed spaces in the parks and struggling to see the show.

“We have had to admit to ourselves that we can no longer welcome tens of thousands of people to Mortensen Riverfront Plaza for a fireworks show on the river and ensure both good viewing and safe egress at the conclusion of the show,” Zaleski in a statement. “There are times when tough choices have to be made, especially in light of the well-publicized recent cuts to our budget. It’s disappointing to lose a great fireworks show but we still have a robust year of events to come.”

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin released a statement Tuesday morning,

"We’ve worked closely with Riverfront Recapture on the fireworks over the last few years, and they have become very challenging to hold safely when you combine tens of thousands of visitors, the stringent state and federal safety requirements, and space limitations.  This is certainly disappointing, but we should be excited for the full summer of great events in our parks and throughout Hartford – not to mention the dozens of other fireworks across Connecticut every year,” Bronin said in an emailed statement.

The Riverfront Recapture website says Riverfront still plans to hold all of its other popular free public events, including the Riverfront Food Truck Festival that will take place July 9–July 11.

The Taste of the Caribbean & Jerk Festival will be held on Saturday, Aug. 1 and the Riverfront Dragon Boat & Asian Festival will take place on Aug. 15.

The Hartbeat Music Festival will take place on Sept. 12. It's a free day to celebrate local and regional music.

The 2020 Head of the Riverfront Regatta takes place on Sunday, Oct. 4.

Learn more online here.

Read the full news release here.

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