First Night activities under way - CBS 5 - KPHO

First Night activities under way

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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

There are plenty of celebrations to ring in the new year, and one of them is in the capital city, where First Night started Monday afternoon.

The 24th Annual First Night event is an "alcohol-free, public celebration that marks the passage from the old year to the new with art, ritual and festivity," according to a statement from the mayor's office.

The all-day event includes musicians and artists, as well as other performances on New Year's Eve. There is also train rides and ice skating.

"Everybody is out there and no one is pro and I'm not a pro but it was fun," said Bill Dunn of Ellington on Monday afternoon.

The skating rink is open until 1 a.m. and features free skating and rentals.

Fireworks lit up the sky at Bushnell Park in Hartford, where thousands of people gathered from in and out of Connecticut to welcome in the new year. The second show will happen at midnight.

There is food vendors as well.

"It's very hard to predict sometimes because with the cold weather, you might not get anyone tonight because it's really going to be cold tonight," said Pete Byrd of OG Dogs.

Byrd is hopeful for a large attendance at First Night Monday.

"I really hope it does happen," he said. "It's good for the city. It brings people spirits back because we had a lot of bad things happen in Connecticut."

Tickets for First Night cost $10 for adults and $2 for children.

There is free parking in downtown Hartford and at the Morgan Street parking garage. There are several garages offering parking for $2.

"I'm just hoping for the best, I hope people come down and enjoy the city and remember it's the best time of year," Byrd said.

First Night is celebrated in Canada, New Zealand and in 100 communities around the United States. 

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