Every year, the Greater New Britain area looks forward to several annual events that have become synonymous with the City of New Britain. These events are attended by thousands and have brought people from near and far to participate and enjoy the festivities.
During the summer months, the recently renovated Central Park is transformed into a hive of activity in the European-style square. In June, a free music series featuring area musicians draws residents and downtown workers who enjoy their lunch from one of several food trucks or a nearby restaurant at the park’s picnic tables. From July through October, Central Park also hosts a Connecticut Department of Agriculture-certified farmer’s market featuring local and organic fruits and vegetables, crafts, and other vendors.
Dozynki is a celebration of the end of the harvest and in New Britain, a chance to celebrate the Polish community and its traditions.
New Britain’s Little Poland Festival was first held in 2012 to celebrate Polish culture and heritage and to highlight the city’s Polish neighborhood known as Little Poland. Over the years, the festival has grown from 600 participants to over 20,000, many traveling from across New England and beyond. With leaping folk dancers, live music, arts and crafts, unique shopping, Polish food, costumed characters, carnival rides and activities for kids, the Little Poland Festival is one of the fastest growing family friendly festivals in CT.
This event held in Central Park is an annual tradition marking a symbol of the holidays in the City. The event includes activities for children, hot chocolate, music, and more with Santa Claus bringing gifts for all of the children in attendance. Children are given the opportunity to tell Santa their Christmas wish while enjoying the singing of carols. This event is of one of the oldest public Christmas tree traditions in the nation, starting the same year as the Rockefeller tree in New York (1912) and pre-dating the National Christmas Tree on the White House Lawn by eleven years.
Held annually at Tinity-on-Main, Tuba Christmas is a 43-year-old nationally celebrated tradition of well-loved Christmas songs played by tuba players of all ages and levels.
The New Britain Rose Garden Festival is held annually at Walnut Hill Park to celebrate the beginning of summer. The event features several area restaurants, two musical groups, dancing and alcoholic beverages in a beautiful park setting with 1,000 roses, the majestic World War I monument and the water fountain located in the center of the four quadrants.
This annual Halloween event draws thousands, where children can safely walk the downtown area to Trick or Treat in a safe, controlled environment. The event first debuted in 2013 and has grown exponentially every year since. It is put on in collaboration with the New Britain Downtown District, the New Britain City Journal and made possible by the generous donations of city downtown merchants. Little ghouls and goblins roam freely in the downtown streets to gather candy at over 20+ businesses locations.
The annual car show is a downtown tradition held in the Central Park area. Trophies are awarded for the best antiques, muscle cars, street rods and imports.
The only city-sponsored parade held in the City of New Britain is traditionally a huge event. The parade features veterans organizations, the Sphinx Temple Motor Patrol, cyclists, and Temple Guard, school marching bands, clowns, a stilt walker, the Police, EMS, Fire Departments, and many Fife and Drum Corps, youth and local organizations. The parade route is 2.2 miles from Broad/Burritt Streets to Main Street and ends near Franklin Square.
Main Street USA is a street fair that includes a variety of street-walking entertainers such as magicians, clowns, stilt walkers and bagpipers; a beer garden for adults; a kids zone with inflatable toys; jousting, hot air balloon rides, moonwalks, obstacle courses and basketball challenges. The Darius Miller Bandshell hosts musical acts and there are more than 75 booths for arts and crafts vendors, as well as food vendors.