Sunny day on Pratt Street Patio with tables and chairs set up from restaurants.
Hartford’s Winterfair is a 23-day holiday popup to promote shopping local
Susan Dunne
Nov 16, 2021

HARTFORD — Vacant storefronts in downtown Hartford will glow with holiday cheer from Black Friday to New Year’s Eve, as Winterfair, a pop-up marketplace, will fill those storefronts with works by more than 100 local artists, artisans, craftspeople, food purveyors and small business people.

“Winterfair: Hartford’s Holiday Market,” which also will feature pop-up kiosks, will be held on Pratt and Trumbull streets for 23 days, on select weekends and weekdays throughout the holiday season, according to Breakfast Lunch & Dinner, the Hartford events and promotions firm organizing Winterfair.

Jessica Emonds of Breakfast Lunch & Dinner said that firm is working with building owners Northland Properties to occupy some of the vacant spaces including 88 Pratt St. and 242 Trumbull St.

“We also have an additional space on Trumbull adjacent to the XL Center doors,” she said. “Shelbourne has provided some spaces on the opposite side of Pratt that will be used on occasion as well.”

In a news conference on Nov. 3 announcing Winterfair, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin cited the coronavirus pandemic as a reason to make the communal shopping experience more alluring.

“We’ve all been through a difficult year and a half and this is going to give people the chance to come together and be together,” Bronin said. “And this is a great opportunity for people from all over to engage with a lot of our great small businesses, some of which they might not have even known existed.”

Emonds said the final list of vendors is not yet finalized, but approved vendors so far include entrepreneurs working with the Hartford-based Reset retail incubator. These are African Adornments, Lady Jane, Hartford Gear Co, Shade By Smoove, Nabii Organics, Ital Creations, Reboot Co, Bloom Bake Shop and Omni Prints Plus.

Winterfair will be open Black Friday from 6 to 10 p.m.; from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Nov. 27 and 28 and Dec. 4, 5, 11, 12, 18 and 19; from noon to 8 p.m. on Dec. 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 20, 21, 22, 23, 29 and 30; from noon to 4 p.m. on Christmas Eve and from 2 p.m. to midnight on New Year’s Eve, the same time as downtown Hartford’s annual First Night events.

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