Civic Connects - Hooker Day Parade

May 02, 2018

As part of  HYPE's mission to help young professionals become better engaged in community life and become ambassadors for the Hartford Region, the Civic Engagement Committee creates and organizes opportunities for members to engage in civics related programming, both locally and nationally, around topics of history, politics, and community matters impacting young professionals. The Civic Connects blog series focuses on interviewing professionals organizing annual events that bring people together in the City and impact the community. For the inaugural edition, HYPEster and Civic Engagement Vice-Chair, Greg Calnen interviewed Jeff Deveraux of the Hooker Day Parade.

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Tell us about your event?

The Hooker Day Parade was originally organized by former Hartford Mayor Mike Peters in 1991. It was started to show the unique history of Hartford and bring some excitement and goofiness showcasing the diverse culture of the city. After a few transitions of organizers over the years and a short hiatus, the parade has evolved into a more culturally entertaining event with a Saint Patrick’s Day like environment, where people come to hang out in the street and show the highlights of the city.


How long have you been involved and what is your role?

This year will be the first year under the organization of the Hartford based group Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, who are also involved in a number of different events in the city from Hartford Fashion Week to Know Good Markets. The parade and festival will focus on the History of Hartford, hoping to bring residents together to be themselves with some unique story telling aspects, but still having the fun cultural aspect that has been a part of the parade since its inception.


How do you engage the Hartford Community?

This history of the event speaks for itself and will continue to bring residents from the community and beyond. With the new approach of this year’s event the goal will be to take the disconnected groups in the city and use the parade as a platform to promote the positive things about Hartford.

There are five events leading up to the Parade as an opportunity to engage more residents. The events range from an Art Exhibit, a food market, culminating with the Hooker Day parade and Foundation Festival all at Bushnell Park on May 12th at Noon.

       hooker day parade 2018


If budget were not an issue, what is one thing you’d like to add to this event?

Jeff would like to see the Foundation Festival continue to grow and highlight the amazing things that the city of Hartford has and had throughout its fruitful history. The music in Hartford is one way the team is looking into to increase attendance, with the hopes of having people walking downtown and spending time at the Foundation Festival.


In what ways are you looking to further grow this event, and how can someone get more involved?

Building on the success of the parade and festival will create more community dialogue leading to an annual series of events in an effort to bring people together and showcase how we can collectively create change in the city. Achieving this can help make this a household name.

Jeff believes that we succeed as a community that wants to be engaged as we create a platform to leverage the community and build on these initiatives to eventually support their initiatives. For more information please visit the Hooker Day Parade Facebook Page.

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