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Story | Oct 15, 2014 | 6:01 AMThe Hooker Day Parade is a loose and spirited affair that marks the closest Hartford comes to its own Mardi Gras. It’s a celebration of creativity, fun and silliness held in honor of Thomas Hooker, a man who led his congregation through the wilderness in 1635 to settle in Hartford. An after party at Black Eyed Sally’s follows the colorful march, which begins at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18 in downtown Hartford. The parade is free. Information here.