The 2017 Hummers parade, a spoof of Philadelphia’s Mummers Parade often targeting politicians, celebrities and current events, will be held in Middletown on Sunday, Jan. 1 at about 1 p.m.
However, the informal parade usually starts a few minutes after that.
Known for its spontaneity and humor, the event will be led by “Grand Marshal for Life” Jack Schreppler, who tells those who are planning to attend to be prepared for a lot of “duct tape and ingenuity.”
“The Hummers will lampoon people in the public light,” explained Schreppler. “That person can be political or from pop culture who has done something bad, or even good.”
Last year, for example, the float that was directly behind Schreppler featured Schreppler’s cousin and boyfriend, riding in an old yellow and white GMC pick-up, adorned in masks as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. The two mocked the bitter rivalry that the two candidates began as they embarked on their respective presidential campaigns.
People who want to participate are asked to gather at Cochran and South Cass streets at noon or a little after. The parade goes from Cass Street south a couple blocks turning east to Broad Street, then north on Broad to Main Street, then west on Main Street past The Everett Theatre to Scott Street.
The parade wasn't a big townwide event years ago when it first started. A group of Middletown residents went to cheer up a friend who was ill on New Year’s Day, with a funny parade at his house. The tradition continued year after year, growing into an iconic Middletown event drawing spectators from throughout the state and region.
“I think we’ll see a lot of funny stuff,” said Schreppler. “We also lost a lot of good people this year. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a tribute to John Glenn.”
“The floats don’t always have to be about something bad,” he said. “They can be about something really good, and what a great American John Glenn was.”
This year, Schreppler indicated that there will be a strong support for firefighters shown in this year’s Hummer’s Parade.
“I always have a theme for the trophies, and this year’s theme is honoring firefighters,” Schreppler explained. “Firefighters everywhere, volunteer and professional. Especially those three Wilmington firefighters that were killed in that awful fire back in October. So, the Hummers will be honoring firefighters, and I will be wearing a special hat this year, to honor them.”
According to Schreppler, it is too early to know what the turn out might be for the parade because attendance relies heavily on the weather. However, when the weather is good, Schreppler noted that he estimates that the crowd approaches a total of 10,000 people.
Shcreppler also wished to give a shout-out to Sully’s Irish Pub at the Witherspoon Inn, which will be the Grand Marshal’s headquarters.
“Sully’s Irish Pub will open at 9 a.m. on New Year’s Day,” Schreppler noted “And you can tell anyone who would like to stop by and help the Grand Marshal lubricate his skates, to come see me at the Witherspoon.”