Philadelphia has the Mummers, but here in Delaware, Middletown has the Hummers. The local group's annual informal parade will start at about 1 p.m. on New Year's Day.
The offbeat event features homemade costumes and floats that often lampoon public figures who have "stepped in something stinky," according to Grand Marshal for Life, Jack Schreppler.
All are welcome to participate. No registration is necessary – just show up. The starting point is the intersection of South Cass Street and West Cochran Street, one block from the fire house, just west of Broad Street. The parade will then proceed to Broad Street through downtown Middletown.
While all in good fun, this year's parade will be also be poignant, as the Hummers honor Sam Miller, a Middletown native who is battling cancer. Miller's father, Dutch, was the inspiration for the parade which began when he was ill on a New Year's Day and friends strutted to his house to cheer him up.
Schreppler said that the trophies this year will have a football theme as a tribute to Sam Miller, an All-American defensive end who recently was inducted into the University of Delaware Hall of Fame.