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The 2020 Hummers Parade went off without a hitch following last year's controversy, however, parade watchers said it was not as good as past years and had far fewer marchers.
Accompanying this year's parade was a group of over 50 protesters holding signs decrying racism. Made up of Middletown and Delaware's Latino, African-American and LGBTQ+ communities, they stood on the corner of Broad and Main streets.
Hundreds lined the streets to watch the annual parade that drew national scrutiny last year for a float depicting kids in cages that many deemed offensive.
The loosely organized parade is a spoof of the Mummers Parade in Philadelphia and floats often satire top news stories of the past year.
The parade was led by unofficial Grand Marshal Jack Schreppler, who held an original American flag with 13 stars. He waved and hugged many of the parade-goers.
About a dozen and a half small groups and a few lone individuals paraded down the main streets of downtown Middletown on New Year's Day.
The most popular topic depicted this year was the Delabear from earlier this winter.
Other marchers included a couple wearing Bill and Hillary Clinton masks and holding a rope that was tied around the neck of a man with an orange jumpsuit on that said "protective custody."
A man wearing a cardboard box with the word censorship also paraded down the street. He would drop the box upon cheers from the crowd.
One pair wore snowflake cutouts and chanted a rhyme saying people should leave if they are offended by the parade.
Other marchers carried signs saying the parade is not offensive or they are not offensive.
And some marchers did not spoof anything at all, including the Nur Shriners, who marched just to get the word out about their hospital and the charity work they do.
Louise and others said the parade was usually much longer and featured actual floats and not just people on bikes or walking around.
Middletown resident Shannon Harris, who has been coming to the parade for over a decade, echoed Louise's words and said the parade used to be a lot more fun before last year's display.
"I feel like anyone should make fun of themselves," she said.
She attended last year's parade and said she was uncomfortable with the float that made headlines for featuring people in cages. But she still felt people should be able to make light of the year's events.
Citing the origin of the parade — a group marching down the street to cheer up a sick friend — Harris said the parade should return to the lighthearted fun of past parades.
Protesters of the parade said, however, that this year's parade was a positive outcome.
There were not displays that were overtly offensive and it seemed as though people self-censored themselves following the response to last year's parade said Charito Calvachi-Mateyko, the co-chair of the Delaware Hispanic Commission.
She said that no parade marchers were mean to the people holding signs in the anti-protest group and that many actually wished them a happy New Year.
A lot of the negativity and political bent to the parade from last year was not present, which was good, said Linda LaRue. LaRue has lived in Middletown for 15 years and is a member of the NAACP's M.O.T. Branch.
She and others said this is not the end of their movement, however. The NAACP leadership hopes to get more African-Americans, Latinos and women elected into public office to enhance the representation of the town.
"We're not going away," she said. "We want them to realize we are going to keep our foot on their necks."