Hummers Parade set to return under new Middletown ground rules
The Hummers Parade in Middletown will go on as scheduled on January 1st, but under new guidelines.
The guidelines set by Middletown Town Council will hold permit applicant, Jack Schreppler, responsible for all aspects of the parade, including following the rules and procedures in the guidelines.
The issue stems from last January’s Hummers Parade when a float spoofing kids locked in cages at the U.S. border offended many in the community. Their complaints set the stage for the town to create the guidelines for any parade held in town
While many wanted council to be strict with the parade organizers, it couldn’t because of First Amendment issues.
State Senator Stephanie Hansen (D-Middletown) says the discussion should have been months ago, not Wednesday night.
"I think the town put a lot of thought into it. I wish that the discussion of the First Amendment and what that actually meant would have happened a little earlier than [Wed.] night," said Hansen."For a lot of people, it would have been, I think, less explosive had the discussion about what that means and what rights are afforded under the First Amendment."
If any of the guidelines are violated by the parade, future permits may be denied.
Hansen is uncertain if the move will make the parade known for making fun of current events and political figures less offensive.
"We all need to take a wait-and-see attitude to see what happens at this year's Hummers Parade," said Hansen. "What lessons have been learned from last year? And what lessons have been learned as a result of going through the process of trying to put together guidelines as well? It's been a good public discussion I think the public discussion will and should continue."
The parade’s permit for this year was approved by Middletown on Thursday.