‘Trump,’ ‘Caitlyn’ and ‘Chip Kelly’ attend Hummers Parade

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The pope — also known as Jay Knight — was ready to bless spectators Friday at the Middletown Hummers Parade. (Delaware State News/Matt Bittle)

MIDDLETOWN — Perhaps no place in Delaware enjoys New Year’s Day like Middletown.

The city annually rings in the new year with a parade — but not an ordinary parade.

The Hummers Parade is disorganized but clever, funny but irreverent. A much smaller version of Philadelphia’s famous Mummer’s Parade, the Middletown event gives people a chance to welcome a fresh new year by mocking the one that just ended.

Nothing is off-limits.

Hundreds of people turned up again Friday to laugh at the spectacle. Costumes and floats mocking Caitlyn Jenner, Donald Trump and former Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly were common among the participants who parodied current events and people.

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Clay Wessell has the perfect choice for the Philadelphia Eagles’ next head coach.

Townsend resident Clay Wessell combined two of the most popular targets, Caitlyn Jenner and Chip Kelly. Ms. Jenner announced in April she was transitioning to a woman, while Chip Kelly was fired as head coach of the Eagles just last week.

Dressed as a woman — a common theme for his parade costumes, Mr. Wessell said — he rode in the back of a truck displaying a sign that proclaimed the Eagles’ next coach would be “Claylynn.”

“Caitlyn Jenner writes itself, but then Chip Kelly getting fired, and I figured there’d be a lot of Caitlyn Jenners, but there’s not going to be a Caitlyn Jenner that’s transitioning into the Eagles’ new coach,” he said.

He said he has been taking part in the parade for 30 years, with past costumes mocking O.J. Simpson and former Baltimore Oriole Cal Ripken Jr.

A few cars away from Mr. Wessell, Jay Knight “blessed” spectators.

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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump was represented in the parade Friday.

Dressed as Pope Francis in honor of the September papal visit to Philadelphia, Mr. Knight carried a small wooden cross and rode in a silver car that had been modified to look like the famous popemobile.

At one point during the parade, a man carrying a child ran up to the car, and Mr. Knight, of Smyrna, feigned blessing them.

Other costumes included birds, lions and scientists who dabble in drugs.

One woman dressed as an emu in honor of the bird that ran wild in southern New Castle County in the fall. In another car, Mark Wessell and Art Wessell dressed as the two main characters from “Breaking Bad,” a show about making methamphetamine. Their car had a sign proclaiming them to be two former DuPont chemists, making light of the recent layoffs announced by the chemical giant.

Multiple people parodied Cecil the lion, the African feline whose killing in July drew uproar.

A man impersonating Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump rode a trailer with a sign that read “We shall overcomb,” mocking Mr. Trump’s famous hairstyle.

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Several people did their best to skewer former Eagles coach Chip Kelly.

People began lining up an hour early in anticipation. Many took advantage of the opportunity as a mini-party of sorts, complete with alcoholic beverage of choice.

One of many watching from the sidewalk was Middletown resident Karen Stevenson, who had been to the parade three times before.

She said she looks forward to the event and had fun at this year’s iteration, taking particular enjoyment in people dressed as the Kardashians.

While some of the designs could be construed as offensive — Ms. Jenner and sex offender Jared Fogle, to name two — that’s the appeal of the event.

“Political incorrectness rules the day for sure,” Mr. Wessell said. “We have a lot of fun, man. This is something that… comes one day a year…”

Reach staff writer Matt Bittle at mbittle@newszap.com

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