AP NEWS

Guidelines OK’d for parade that drew controversy in Delaware

December 19, 2019 GMT

MIDDLETOWN, Del. (AP) — A town in Delaware has approved guidelines that would allow a parade to continue on New Year’s Day despite last year’s controversy over a float that portrayed migrant children in cages.

News outlets report that Middletown officials approved the guidelines Wednesday. The annual Hummer’s Parade is scheduled for Jan. 1, 2020.

The guidelines say that Middletown “does not, either by express or implied means endorse, adopt, condemn nor condone any particular expression of free speech by any parade applicant or participant. The Town cannot, and will not, attempt to unlawfully regulate the exercise of free speech.”

The city’s website says the event modeled after Philadelphia’s Mummer’s Parade is not affiliated with the town and is “haphazardly thrown together” by residents, making fun of each year’s events.

The 2019 parade caused officials and community activists to cry foul, saying spoofing the humanitarian crisis at the border was mean-spirited and considered to be “punching down.” The outrage led the town to appoint a parade committee, which recently submitted the guideline recommendations.