Doo-Dah Parade is a Lewes tradition

July 1, 2022

The Doo-Dah Parade has been a Lewes tradition for more than 50 years. Although it’s never been an officially sanctioned parade, hundreds of people line the city’s streets about 5 p.m. every Fourth of July in anticipation of the fun, loosely organized celebration. Dennis Forney captured this photograph just a month after establishing the Cape Gazette in 1993. Shown is Leon Fisher driving his antique John Deere tractor hauling a trailer-load of Fourth of July celebrants. The parade was founded by Phyllis Hoenen and Carolyn Shockley, who rallied people to gather pots and pans and metal trash can lids to use as cymbals, and along with a portable record player with an album of John Philip Sousa marches, they took to the streets. It has grown into a much-anticipated event in Lewes. Shockley passed away in 2000, while Hoenen died in 2019, but their memories live on every Fourth of July in Lewes. 


  • Delaware Cape Region History in Photographs, published every Tuesday in the Cape Gazette, features historical photos from Delaware's Cape Region - particularly - and from throughout Sussex County and Delaware generally.

    Readers are invited to submit photos of historic interest. They can be mailed to the Cape Gazette at PO Box 213, Lewes, DE 19958, or via email to

Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter