Lewes Doo-Dah Parade is like no other

Fourth of July tradition continues thanks to founders’ families who keep memories alive
July 8, 2024

On the Fourth of July, long lines of decorated vehicles, floats and bikes line up on Manila Avenue and Savannah Road to renew a tradition started more than 50 years ago. The Doo-Dah Parade is like no other. There is no registration, entry fees or a formal lineup.

It’s a fun time for people to celebrate the nation’s independence. Hundreds of people line the parade route along Kings Highway and Savannah Road in anticipation of the event. Children sit on the curbs with bags to collect candy thrown by the participants.

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 plus an album of John Philip Sousa marches, they took to the streets. Carolyn died in 2000, while Phyllis died in 2019, but their memories live on every Fourth of July in Lewes. 

It’s definitely a family affair, as generations of Shockleys and Hoenens have participated in the parade.


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