Holiday tradition in Hamburg
A new King Frost will reign over annual Hamburg parade
H amburg will welcome a new era Saturday as a new King Frost takes the crown.
George Mitten will be the star of the 51st annual parade when it steps off at 7 p.m. at North Third Street and Port Clinton Avenue.
“I’m looking forward to it. It should be a great night,” Mitten, Hamburg, said.
Mitten has been involved with the King Frost Parade since 1974. He will be the third King Frost, following M. Domer Leibensperger.
Leibensperger gave up the position after 32 years due to health issues, according to his son and parade chairman Derek Leibensperger.
Derek Leibensperger said last year’s 50th anniversary parade was the right occasion for his father’s final ride through the borough.
“We decided it was a good time for him to go out on top,” Leibensperger said.
Mitten said he was surprised to be selected to take over the role of King Frost.
“I was very shocked, very honored and very humbled,” he said.
Mitten said he is nervous, but also excited to see the parade from a different perspective.
Leibensperger said between 10,000 and 20,000 people will come out to watch the parade, which will feature floats, masqueraders and local marching bands.
Leibensperger said a new addition to this year’s parade is the Parkland High School Trojan marching band. The Allentown school’s band is made up of 246 members.
“We are excited to have them,” Leibensperger said. “Every year we reach out to area bands to participate in the parade.”
He added that marching bands draw more people to the parade, as friends and family want to see the students perform.
The Hamburg Area High School marching band will lead the parade through the downtown district. The 35-member hometown band will follow King Frost as he welcomes the thousands of spectators.
Other parade participants include the Schuylkill County Fair royalty, Queen Alexandra Mullin, Princess Kaylee Yeager and Little Miss Haley Rymarkiewicz.
“They are always very willing to participate,” Leibensperger said.
The event, billed as the largest fall parade in the East, is sponsored by the Hamburg Jaycees. Although this year will be the 51st consecutive parade, King Frost has had a presence in the borough since the first carnival was held in 1910.
Leibensperger said the parade has become a homecoming for families and friends in Hamburg.
“I think the word ‘tradition’ is a big one when it comes to the King Frost Parade,” he said.
According to the Borough of Hamburg website, www.hamburgboro.com, chairs, benches and blankets are not to be placed on borough sidewalks or seating areas until after 5 p.m. tonight.
For more information about the parade, visit the King Frost Parade’s Facebook page.
M. Domer Leibensperger, right, hands off the King Frost crown to George Mitten.
George Mitten dons the King Frost costume for the first time.