Hol­i­day tra­di­tion in Ham­burg

A new King Frost will reign over an­nual Ham­burg pa­rade

The Republican Herald - This Weekend - - FRONT PAGE - BY ERIC PEDDIGREE COPY ED­I­TOR eped­di­gree@re­pub­li­can­her­ald.com

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.

SUB­MIT­TED PHO­TOS

M. Domer Leibensperger, right, hands off the King Frost crown to George Mit­ten.

George Mit­ten dons the King Frost cos­tume for the first time.

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