WALLINGFORD — Residents can expect to see the time machine from a 1980s film classic driving down the streets at the 350th Jubilee Parade next year.
Parade Committee Chairman John Sullivan said a replica of the DeLorean from the science fiction film series “Back to the Future” will be featured in the Wallingford 350th Jubilee Parade in June 2020. Although the vehicle is not the exact car from the films, it is endorsed by the lead actor Michael J. Fox and the film series’ co-creator Bob Gale.
Sullivan said the committee is working on a contract to secure the replica created by Oliver and Terry Holler, a South Carolina couple, who rent the car for events around the country to benefit the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. (The actual DeLorean used in the films was destroyed by a train at the end of the trilogy, the Hollers’ website notes.)
The DeLorean will be driven on the parade route with the other floats and vehicles and later parked at Simpson Court. Members of the public can have their photos taken sitting in the DeLorean in exchange for in kind donations to the Parkinson’s Foundation.
Sullivan said to “raise the fun factor” the committee plans to have the film’s lead characters Marty McFly and Emmett “Doc” Brown accompany the DeLorean in the parade. Instead of hiring professional impersonators, the committee will search the town and local high schools for someone to portray them. Auditions will begin in 2020.
“I think it would be more fun to have high school students try out and be a part of this,” Sullivan said. “This is all about Wallingford. I think it’s better to use residents.”
Since the couple built the DeLorean time machine, the vehicle has traveled to all 50 states and raised more than $800,000 for Parkinson's research, the Hollers said in an interview Wednesday. The trip to Connecticut will be the first return trip to the state.
"It's kind of like a win-win for everybody. We’re very excited to be able to share it with the community,” Oliver Holler said.
Christine Mansfield, co-chair of the Jubilee Committee, said the committee has many dedicated volunteers working to make the parade special.
“It’s an exciting addition to the parade for sure,” Mansfield said of the DeLorean time machine. “It’s promising to be the parade of the century.”
The parade committee has contracted with close to 20 fife and drum corps performers, multiple rock tribute bands and a string band from the Philadelphia Mummers Parade. Each public school will have the opportunity to build a parade float.
Sullivan said the musical performances will start at noon on June 20 and the parade will begin at 1:30 p.m.— officially kicking off Jubilee Week.
The parade sponsor is Ulbrich Stainless Steel and Special Metals and the sponsor for the DeLorean is Zandri’s Stillwood Inn. Sullivan said the committee hopes to secure more unique vehicles for the parade thanks to various sponsors.
“Things are really starting to click,” Sullivan said. “This is really a celebration of the town.”