D.U.D.  Parade

 

                                                  December 31st

 

    In Livingston, Alabama the New Year’s Eve celebration, or parade, known locally as DUD is a highlight of the year. This celebration for the changing of the year has become a tradition in Livingston and in Sumter County. The local residents have apparently given very little attention to the origin of the custom, but they consider it an important part of their civic and social life. From one year to the next, people quietly plan their acts and costumes for the DUD parade on the evening of December 31st.

    According to History of the Town of Livingston, Alabama, prepared in 1928 by Dr Robert D.Spratt, the DUD Parade originated in 1857 by Colonel T.B. Wetmore, Ben B. Little, and Mr. John McDaniel. By the time this was recorded in 1928 no one really knew how the DUD got started. It is believed to have been a custom carried over from England and Scotland.

    In the older days, the maskers called themselves the "Indomitables." There was a march of the maskers at night and a parade on horseback in daytime. The custom almost passed out during the Civil War, but was revived some years afterward and has continued to the present day. The older name "Indomitables" passed out of use in the late 1800's when "some stupendous wit began to call the maskers ‘Damned Ugly Devils’ and so we have the D.U.D."