If you've ever driven along Rt. 35 in Middletown, chances are good that you've seen the creepy 30-foot clown, named Calico, on the northbound side by Twin Brooks Ave.

Calico's fate is now in question, and one group is trying to save him.

Calico - the evil clown of Middletown
Google Maps

Known locally as the "evil clown of Middletown," it currently sits on the property of a Spirits liquor store.

Developers have their eyes set on the property for the Middletown Town Center project, with housing, shopping, and office space -- and no room for a clown.

Calico was designed in 1956 by Leslie Worth Thomas, who also created the legendary Tillie of Asbury Park.

A local group of Calico fans has created a petition to save the towering clown, and is close to their goal of 1,000 signatures.

They say the clown "is an icon of not only Middletown, but all of New Jersey, and deserves to be preserved!"

Fair enough. While I suppose it is a bit of an eyesore, it's clearly a big part of Middletown's cultural history. (It's also a big help when giving directions -- "Turn right after the giant clown. You'll see it.")

I don't know if it should be moved to a new site, or simply preserved in a museum somewhere, but it certainly shouldn't just be turned into scrap.


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