Mummers May Reverse, Shorten Traditional Parade Route

Participants want to bring more fun to the proceedings.

mummers philly mardi gras

Go south, young … thing.

It’s usually a scary thing to challenge tradition in Philly, but in this case, a proposal to reverse the Mummers’ traditional January 1st parade route — so that it would now travel from City Hall south to Washington Avenue, skipping South Philly — comes from the Mummers themselves.

Why? Because City Hall is where “the daylong queue of string bands, comics, and elaborate floats” is judged. And it seems the Mummers think they — and everybody else — would have more fun if they got the judging over with first, and could spend the rest of the parade celebrating.

The Inquirer reports:

Tom Loomis, president of the 17-member Philadelphia String Band Association, said it this way: “What we have become is a line waiting to be judged. We’ve stopped being a parade.”

By starting at City Hall with the judging first, organizers hope, the event will become more parade-like and enjoyable for viewers and marchers.

“Taking the stress and angst of the competition out of the way, and just marching from City Hall to Washington, we can now focus on just entertaining people,” Loomis said.

And times change: South Philly used to be the heart of the parade, traditionally starting at Oregon Avenue. Neighborhood demographics have shifted, and Loomis said Mummers often face near-empty blocks when marching south of Washington.

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  • Cheeky215

    Load of bull***…. i can see that crowds are lighter than years back but the mummer have always had its tradition and heart in south philly.. going from center city to washington ave is not considered walking walking down broad street and being south philly!!! It will be really sad on New Year’s Day…from now on.

  • Taxpayer

    The only people that support this embarrassment of a parade are the drunken uneducated losers in South Philadelphia who are too stupid to realize that it’s time has past and it’s time to move on. It’s not 1950 anymore.

  • Boots Electric

    I’m assuming this is all so they can start the white-trash Carneval on 2nd Street even earlier in the day. So the kids can get drunk and sleep it off, since it’s a school night.

  • Robert Nothim

    I can understand the Mummers wanting to reverse the parade as they want to get to 2 street to celebrate on New Years Day, but if they chose to bypass the South Philly parade route they should expect South Philly will stop supporting them. South Philly tolerates and supports their club houses, their fund raising events, their museum, their demonstrations and their club practice sessions. Imagine if suddenly we no longer did. Many South Philly families still maintain the traditions of their grandparents and great grand parents this includes supporting the Mummers. Please don’t abandon the a neighborhoods which have supported you for so many years.

  • Salvatore Patrone

    Looks like the purveyors of homogenized monoculture are going for another victory toward total drabbery.

  • johncrow

    has nothing to do with the mummers its the city, and to taxpayer your an ass 99 percent of all mummers are union members making probably 2 times what you make and 99.99 of them don’t get whacked out drunk at all and half people in crowds are backpackers from suburbs so b4 you make an ass of yourself get the facts.

  • johncrow

    we wont abandon south Philly EVER so don’t worry about that Robert, and you tolerate us? little strong dont you think? i don’t know what club you live near but most clubs i know are very neighbor friendly and concerned what happens in and around club