“That is the fourth Macarena of the New Year,” Steve Highsmith said just after we turned on the TV. It was last December. At happy hour, I was talking about the new All-Mummers channel PHL17 had launched that week. When some friends and I returned to my house after happy hour, we turned on the channel and heard Highsmith’s count.
By the time everyone left that evening, we had seen four more Macarena skits in the 1997 parade. The Mummers that year were like the Democrats in 1996: All Macarena, all the time. But I saw more than just that parade. I watched a lot of Mummers during the month of December — more than I’d like to admit. I saw a lot of sequins, feathers and Jerry Blavat. But when the month was over, I expected the all-Mummers Parade channel would be mothballed for another year.
Philly Mummers clubs continued a time-honored New Year’s Day tradition with their annual year-kickstarting parade on Broad Street. This year they flipped the route and actual strutted down Broad Street, starting at the judging stand at 10 a.m. in front of City Hall and finishing at Broad and Washington streets in South Philly. I’m a big fan of the day, enjoying the parade, people-watching, meeting friends on the street at my favorite viewing spots, and attending a few parties. Here, a few photos from my Mummer’s day adventure.
Councilman Mark Squilla strutting down Broad Street with the Mummers.
Nearly 4500 people attended the annual Union League Mummers Day Party, which also celebrated the first day of President Gregory Montanaro's two-year term. The Union League is one of the stops along Broad Street where the Mummers stop and perform.
Jonathan Saidel, former Philadelphia city controller, and Judge Maria McLaughlin leaving the Union League.
Parade goers on Walnut Street.
A fan posing with a mummer.
Stacey Kracher and Ella enjoy the Mummers from a terrace overlooking Broad Street.
The Rothman Skating Rink at Dilworth Park was open on New Year's Day.
Tania and Marc Schade hosted their Annual Mummers Day Party at The Residences at the Ritz Carlton
Britta Mulderrig and Michelle Finley at the Schade's Annual Mummers Day Party at the Ritz Residences.
Eagles Offensive Guard Todd Herremans and fiancé, Elizabeth Dee (they're getting married this year), with former Congressman Jon Runyan and Loretta Runyan at the Schade party at The Residences at Ritz Carlton.
Guests at the Schade's Annual Mummers Day Party at The Residences at the Ritz Carlton
Alison Young and Dave Maser leave the Union League's annual celebration with baby Zoe.
With just weeks to go until the Mummers Parade, someone has stolen Froggy Carr’s costumes! (Excellent “Rat steals Frogs costumes” headline, Daily News. The paper also quotes Sixers beat writer Ed Barkowitz, who has marched with the Frogs for 20 years.)
Photo by M. Stanley for DRWC, via Visit Philadelphia.
Whether you want to party all night, spend a quiet evening enjoying the arts, or have some kiddies in tow, there’s something to do in Philly on New Year’s Eve. Why stay in to watch the ball drop when you can celebrate with the rest of the town?
Miss Fancy Brigade pauses near Broad and Washington. Photo courtesy of Wang Newton.
For the third year, Philly drag queens will return to the New Year’s Day Mummer’s Parade. The Mummers LGBT Liaison Committee announced today that the Miss Fancy Brigade, led by Philly drag queen Brittany Lynn, will once again kick-off the parade, leading subsequent brigades along the new route. Instead of beginning in South Philly, the parade will kick off at City Hall, with judging taking place at 15th Street and John F. Kennedy Boulevard. From there, the brigades will march south along Broad Street to end at Washington Avenue.
PHL17 announced today it has created a sub-channel that will be showing non-stop Mummers parades until January 1st. The station will be airing parades back to 1995.
The channel is 17.4, formerly GeoTraffic, one of the subchannels that became available after the digital television transition. Channel 17.4 can also be found on Comcast channel 253 and Verizon FiOS channel 468.
If you think this sounds like the plot of an episode of Family Guy, you’re wrong. It’s the show Two Street, the newest brainchild of the Philadelphia-based Tribe of Fools, the physical theater company that has won critics over with its previous Fringe festival hits Heavy Metal Dance Fag and Antihero. The troupe, which consists of Terry Brennan, Zachary Chiero, Tim Popp and Peter Smith, welcomes Peter Andrew, Isa St. Clair, and Karina Balfour to the group for the FringeArts Festival take on Shakespeare’s classic tale, updated for queer contemporary audiences. Read more »
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.
Tomorrow, Thursday, July 17th, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., restaurants from all over South Philadelphia will compete for what may be the most honorable, and certainly delicious, title known to man: Pizza Olympics Champion. And this year, you get to decide who takes home the crown.
The 6th Annual Pizza Olympics at Penn’s Landing Caterer, 1301 S. Columbus Boulevard, will feature fifteen of Philadelphia’s pizza parlors, all of which will fight knead for your votes. Guests will decide the top slices in seven categories – Best Crust, Best Veggie, Best Creative Topping, Best White, Favorite Sicilian, Top Tomato Pie, and Best Sauce. Tickets are $15 and get you three hours of all-you-can-eat pizza sampling. And in addition to your full stomachs, the event is providing a DJ, prizes, and performance by the Mummers.