Someone Stole Froggy Carr’s Costumes

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.)

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15 Ways to Ring in the New Year in Philadelphia

Photo by M. Stanley for DRWC, via Visit Philadelphia.

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?

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Philly Drag Queens Will Return to 2015 Mummers Parade

Miss Fancy Brigade pauses near Broad and Washington. Photo courtesy of Wang Newton.

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.

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PHL17 Has Started An All-Mummers Channel

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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.

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DO THIS: Tribe of Fools Presents Gay Take on Romeo and Juliet

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It’s Romeo and Juliet. But gay. And with Mummers.

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 »

Mummers May Reverse, Shorten Traditional Parade Route

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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.

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2014 Olympics: Pizza Style

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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.

Check out participating restaurants »

VIDEOS: 10 Cool Old British Newsreels of Philadelphia

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From 1910 until 1970, the U.K.-based Pathé News produced newsreels and documentaries on events all over the world. Recently, a collection of 85,000 videos was uploaded to YouTube.

This kind of information dump is glorious for history dorks and journalists — and I just happen to be both. There are dozens of videos about Philadelphia! I trawled through the collection to find some notable videos, and I highly suggest you search for yourself as well.

For example, here is a report on a women’s football game played in 1932 between the “Buxom Chicago Bears and Blushing California Roses” at the Baker Bowl, the Phillies stadium. You can even spot the outfield “THE PHILLIES USE LIFEBUOY” sign. It is incredible. “Now we know where the bargain counter hands train for the sales!” It is also awful.

As the description notes, the stands are empty during gameplay. This newsreel used journalistic tricks!

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GALLERY: Photographer Captures Philly’s Mummers Spirit

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These portraits of the Mummers were inspired by one of my biggest photography influences, Richard Avedon, who sought to highlight his subjects’ personalities, often by isolating them against a plain backdrop and removing the distraction of environmental contexts. I felt that the residents of the Philly community and the members of the Mummers brigades would lend themselves well to a collection of images in that tradition, particularly for the exuberance and spirit that each person brought to the portrait. This series is intended to be a part of a broader ongoing project.

WMMR DJ Pierre Robert happened to walk by as I was shooting at 17th and JFK. Robert characteristically celebrates Philadelphia and Philadelphians in the spirit of every cultural occasion in which he’s involved, and so I decided on the spot to include him in my celebration in kind.

See Joshua Pelta-Heller’s photos after the jump »

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