It’s now January 3rd, and the holidays are behind us. The city, empty yesterday, has now returned to its usual hustle and bustle. January 1st seems so far away.
Except, of course, for the canoe someone left at 19th and Market streets. Read more »
It’s a new year, and the older I get, the more I have begun to realize that some stuff won’t change because it really doesn’t want to.
Case in point: the Mummers Parade, the age-old Philadelphia tradition that marches along Broad Street every New Year’s Day. You don’t really need me to detail the parade’s racist, anti-LGBTQ, sexist, and culturally insensitive history — there have been plenty of reports in the past of Mummers in blackface, and some mocking transgender individuals and uttering sexist/racist/homophobic slurs. Read more »
During the televised broadcast of this year’s Mummers Parade, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said that he wants the parade to go from the “regional attraction” that it is to something that brings in visitors from all over the world. Well, Mr. Mayor, you’ve got a lot of work to do, so we thought we’d help you out with these five suggestions. Read more »
We had the Mummers Parade on all day at my house on Sunday, from the lousy acts at the beginning all the way through the prestigious string bands. And the one element of the entire parade that we’re still talking about today is this: the Rabble Rousers and their giant poop that seemed to confuse the commentators on Channel 17. Here, Leslie Rogers — the woman who created the Mummers poop — explains how she made it, what it all meant, and why the folks on TV didn’t want anything to do with it. Read more »
It’s been roughly 10 years since the LGBTQ community began to be openly included in the annual Wawa Welcome America Fourth of July Parade, but this year we will get our own float. Plans for the inclusion of a float came from Under the Sun Productions, which has worked with Wawa Welcome America in the past. But the most surprising support came from the Mummers — yes, the group that back in January offended a good chunk of the community. “This July 4, it’s even more important that not only do we have the Mummers close by, but that we celebrate inclusion, forgiveness and moving forward together as Philadelphians,” said openly gay Wawa Welcome America head Jeff Guaracino. Although Wawa Welcome America had a 50th Anniversary commemorative float reflecting on the LGBT civil rights movement last year, this is the first official designated float for the community expected to run annually. The float will be included in the “gay section” of the parade, which will feature local drag queen Brittany Lynn, the Lambda Car Club, Hegeman String Band and LGBT members of the networking club Rainbow Alliance. The Wawa Welcome America events are scheduled to run this year from June 27th through July 4th. Read more »
If you believe the Mummers, things will be different next year.
In a press release issued Sunday, parade organizers condemned this year’s antics — including brown face, signs referring to Caitlyn Jenner as a “tranny,” an attack on a gay man and This Unholy Specimen — and outlined an impressive, seemingly sincere plan to make next year a more inclusive event.
Newly minted Mayor Jim Kenney, for one, seems hopeful. “There’s been lots of strides that the Mummers Parade has made over the years, but there is always one dumb thing that happens that really does affect people and offend people,” he said Tuesday. “We have to try to start over, and we’re working on that with the human relations commission and our LGBT affairs leader Nellie Fitzpatrick.” And now there’s discussion of sensitivity training, pre-screening of acts, sanctions and more.
I like Kenney, and I hope he’s right. But at the same time, this is only his fifth day on the job. It’s easy to have hope less than a week into even the most impossible of gigs, to truly believe that a mix of hard work and know-how can bring about change and uncover truth. (I’ve never been mayor, but I have bartended at TGI Friday’s, so I feel pretty qualified to pass on this advice: When your blender shorts out during the middle of the Ultimate Mudslide happy hour that is Philadelphia, Mr. Kenney, just try to remember all of the reasons you don’t want to go to jail. I find writing them on a napkin helps.) Read more »
(Editor’s Note: This is an opinion column from a Citified insider.)
The Mummers Parade was a national disgrace. Again. Can’t we just ban them, or, at least consign them to a march on Oregon Avenue?
Probably not. But that doesn’t mean we’re helpless in seeking a Mummers Parade that reflects and celebrates all Philadelphians. Read more »
The Mummers say things are going to change.
Several skits sparked outrage at the Mummers Parade this year. This has happened before, and pretty much every year since the beginning of the parade, but social media makes it easier to spread outrage nowadays. And the Mummers have reacted. Yesterday, parade organizers issued a press release on the controversy: Read more »
If you’ve lived in Philadelphia all of your life, you no doubt know at least a bit about our annual New Year’s Day tradition known as the Mummers Parade. But if you’re a new resident (over 100,000 millennials alone since 2007), the longtime ritual might be a bit puzzling, both conceptually and logistically. So whether you’re an old timer who wants to know what time the Wench Brigades begin or a newcomer wondering what the heck a Wench Brigade even is, our exhaustive Mummers Parade Guide has something for you. Read more »