Hey, Who Left This Canoe on Market Street?

We suspect it might have been the Mummers. But we’re open to other explanations.

Canoe on Market Street

Do you know who left this canoe? | Photo: Dan McQuade

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.

I suspect it may have been the Mummers. But despite an exhaustive viewing of all of PHL17’s coverage of the parade – I heard Steve Highsmith say my uncle Tom and cousin TJ’s names! — and frantic calls to friends in the Mummers, I am baffled as to which group left it here. (“Sadly, I do not know [who left it],” one friend said after viewing the photo. “But it’s a hell of a canoe.”) Since it’s at 19th and Market, my guess is that the canoe was ditched by a group before its members performed for the cameras. Or maybe it was full of beer and simply dropped aside when it had served its purpose.

I am also open to other explanations. Perhaps the recent rain washed it ashore — though it does have wheels — or maybe there was an unrelated re-creation of Washington’s crossing of the Delaware across Market Street that coincidentally happened around the same time as the Mummers. Maybe it’s the start of a bike share program, but for sparkly wheeled canoes, and this is the first station. Maybe.

I don’t mean to chastise whoever left the canoe behind. I think this is something we can all get behind. Like the Liberty Bell or the Rocky statue, this Mummers Canoe can become a tourist attraction for the City of Philadelphia. If we can convince tourists to visit a broken bell and a movie prop, we can convince them this canoe is important.

So: Thank you, whoever left this. Feel free to pick it up and take it back to your clubhouse, but I’ve already become attached to it.