Post-Sex Scandal, the Mummers Need to Save Face

Playing for free at family-friendly events should be the first thing the Fancies do

According to a piece in Saturday’s Inquirer, there might not be a Santa Claus—at least not in Hatboro this year.  Hatboro’s Chamber of Commerce says there’s not enough cash to fund the township’s annual Christmas parade. “If we don’t get the funding, we will have to look at a smaller parade. We won’t get the marching bands and the Mummers, because we wouldn’t be able to pay for them,” operations manager Meredith Baker told Inky reporter Bonnie L. Cook.

Pardon my liberal use of shock-induced italics here, but the Mummers won’t play for free?  You must be kidding me.

Let’s take a look at some recent Mummers headlines from this website: “Mummers Clubhouse Raided in Prostitution Sting,” “Police Release Mummers Mug Shots and Photos From Sting,” “Why Weren’t Mummers Arrested in the Prostitution Bust?,” and “Why Did the Police Target the Mummers Prostitutes?” In case it slipped your mind amongst the other horrors of the recent Philadelphia news cycle, the Mummers have found themselves at the center of a big ol’ sex scandal.

That makes it a good time for the Fancies and their brethren to do a little crisis management—to remind local citizens that a few bad Mummers shouldn’t harm the reputation of an otherwise beloved organization. In other words:  If there is any group in the city that should jump at the chance to appear at family-friendly events—like the Hatboro Christmas parade—it’s the Mummers. The best way to save face after that pesky prostitution bust? Hanging out with Santa, whose ho-ho-hos are a lot less skanky than the ones the Mummers are now associated with.

The Mummers are also an organization with so much respect for holiday tradition that when the mayor slashed their city funding in 2008, they freaked out, begging for donations from every one in the city. Ultimately, the Mummers have continued to march, thanks in large part to donors.

Perhaps it’s time to pay it forward, eh, boys? Santa’s waiting.