Jerry Mondesire has ideas, too, but they make no sense, and include racial diversity as the parade's saviour. Yeah, mixed-race clubs will guarantee a Broad Street overflowing with spectators. Unfortunately, his idea may get more traction than yours.
While everyone complains when they threaten to curtail this unique New Year's tradition, fewer and fewer show up to support it. And those "outside the box" thinkers in the Mummer clubhouses won't get it until it's gone.
Kevin Custer, Philadelphia
I'm a Mummers fan who's been at Broad and Pine for more than 35 years. Our group of 50 or so family and friends has always watched the whole parade. We come with milk crates to stand on since they threw us off the College of Art steps years ago. This year we waited for the string bands as always and were totally frustrated when the first three walked right by us. The Overbrook captain said they were told to skip right to the Union League. Some of our group moved and the others simply went home.
I agree that the parade has to be quicker, but that corner has always been one of the most crowded and lively spots. If they designate any full-drill areas, Broad and Pine should be one of them.
Nick Sava, Havertown
Stu, great proposal for the parade. As for the comment of the Mummer official that you can't hear them, that's what microphones are for!
I attended the parade this year, as usual, and I always stand at Broad and Shunk, near Stolfo's Funeral Home.
Yes, they do perform there, but, I only saw the back of their large props! Giant blank pieces of wood, which, I'm sure, have some wonderful display on the front, but, most of the crowd only saw the back. I could hear the music, but couldn't see a thing.
Kathleen Aruffo, Philadelphia
Yes, start the parade at the stroke of midnight at City Hall moving south, as you suggested. The city should also have a dropping of the ball from City Hall to start the parade's kickoff. People are out at that time and will fill the streets.
The parade begins with the comics, brigades, etc. Get them completed and judged during the midnight-8 a.m. timeframe. They'll fit in with the partyers who are out at that time.
The problem now is that people are out on New Year's Eve, and once they go home, they're not coming out again. This new way keeps them partying in town.
String bands begin around 8 a.m., and I assume they'd be done by 2. This would be the best time for the families to enjoy the bands. And everyone's happy to get home at a reasonable time. Do the judging at the park near the Columbus statue in South Philly where the bands have their biggest support. It's a wide area where more stands could be set up.
Charlie Sammartino, Philadelphia