March 11, 2015 |
THE MUMMERS Parade broke with tradition and marched the "wrong way" on Broad Street on New Year's Day. The (remaining) fans seemed to like it. The crowds were somewhat larger in Center City (which is what happens when you contract the parade route). As a veteran parade watcher and reviewer, I liked it, even knowing the reversal of direction was born out of necessity. Doing everything the "old" way was turning into a funeral procession for this Philadelphia tradition, one that should be embraced.
March 2, 2015 |
Cars still were barred from Main Street an hour after the first-ever Mummers Parade in Manayunk concluded. The crowd inside Pitcher's Pub swelled at noon Saturday, and the Pennsport String Band had an idea to engage the revelers. One strut. Outside. Three contestants. Winner collects $100. "Everyone points at me," said Kate O'Reilly, a Mummer's daughter and Manayunk resident. "I say: 'Done. It's in the bag. I dare you.' The rest is history. " There was something different about this intimate Mummers gathering.
February 26, 2015 |
MANAYUNK will be mobbed by Mummers on Saturday when all 17 string bands march down Main Street in the first Philadelphia Mummers Mardi Gras Parade. Postponed last weekend by wintry weather, the free, family-friendly, two-hour parade from Shurs to Green lanes is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. under forecasted cold, sunny skies. The string bands will then serenade and schmooze with fans from noon to 4 p.m. in Manayunk restaurants. A $10 contribution to the cash-strapped Mummers buys a bracelet to all after-parties plus food and drink discounts.
February 25, 2015 |
IT BROKE Joe Bryson's heart when he couldn't participate in the last New Year's Mummers Parade. As a former captain of the Bryson New Year's Brigade, Joe lived and breathed the exotic culture of Philadelphia Mummery. "New Year's Day was his favorite day," said his daughter, Colleen Judge. "But he was just out of the hospital and the weather was bad. His doctors said he couldn't go. " But Mummers culture is in Bryson blood, and his fellow paraders knew it. So, on the morning of the parade, they gathered outside Joe's house and serenaded him with some favorite Mummer airs.
January 3, 2015 |
Shortly after 10:30 a.m., with the pretzel-eating spectators jammed four deep in front of the Union League, there was an only-in-Philly moment. The Oregon wench brigade was marching up Broad Street from South Philadelphia - a squadron of burly fellows who, despite the pastel frocks, were not really going for the feminine look. Headed the other direction was the LGBT Liaison Committee, which included a half-dozen glittery drag queens - or, as some prefer to be called, female impersonators.
January 2, 2015
The 115th edition of the "official," city-overseen Mummers Parade (it had been spontaneous and disorganized before that) yesterday returned to its disorganized roots, which left a lot of people - Mummers, fans and city officials alike - wondering, "How did that happen?" For the first time in 115 years the Mummers broke with tradition and marched south on Broad, starting with judging at City Hall, and ending with a performance at Carpenter, which turned out to be the best place to see the parade.
January 1, 2015 |
When I moved to Philadelphia in 1999, I knew I had a great deal to learn: how to navigate from Pashunk to the Skookl, the Boulevard to the Parkway; the right way to order a Yuengling (a lager); and the correct usage of jawn (OK, that I still don't really understand). Now that I've been here, on and off, for 15 years, I'm starting to wonder: Am I a true Phuluffyan yet? Given that I still sometimes order a sub at a hoagie shop, the answer seems to be, "Not quite. " So, 2015 is the year I'll aim to make it official.
December 31, 2014 |
CONSIDERING the supersonic pace of change in today's world, it's comforting that some local traditions endure, especially those indigenous to this time of year. The holiday light show at Macy's in Center City. The Penn's Landing fireworks at 6 p.m. and midnight on New Year's Eve. And, of course, the Mummers march up Broad Street. Well, at least we still have Macy's and the fireworks. But for 2015, our signature New Year's Day extravaganza is moving in a new direction. After more than a century heading north on Broad Street - with but five years of exceptions - the annual cakewalk has changed course.
December 29, 2014 |
Joseph Kaminski is broken up. He couldn't keep Trilby on the street, and the oldest name in Mummery is on the brink. The Original Trilby String Band, a troupe that has strummed and strutted annually on New Year's Day since 1898, will not march in this year's Mummers Parade because of a shortage of cash, members, and miracles. "I don't even have words," said Kaminski, 48, who as club captain told members this month he was pulling the plug. There was no chance, he concluded, of mounting a show with unfinished music, no costumes, too few musicians, and but a few props.
December 27, 2014 |
Doug Hoffman had wondered what it would be like to be part of the Mummers Parade. On New Year's Day, he watched the live coverage of Mummers strutting up Broad Street, and marveled at the pageantry - the joyous music and choreography, comic performances, the elaborate suits with their glitter and sequins. Hoffman never thought he'd actually have a chance to actually join in. But as a resident of the Bancroft Lakeside Campus in Mullica Hill, where he's in a program for autistic adults, he met a retired member of the Golden Sunrise Fancy Club and posed a question: "Can you make me a Mummer?"