January 7, 1993 |
Many native Philadelphians have suffered life-long conflicting feelings about that annual tradition, the Mummers Parade. A tradition unique to Philadelphia and city-sanctioned since 1901, it has been called "the oldest continuous folk festival in America. " However, the parade has been a bit of an embarrassment in terms of gender and race - the participants are mostly white men, and women have only been allowed to march in recent years. When I moved to 2nd Street above Washington Avenue in 1991, I also was warned of the celebrants attracted by the parade.
January 2, 1990 |
The Mummers Parade yesterday was a blowout. With predictions of 15- to 20-m.p.h. winds and 35-m.p.h. gusts, representatives from the four divisions of the 90th annual Mummers Parade unanimously agreed early yesterday morning to postpone the traditional New Year's Day strut up Broad Street to Saturday. It marks the 25th time Mother Nature has forced the Mummers to march on another day. Those involved in the 8-0 voice vote to cancel the parade say predictions of high winds and even higher gusts - along with harsh memories of last year's soggy fiasco - proved the deciding factors in the quickly made decision.
December 26, 1986 |
My Mummers' memories fit amongst one another like the feathers on a Mummer's headdress: Standing at Second and Wolf Streets as a little boy and watching and wondering why my father never wore neat clothes like those guys on the street. Looking out my window in the darkness of a New Year's Day early morning and watching Mummers weave up Wolf Street toward Broad, already insulated against the cold of winter by the warmth of whiskey. Watching the parade at Broad and Passyunk and seeing sons march with fathers, seeing other kids my age going up the street, and my mother explaining that it was too cold, much too cold, to go walking on Broad Street without a hat and mittens.
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.
November 29, 2012 |
DRAG QUEENS WILL glitz up the next Mummers Parade in Philadelphia. Ten veteran drag performers will join the New Year's Day celebration, each in costumes matching the theme of a Fancy Brigade. "I think it's kind of crazy to be so mainstream now," said Ian Morrison, who handpicked the members of the first "Drag Brigade. " Morrison will participate as his drag alias, Brittany Lynn. He's been performing for 15 years and said that "Philly's come a long way" in terms of LGBT rights.
December 22, 1995 |
Broad Street and Washington Avenue would be a great insider's tip as "Best New Place to Watch the Mummers. " But Mayor Rendell spoiled the secret yesterday by calling a press conference at exactly that spot to fluff it up for "the most spectator- friendly Mummers Parade in the history of our great parade. " Rendell, coatless in icy winds that had veteran Mummers bundled up, said he wanted "to make the point that the Mummers Parade is back at its roots, back on Broad Street.
March 4, 1993 |
Ron Bispels Sr. is a lifelong Northeast Philadelphia resident who's been promoting the South Philadelphia approach to mummery since he first slipped into golden slippers. Bispels grew up in Port Richmond, and moved into a new Parkwood Manor house on Kenney Street in July 1962, as the neighborhood was being developed. "There was still quite a bit of open land here, large tracts of what remained of the working farms in the Far Northeast," he recalled. Bispels and his wife, the former Sally O'Toole, are affiliated with St. Anselm Church, a few blocks away on Dunks Ferry Road.
December 22, 2013 |
Tom Otto may seem a little old to be a pioneer, but on New Year's Day, he'll help make history. Mummers history. He's part of the new Spartan Fancy Brigade, set to become the first fancy brigade to join the parade in more than 20 years. "It's going to be one of the best years I've had," said Otto, who at 64 has been a Mummer for more than a half-century. He and a handful of Spartan members met at the Independence Visitor Center on Friday to help city officials announce details for 2014 of the Mummers Parade, which annually draws thousands of people to the curbs and sidewalks along Broad Street.
August 7, 2014 |
The city is considering a radical change in the route of the Mummers Parade that would take it south from City Hall to Washington Avenue, skipping the event's spiritual heart - South Philadelphia. The new route would reverse the parade's direction. The change was proposed by the Mummers themselves, and is intended to infuse more spontaneity and flow into the parade, which all too often has become a daylong queue of string bands, comics, and elaborate floats moving fitfully up South Broad Street from Oregon Avenue.
January 9, 2000 |
The string music was live, the beer was cold, and the Jokers were wild with happiness last night on Second Street in South Philadelphia. As tradition would have it, the winners of the Fancy Brigade Division in the Mummers Parade this year - the Jokers, with their theme of "The Isle of Dr. Moreau" - waited in front of their clubhouse for the remaining 13 Fancy Brigades and other assorted Mummery to pay homage to their victory. Several thousand people gathered at 5 p.m. around the Jokers' clubhouse at Second and Tasker Streets, where the Jokers captain, Fred Keller, stood in the middle of the throng and accepted the handshakes, bows and hugs of congratulations for his club's honor.