PhillyNow: Save The Mummers? Forget It!

By Steven Wells
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 38 | Posted Feb. 27, 2009

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You still look great, Oprah. Embrace it!

One of the less-flamboyant marchers for Mummers.

We're not sure if we can call this our "favorite" blog post of the day, but the Last Days America blog certainly unloads on the Mummers parade today:

The Philadelphia that had the Mummers Parade is long since gone and its actual cancelation might go a long way in illustrating that a new, grey, urbanized ,dead zone has overtaken too many eastern cities in general and Philadelphia in particular.

The apply named Mayor Nutter of Philadelphia has stiffed the Mummers a few weeks before the culturally iconic Mummers Parade on New Years Day; supposedly because of Budget constraints.  It's suggested at the end of the article that perhaps the Mummers parade is really a south Philly, all white event that Black Mayor Nutter and his Black constituents don't feel like paying for. 

The Mummers personify the arrogance, stupidity and ability to hide your head in the sand that characterizes an east coast "working man's value system". The same industrial age values system  that's killing the urban east and the big three carmakers to boot.  If people want to celebrate the culture of Philadelphia let them clean up the corruption, the crime and the graft.  Let them build schools that work and that educate the kids rather than using kids for ill advised social engineering experiments and  let the gangs, drugs and poverty pimps be rooted out  once and for all.  Now that's worth having a parade!  That would be a tradition worth commemorating.

The Philadelphia that started this tradition is long gone and will never return.  If the people in and around Philly want this parade let them stop complaining, get off their ass, clean up their neighborhoods, insist on decent standards of private and public conduct and generally act like people who have a tradition worth preserving. 

AND, PERHAPS, ON A RELATED NOTE, OUR FAVORITE VIDEO: (Via Philadelphia International All Stars: "Let's Clean Up The Ghetto"

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Comments 1 - 38 of 38
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1. goEAGLESusa said... on Dec 18, 2008 at 08:19AM

“My family are all involved with the Mummers and for those of you who want to pass judgment you have no idea what you are talking about. It is so much more then people getting drunk and partying to us. This is a tradition in our city and my neighborhood for as long as I can remember and to take that away is a disgrace. This parade brings in so much more money into the City then they "give" to have the parade. For those of you who want to talk trash about the Parade just don't watch it! The Mummers Association is not asking for "handouts" but to be told 2 months before the parade that they were only giving such a small portion of the money that they did every other year is pathetic. If they would have discussed this a year ago it would not have been such a big deal because they could have done their best to come up with the funds on their own but they were not given that chance! There is no reason to have this wonderful tradition taken away from the City. It needs to be kept on Broad Street and also needs to be kept on 2nd Street (where it origniated from) to keep the spirit of the New Year"s alive! For all who are in favor of the Mummers we could use your support. Please visit the website to donate at SAVE THE MUMMERS!!!!!!!!!”

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2. Ginny said... on Dec 18, 2008 at 08:20AM


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3. smd said... on Dec 18, 2008 at 09:19AM

“Hey well our Phillies won didn't they! They are entitled to feel that way. They earned it this year!”

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4. south philly voter said... on Dec 18, 2008 at 11:22AM

“That is an ignorant thing to say especially when you don't know anything about it. It must make you feel better to believe your own lies. The parade has been tradition for many years and I don't know where you get your information from but any race is welcome! If you don't like the parade you are entitled to your opinion but don't try and ruin it for everyone that does. Stay away from Broad Street that day!!! Your loss!”

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5. Myo_Pinion said... on Dec 18, 2008 at 11:25AM

“Stop trying to make this about race b/c it has absolutely nothing to do with it! Try asking these clubs how many "minorities" try to belong to these clubs and you will get your response. Nobody would ever be turned away from any of the these clubs! I hope it makes you feel better thinking you know what you are talking about when you haven't got a clue! GO MUMMERS!!!! WWW.SAVETHEMUMMERS.COM”

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6. Myo_Pinion said... on Dec 18, 2008 at 12:16PM

“Everywhere you go you are going to have racist people but to point your finger just on mummers is just not right. People are mean and unfortunately I am sure that there are racist people in a few of these clubs but to blame the entire organization is wrong. I live down there and I could tell you that you are way out of line and so wrong. These clubs become like family to one another. Stop making it about race bc there is enough hatred everywhere to begin with and you are stirring up things that is not even true. Just because you have been in one New Year's club once or twice does not make you an expert at the people in all of these clubs. What you are incinuating is just so out of line and unfair and not true.”

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7. joey d said... on Dec 18, 2008 at 01:02PM

“The mummers parade has nothing do do with saving the world.There are organizations that ARE funded to help the homeless in the phila. area. However there is a group of people who care enough to spend there time & money to keep up a great philly tradition like march down broad street & it is not fair that they should be kept from enjoying all there hard work because of city politics.”

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8. larry said... on Dec 18, 2008 at 07:53PM

“i have read all the postings here and all you people who are bashing the mummers and calling them drunken racist a-holes should take up a better cause like going after the real racists in the and KKK and the IKA because not only do they hate blacks but also jewish people and just about everybody else who is not white or of the same belief as them.and they are not just here in the south either. the mummers are a long standing tradition in philly and to have the city to pull this funding crap so close to new year as despicable. for all the good things the mummers do for the city the city should suck it up and pay all the cost for police and such to keep this tradition alive.i was born in philly in 1975 and one of my fondest memories is my granparents taking me and my family to the mummers parade every year i can remember until i moved to florida in 1985. and by the way if you are going to bash somebody in a blog several times at least take the time to teach your ignorant ass how to spell minorities. not minories, or minorites. that just shows the rest of us that you are voicing your opinion just to see your ignorance on screen and not taking the time to form a well thought out blog.”

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9. yeahwhatwatever said... on Dec 19, 2008 at 04:32PM

“do the mummers use their man power to do anything besides the parade? like charity? comunity service? help old people? as far as I know NO!!! if I'm mistaken what they do is minimal. - If they were to use their man power to anything good then noone would dare say anything. EX if they get a broken homes from the city, fix them up and give them to working families with economic problems?? they have the MAN POWER !!! im sure the city would finace materials. Like I said noone would dare say anything about the mummers if they show they can give instead of take. PS: I've met sereal mummers and some of them are drunken racist as some people mentioned before, but not all, what bothers me that you know who these guys are, how about instead of looking the other way you get rid of them to keep your organization clean and keep the traditions for many dacades to come.”

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10. mary said... on Dec 19, 2008 at 04:44PM

“Well there is only so much a neighborhood can do to help cleanup it's surrounding neighborhoods. Although many of the neighborhoods surrounding it are awful, second street itself is a wonderful area. I have read so many blogs, articles, and comments from people calling the mummers racists, drunks, and homosexuals. I must say that does not make any of you making those comments look too great. What prejudice people you all are. Also, so many of you are making comments about how libraries, the Fire Department, and Public pools should just receive the money. Get real. Even if the mummers do not receive this money, it will not go to any of the three. Also, get off of your computers and do something if your so concerned about. I am sure not one of you donated a dime or a book to a library your entire lives, and I am willing to bet none of you were at the rallies held by the fire stations. Don't talk about a neighborhood unless you are from it, because it is the people that are not from that area that give it a bad name. P.S. I doubt the African American band members that head every one of the comic brigades would allow the members to throw the "N" word around as claimed.”

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11. mary said... on Dec 19, 2008 at 04:46PM


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12. mary said... on Dec 19, 2008 at 04:49PM

“Learn the facts before you go copying and pasting this comment on every website that will allow it. Every comic brigade on second street is lead by an entire band of African Americans....”

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13. mary said... on Dec 19, 2008 at 04:52PM

“Well, were the African American band members at the clubs when they were using this word? Also, what where you doing with a group of people like this. you are the company you keep.”

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14. John M Hudicka CAS said... on Dec 20, 2008 at 11:27AM

“During this Holiday Season of Good Will to All .. it's sad to read so many negative comments, rather than positive, constructive comments/suggestions to address the current & future financial concerns of this urban, community-originated parade & yes, like or not, 100+ year old Philadelphia tradition. Like most things in life, the parade has and needs to continually improve itself, address current issues that help it evolve and grow with the times ... to simply criticize and trash it all for any accusation that captures reader-attention is quite pointless and accomplishes nothing at all other than a waste of everyone's time. Having been born and raised in South Philly, I am blessed with the memories of this tradition growing up and anticipating the thrill of seeing the parade march by on New Year's Day at Broad Street & Snyder Avenue. Thousands of neighbors would gather to reconnect with neighborhood friends, while being entertained with the music and pagentry performed by the various neighborhood clubs known collectively as "The Mummers." Nowhere do I see acknowledgement of the many charitity performances these perfomers offer to senior shut-ins, special-interest groups, and charitiy causes throughout the course of any given year for the past century... Respectfully dear Philadelphians, you owe it to yourselves to be informed, before speaking your mind on what you think to be the whole story vs. the true untold story behind these volunteer performers and nobel efforts that rarely, if ever, get publicized, because they simply just don't have enough sizzle for "headlines" that seeemingly grab the attention of the masses... Being a local entrepreneur, I've worked with Delaware Valley non-profit organizations & groups to help raise funds for their specific causes and I'm more than willing to reach out and help this cause as many others are... For the many Delaware Valley citizens who see the inherent good in "The Mummers..." my question to you is: "Are You Mummer Enough" to do something proactive to save this annual parade and Philadelphia tradition? To our local & regional print & electronic media, "Are You Mummer Enough" to help publicize the needed efforts to this end? and to local corporations, "Are You Mummer Enough" collectively to get behind this immediate need with corporate sponsor doillars to help preserve a legacy and revise/evolve a 100+ year old Philadelphia tradition, that yes, does serve a multitude of untold, positive community initiatives that are not, as many prerssume, simple self-serving & greedy, but rather giving with much appreciated community outreach and good will? Steep up and show your support, better yetn avility to affect change and make things happen with actions, rather tan just words... Do it today ... Do it NOW!!!”

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15. greg said... on Dec 21, 2008 at 10:52AM

“its not a "white club" only, its a community club that happens to be in White neighborhood.. that started years before you and I were born...If you want, start your own club and invite your kind of people that you want in it but then again you have to actually volunteer your time something you would have a tough time getting....................”

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16. g said... on Dec 21, 2008 at 10:57AM

“Can't wait till the city needs the mummers for community event, especially the Summer Mummers Parade.... The mummers need to "stick to" Nutter........”

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17. rich said... on Dec 23, 2008 at 11:40AM

“Screw Broad street and doing the show for the city just so the hotels can make money from the tourists, just do 2 street and keep the parade for those who enjoy it. nutter can suck it”

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18. ME said... on Dec 23, 2008 at 02:38PM

“The City is not paying the Mummers for the parade, the money given this year is going to City services, such as the police, trash removal crew EMS, etc. No Mummers organization will financially benefit from the Parade. The Mummers WILL SURVIVE! So all you Mummer haters, get out of town on 1-1-09 cause there is a parade and there will be one for years to come as the mummer family will not let it die !!! HAPPY NEW YEAR AND GOOD LUCK TO ALL THE CLUBS IN ALL DIVISION!”

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19. Philly Resident said... on Dec 26, 2008 at 12:39PM

“This seems to be a typical reaction in the tri-state area: The gov't withdrawls funding because the budget is tight and times are tough. The city says if the Mummers want to perform, then they have to pay the tab. The Mummers provide a service for the community. It is something that many thousands look forward to and is brand recognition for the region. Furthermore those city workers earning overtime turn around and put that well-earned income back into our economy. In the city's limited vision though, they can save money right away, but in the long run, will hurt us and themselves, and still won't balance the budget. It is my opinion that the taxpayers, residents, and concerned citizens (most of who already on the hook for the $700Billion TARP bailout) that would consider helping out SHOULD NOT put up the money for the Mummers. I love the Mummers, but they need to make a statement, much like the Miss America Pageant did several years ago, and find a new home that will love and respect them.”

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20. Philly Resident said... on Dec 26, 2008 at 12:59PM

“Compassion for the less fortunate is a noble cause, but should I do without because someone else is "without"? What if I worked hard for what I have, does that place me on the hook to help others that are not working hard to get ahead? Howabout those that take advantage of government (socialist) programs to avoid work? They need a meal too”

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21. Jimmy S said... on Dec 26, 2008 at 09:47PM

“Something to think about! The city usually puts out like at most 800,000 a year for the annual mummers day parade. The money brought into the city for the one day is 10 million dollars, again 10 million dollars. I guess that isn't enough for mayor Nuttier. Now that will buy many coats for the homeless, keep fire stations open, get books for libraries, and most important fill nuttiers bank account a little more. The Phillies parade cost the city 1 million dollars and brought in 3 million. The St. Patty's day parade cost a million dollars and brought in 3 million. The army navy game cost the city 1 million dollars and brought in again 3 million but lets cut out the real money maker because the city is in a financial bind. I don't know about anybody else but I would love to put out 80,000 dollars to profit 920,000 for one day. Just remember this when it is time to vote. The parade will be around in 4 years but I am willing to bet nuttier wont be.”

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22. mummer phanatic said... on Dec 26, 2008 at 10:09PM

“I say we all 15,000 + mummers start marching in the Puerto RIcan Day Parade, St. Patty's Day Parade, Pulaski Day Parade, Thanksgiving Day Parade, Chinese New Year Parade, Mardi Gras on South St, Dance at the African American Cultural Festival, and also at the Greek picnic, the German-American Steuben Parade and finally Columbus Day Parade. This is something we should seriously start thinking about. If mayor Nuttier takes our Day away we will still have 10 others.”

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23. T said... on Dec 30, 2008 at 10:53AM

“First off, you have no idea what you are talking aboutt. Many of the people in the Mummers have cleaned up their neighborhoods and also hold benefits for unfortunate families in our area. So maybe just because you don't see it doesn't mean it is not happening. We have taken responsbility for our neighborhood to keep it clean and safe for our children. We also help out our senior citizens and maybe other neighborhoods should do the same. Neighborhoods in Philadelphia need to take responsibility for themselves and not think that everyone should come in and clean up their part of the city, when the mess was caused by you in the first place. Keep race out of it, everyone needs to take responsibility for themselves, their families, and their neigborhoods in order for this city to turn around. Don't just pin point one section of the city on all the bad that surrounds us. Oh, and also....the parade generates $9 million in revenue for hotels and local businesses around the city, so maybe you should do some research before you open your mouth on a subject you obviously don't know anything about.”

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24. D.P. said... on Dec 31, 2008 at 01:33PM

“What's the matter? Nutter didn't win in South Philly, yhat's his problem so he is a sore sport. So now he has the upper hand and is taking away the one thing that so many people look forward to. THE NEW YEAR PARADE. He is especially sore about 2 Street. He had people offer to pay for OUR parade, and he shot everyone down. He also had people offer free clean up after the parade. This is a tradition that started down the Neck long before their was a Mayor Nutter. This is one time of the year that you can walk into any house on 2 Street and be offered food and hospitality. I come from 2 St. and have followed the parade since I was a tennager. I won't say how old I am, but it's been a long time. You are hurting a family unit. What are we in Russia now? Soon we won't be able to even say HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!! Mayor Nutter you stink! I quess we won't be seeing you re=elected.”

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25. Zalahar said... on Jan 1, 2009 at 10:08AM

“This site did a poor job of quoting Stone's article. They cut out huge gaps of it without indicating that anything was edited. That's flaky editing if you ask me. Where are the quotes and ellipses? Given, Stone still seems pretty angry in his original article, but he at least seems more rational if you read the whole thing. Come on, PW. Let's have some professionalism.”

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26. One of the few said... on Jan 1, 2009 at 03:21PM


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27. One of the few said... on Jan 1, 2009 at 03:22PM

“Ths city has been destroyed blacks The only tradition they seem to have is destroying everywhere they go A MATTER of Fact not prejudice just check the history of the city”

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28. Sandra said... on Nov 6, 2009 at 06:51PM

“You illiterate, boor. FIrstly, your post is filled with mistakes. Secondly, WHITE PEOPLE are paying most of the taxes in the City of Philadelphia. I thnk that if they want to throw a parade, they should. There are other parades and festivals celebrating the city's black culture, one being the Odunde Festival.

The Mummers is the country's oldest folk parade. The workiing class of the CIty of Philadelphia made it happen. It is now filled with professionals as wells--lawyers and others. It should go on and on to remind the city of what it was and can still be. Otherwise, what would you recommend---that we forget our historical roots, that is, the English, Swedes and others who first came to this area and from whom the history of mummery descends.”

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29. danny boy said... on Nov 27, 2009 at 08:58PM

“It seems the mayor is looking to end all south philly traditions, (columbus day parade)was the latest, when all other minorities had the day of celebration. but thats another story. I want to know where does all the money from these hotels ,restaurants, and bars go?? They should give back a percentage to the mummers cause thats what most are in town for. or just keep it up 2 street plain and simple. does home depot and lowes donate anything? I hope so with all the material the mummers spend on,the floats. also is it necessary for the over abundance of police standing with their hands in their pockets doing nothing, on parade route streets that have not a soul on them getting all the overtime, (and im not attacking the police, nothing but respect) someone has to step up and address this problem cause its a deep rooted problem that is city hall and all the highly overly paid workers who seem to have taken advantage of the system for a long time now.”

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30. ben franklin said... on Dec 2, 2009 at 01:58PM

“why not use ben Franklin at ELectic Factory to intoduce the Bacon Brothers

B Franklin

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31. Judy said... on Dec 5, 2009 at 10:28PM

“Why does everything have to be racist. I am so sick of hearing that their is a black band. And yes the mummers do a lot of charity work. I am 67 years old, I grew up in South Philly. I cant imagine a new years without the mummers. How did the city fund all the parades they have already had? They certainly make enough money off of the parade with all the people that come to the city to see the parade. Were is the money coming from to bild a culture center? I am glad that I no longer live in the city, Mayor Nutter makes me sick.”

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32. Anonymous said... on Dec 6, 2009 at 11:27AM

“How about stop spending so much money on suits and awarding so much prize money? Maybe there wouldn't be such a problem. I am a daughter of a MUMMER and I remember when there was little or no prize money and everyone had a great time. I also agree with having the parade on 2street. Forget all those snobs who some don't even know what they are watching or figure out what's going on. Having the parade on 2street would save so much money. 2street is home of MUMMERS and HOME is where the Heart is. HAPPY HOLIDAYS GO MUMMERS!”

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33. Frustrated said... on Jan 2, 2010 at 10:38AM

“After being in the parade at 6months old(1968) and year to year after that until 1990. I have found the past five years to be a waste of time to go to the parade. There were supposed to be drill stops and we never saw any up and down Broad St. I have taken my 6 year old there for the last time. He does not appreciate standing there and nothing happens. What to do New Years Day 2011?”

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34. Anonymous said... on Jan 6, 2010 at 09:23PM

“I'm a former Philadelphian and have educated people where ever I traveled about the mummers and the wonderful show that was performed on the streets of Philadelphia. I remember the summers when the string bands would march in the neighborhoods on summer nights. This is a wonderful tradition brought to the City years ago and should be continued and the mayor should find funds to help them. Let's not bring racial slurs about and make this a people united festival and thank God for our City of Brotherly Love. Of course the Rose Parade is in California and they are in debt also but the beauty of the parade contunues on and I think OUR MUMMERS should CONTINUE ON.”

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35. Larry said... on Jan 25, 2012 at 11:35PM

“I have two co-workers who are mummers and when i inquired about joining after hanging with them in the club for a while they told I would not get in because I was black and that a lot of them are racist”

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36. Truth said... on Jul 20, 2012 at 06:13AM

“In their hundred-year history, the Mummers have earned a reputation of aggressive racism, misogyny, homophobia and classism. The criticisms are not unfounded. Black-face was a popular costuming theme until it was banned in 1964, and women were barred from performing until 1975. However, it is the intimidation resulting from "ownership" of the Mummers Parade by mostly straight, white, blue-collar men — many of whom are carrying on a decades-old family tradition — and a legacy of the small-but-vocal minority of threateningly intoxicated, slur-throwing Mummers let loose in the city streets that keep most Philadelphians as onlookers instead of participants. And let's not forget about the all of the immigrant bashing in recent years thanks to the likes of racist scumbags like Joey Vento who is burning in hell (if there is such a place).”

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37. Denis D said... on Dec 31, 2014 at 07:26PM

“Its not the city

It is dying! and the mumemrs caused its death”

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38. The Editor said... on Jan 19, 2015 at 02:55PM

“Again, just another way of paying back the city for the past, problem is the laws they pass effect all of us including them but to say Mayor Nutter and His Black Constituents, made this a HATE crime, is that why the route was hanged yet again? Oh well For those of you who do not know, you don't have to put up with civil abuse 1 Your new governor will not stand for it, we talk often but his hands are tied until sworn in. 2. and file a complaint about civil corruption and this story really makes it shine, don't you think?”


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