Philadelphia Doesn’t Need Any More Parades: Cancel the Mummers!


I suppose I’m something of a opponent of the calamity, hubris and stupidity of the effete east coast “culture”; but I find I’m both amused and disgusted by the Mummers controversy that’s erupted in Philadelphia lately.  The notoriously ill mannered, even by east coast standards, city of Philadelphia has changed forever from what the remaining blue haired residence of the city nostalgically recall from bygone days. 

Philadelphians have been content to sit on their buts, obnoxiously and boorishly, booing the opposition at sporting events and supporting any corrupt dirtbag for public office based on what the dirtbag promised to “do” for his voters.  Philly is a union town destined to go the way of Detroit in the new global economy.  The result is that some area’s of Philadelphia are like Beirut during the height of the civil war: it’s a classically destroyed urban zone whose reliance on big government for sustenance, has spread misery and despair among its reluctant residents.  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. 

Let’s look at both the budget argument and the “racist” argument and see what the deal is.

 First if the Mayor says that money is tight this year and funding a parade is not high on his list of things to do then good for him!  As far as I’m concerned, all parades should be entirely privately funded from the Thanksgiving Parade to the Mummers and let’s not forget the homosexual parades.  You don’t need a global financial crisis to object to the city subsidizing parades for turkey day or homosexual practices or for something called “mummers”.  When you have a global financial crisis and someone says no to funding a ridiculous parade then I say good for him! The Mayor is probably just doing his job.

But the Mummers are a Philadelphia tradition!  The Mummers bring in revenue for the city! 


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. 

You can’t have a tradition that commemorates unions from the industrial age in the information age amid the stark facts of life reflected in a global economy.  Workers don’t compete against stone hearted managers and evil corporations any more.  Workers in America are in competition with workers in China, India, Singapore, Japan, and South America.  Unions don’t work anymore.

As far as the idea that it’s a white parade that a predominatly black population is canceling, even if it were true, what would be wrong with that?  Would a parade designed to celebrate the black experience or values systems be best held in a lilly white town?  Would black people have a right to complain and not host a parade about a people and values systems they don’t have? 

Philadelphia is a black town.  Why should they hold white parades?  If they like the parade I’m sure they’ll keep it but if they don’t than its time has come.  Its not racism: its just reality. 

As they say in Philadelphia: GET OVER IT!

Here’s the article from About . Com for Philadelphia and New Jersey and the URL:

Philadelphia / South Jersey

Philadelphia / S. Jersey Blog

From John Fischer, for

Why Threaten the Mummers Parade?

Monday December 15, 2008

Last New Year’s Day Philadelphia’s newly elected mayor, Michael Nutter, walked up Broad Street in the annual Mummers Parade right before the first of the String Bands. He was warmly received by the large crowds. I remember speaking to the mayor briefly. I congratulated him and told him that we all expected big things from him.

I would not suggest that Mayor Nutter walk up Broad Street in the 2009 parade… if the parade even takes place. As part of the mayor’s budget cutting, the City has eliminated all prize money and cut back the amount that it will pay for city services to about a third of what they normally pay. With less than three weeks till the 2009 parade, the City is looking to the Mummers to pay the additional 600,000 or so that it will cost to support the parade.

None of the options available to the Mummers are attractive including the possibility of shortening or changing the parade route or even canceling the parade entirely.

It galls me that just a month ago, the City fully supported the annual Thanksgiving Day parade. For the city to expect the Mummers to come up with a large amount of money in such a short time is unreasonable. If the mayor wants to cut back support of the parade, the cut should be effective for the 2010 parade.

The bigger question is why the cutback. A study has been done which shows that the City actually benefits in real dollars from the parade. Tax dollars are earned from hotel and restaurant taxes, parking and several other sources. The Mayor’s office seems to be turning a blind eye to the positive benefits of the parade. The Mummers are a Philadelphia tradition and one that is well known across the country.

Mysteriously silent has been City Counsel President Ana Verna whose South Philadelphia constituents make up the bulk of the parade’s most ardent supporters.

Could it be that the unspoken belief by many of the mayor’s economic advisers is that the Mummers Parade is primarily a South Philadelphia all-white institution in a city that has become primarily black? It is hard to believe that any consideration would have been given to cutting City support of the Mummers in the days when South Philadelphia politicians controlled City Hall. Those days are long past.


4 responses to “Philadelphia Doesn’t Need Any More Parades: Cancel the Mummers!

  1. While I do respect your opinion of the parade I must point out you are misinformed. The tradition of “Mummery” began long before unions and has absolutely nothing to with race. It will be my distinct pleasure to inform you that the tradition of “the Mummers” began as a celebration of the “New Year” in and around several Philadelphia neighborhoods. Technically it has been going on a lot longer than the 1oo + years that are recorded (dated back to the early 1700’s). The parade on Broad Street was a city sponsored event to bring all of the celebrating neighborhoods together to celebrate the New Year together. This is the parade you and other misinformed like yourself know of.
    What you do not know is that this tradition is more than a march up Broad Street. This is the gathering of neighborhood family and friends wishing the best in the New Year for one another and.
    So for all of you who oppose the parade you can take the Broad Street Parade away, but please understand those who live in and around the “2 Street” neighborhoods will continue to celebrate the “New Year” with or without the cities support, because it is a tradition to wish one another well in the “New Year” and this is a tradition that will continue.
    Merry and Blessed Christmas and Happy and Healthy New Year to all!

  2. To the author of this garbage:

    Please do your homework before pulling your “Facts,” out of your behind please. A simple google search on The Mummer’s would yield you plenty of facts to try and help you look semi-intelligent.

    Let the city keep killing off traditions like The Mummer’s and you won’t have to worry about ANYBODY coming to Philly any time soon.

    (Given that the city has one of the highest murder rates in the country this would be a bad thing Why? Seriously: why promote a bankrupt out of control city that would rather have a parade than provide a decient city for its residents? )

    Even during America’s Great Depression The Mummer’s still marched. Today’s supposed city “recession,” isn’t anywhere even close to the problems of the 1930’s.

    (The Citys problems are worse than the thritys because a depression in a post christian culture is trouble we’ve not known. If people want parades when the federal government and all but about 17 states are funtionaly insolvant and bankrupt than they need private funds to have parades not PUBLIC TAX DOLLARS that the city cant afford!!!!)

    If all the entitled people down at city hall would stop stealing taxpayer’s money the city wouldn’t be in the red.

    (People who vote for big government and unions need to stop making big governments and unions if they want the theiving to stop. We need to cut out most of the nonsence government provides as “service”and that includes “services” like funding parades! Dont you think?)

    But you are right about one thing. Let the local animals keep electing people like Street and Nutter, and there will be a dead zone in philly. Because all the smart people that can will have long since moved.

    (All the people who moved are the ones who sustained the parade through all these years and for whom the parade has meaning….. Why would you expect those left behind and seething at the injustice that our white flight has done to the tax base to pay for a “tradtion” that’s so meningfull to those who left or abandoned the city that they want the poor and minoritys of the city to pay for the parade rather than the suburbs where all the big parade proponents now live?)

    Mummer’s parade brings in between 8-10 million EVERY YEAR. From Hotels, Restaurants, and other local attractions. (

    Don’t look now but we need to know who generated that statistic and who exactly is seeing all this 8-10 million in revenue than we need to ask why government is out promoting the city instead of the private sector and if its realy a good idea for government to do that? Police and fire we need but why pay public relations to draw attention to our out of control murder and crime rate? And self promotion is a nessisary government function????? Like police and fire????? I dont think so……)

    Merry Christmas….

  3. there are many valid points for questioning the parade and its cost as opposed to the revenue it brings in ( i don’t believe that study… the parade does not attract tourism, its “by us for us”). but the top poster is nothing short of an elitist jerk. your tangents about race and overall attitude toward the residents of south philly suggest one thing… you have never lived in a good blue-collar community like south philly. sure, it can be rough… but on the whole, there is a caring and a true sense of community you don’t get in your little white collar gated paradise of greed and investment fraud. I happen to be a conservative and do not advocate for unions for the most part, but you are way out of line. You just don’t get what the community is and what the parade means to it. And like many people, you never will. I hope one day you are lucky enough to live in a place like south philly amongst good, hard-working people who will truly take you in from the cold and call you one of their own.

    • Josh,
      Whats to get? If the residents of south philly want a parade they should pay for it. If they dont pay for it than what does that tell you?

      The whole “hard working people of south Philly” thing is mostly a joke. Those days are over and the jobs are ever going to China and India as we speak. Whatever toughness remains to the working class in south Philly would be better spent in making sure their kids get educated because the world has passed South Philly by just as it had detroit.

      The south Philly you knew is gone. It wont be back. Lets not have a parade for it.

      When the crime and murder rate drops to sane levels in Philly and the budget is ballanced and the graft is undercontrol I would still oppose the parade because its not governments job to help south philly feel better about itself. South Philly is going into the same toilet as the rest of Philly and its better to face that and try to stop it with real economic development, a union free zone, and a safe environment for living and working in the area.

      Sorry but thats not elitist its just the truth.

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