Wednesday, December 30, 2009
The Mummer's parade is a parade through downtown Philly where clubs of Philadelphians of all walks of life and ethnicities come together on New Years day to dance in silly costumes. It dates back to the mid 1700's. There are 5 different categories,
all judged and awarded. It's alot like a clown show with instruments and vehicles but not devoid of talent or fun.
It's a Philly thing. People line the streets and drink from daybreak til nightfall, including the participants. They are so happy and having such fun. Almost remniscent of Mardi Gras. I've never gone down to see it, but have always wanted to. Instead I watch it on tv. It simply wouldn't be New Years day without it. It's hell to get in and out of the city during a big event, especially the Mummer's.
Sadly, there are many many people who dislike this tradition. They complain about the waste of funds on the fire department and police. People complain about the traffic and shutting down the streets. The city fronted the reward money $300,000 until last year and apparently again this year. The city is in fact charging them $150,000 which they haven't quite come up with.
The Mummers bring a comic relief and entertaining distraction to the troubles of the last year. When most people are so down and out anymore, we really need this lift.
It is a breath of fresh air to see and hear people rejoicing in Life and literally dancing in the streets. Funds or no funds, especially. I really don't think these people will EVER allow it to die. It's puts our focus into perspective. Having the money to do what we want shouldn't ever stop us from doing it or rejoicing and simply enjoying ourselves. It makes one wonder. What would happen if no one laughed and danced anymore?