Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year to Allayas The Philadelphia Mummers Parade

"My mom used to say, 'If I drop dead between Christmas and New Year's, just step over me and handle it later.' " Bill Burke Jr, New Year's Day Mummer

Nothing says New Year's like 35 strumming banjos hammering into an already thundering hangover bright and early each January 1. Unfortunately, the parade many of us here in Philly love to pretend we hate got rained out today.

So I won't be able to switch back and forth between the Mummers and a Law and Order Marathon to check out my favorite Fancies, Comics and String Bands.

On the other hand, our neighborhood will be a bit quieter today. No New Year's Eve revelers downing gallons of coffee, pounds of make-up and yards of costumes to prepare for the parade ... and losing their breakfast all over the sidewalks. (Hey, Mummers booting before a parade is a Philly tradition too.)

I know it's fashionable--and really, the right thing--to support all things New Orleans these days. But regardless of Katrina, Mardi Gras has never compared to the Mummers.

Who needs drunken college students throwing plastic beads at every female, screaming "Show us your tits!" Give me the Ferko String Band and the Fralinger String Band strutting down Broad Street in full regalia, complete with floats, outrageous costumes, music and skits to the delighted shrieks of kids and grownups alike.

So tune in next Saturday, Jan 6 or C'mon down to Board and Shunk ... or Tasker ... or Washington ... or the grandstand at City Hall. You will simply Not. Believe. Your. Eyes.

In the meantime, I'm going back to Jack McCoy.

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