‘It my day’: Gritty to mark 3rd birthday with motorcycle joyride around Philly

On Sept. 24, 2018, an orange menace emerged from the dregs of the Wells Fargo Center and into our lives forever.

“Can you believe it’s been three years now, since the Gritty invasion?”, the Philadelphia Flyers mascot wrote in a birthday poem.

Indeed, three years have passed since Gritty’s unveiling, when he was met with calls for euthanasia before growing into a “beloved symbol of chaos.”

“The sun has yet again completed its annual trip around me,” Gritty explained. “… with that I grow one year older and like a tall tree, grow one more ring in my innards.”

Gritty — once described in a formal City Council resolution as a ghastly empty-eyed Muppet with a Delco beard, a non-binary leftist icon, a raging id, and an antihero — will celebrate Friday with a commemorative motorcycle ride around Philadelphia.

Deemed the third biggest holiday of the year, behind only Christmas and National Left Handers’ Day, Gritty’s birthday will feature stops at iconic Philly spots like the Art Museum and City Hall.

Tipping off the media, Gritty suggested “you fuel up your air choppers as I fuel up my land chopper” for the joyride: “me, the wind, and a couple hundred pounds of pure adrenaline between my legs.”

For those who want to follow along, a map illustrates Gritty’s expected birthday route.

A map illustrates the expected route for Gritty's celebratory birthday ride.
A map illustrates the expected route for Gritty’s celebratory birthday ride. (Philadelphia Flyers)

Gritty will cap off Friday’s motorcycle journey with a private serenade featuring an a cappella rendition of “Happy Birthday” at the Wells Fargo Center from whence he came.

“I don’t ask for you to celebrate me the other 364 days of the year,” Gritty said. “You do that on your own.”

But for the big day, Gritty asked fans to “remember what you felt the first time we locked eyes, and remember every time you saw me in your dreams and woke up in a cold sweat.”

For his legion of followers, Gritty signed off with a simple message: “We ride at noon.”

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