Mummers a New Year’s tradition in Philadelphia

The Mummers make their annual strut up Broad Street today.

Mummers Association president Bob Shannon said the mumming tradition, dating back to the 1600s, was to cheer shut-ins.

Shannon said by tradition, revelers would make a plea to those who greeted them.

“Here we are standing at your door, as we were the year before,” Shannon recited. “Give us whiskey, give us gin, open the door and let us in.”

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“It was that way from my grandparents to may parents to myself, and now my children. We have kept that tradition going,” Shannon said.Today the sequined revelers will strut from Oregon Avenue to City Hall.New this year: due to the Dilworth Plaza renovations, the main judging area will now be on JFK Boulevard at 16th street.And more people will see the judging this year “because we’ll have a jumbotron,” said Shannon. “So you can be out of the sight line and see live that way, too.” There are more activities this year than last for kids and adults at the Kimmel Center, and also more “comfort” centers along Broad Street with parade-watcher restrooms…so not everyone has to line up at the Starbucks. Can’t make it out? PHL-17 is airing the parade live–with Shannon providing commentary.

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