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    The parades will go on thanks to private fund

    The Greater Philadelphia Traditions Fund helps offset city’s cost for the Mummers parade, the Odonde Festival and everything in between.

    A $200,000 payment to the city from the Greater Philadelphia Traditions Fund, the first of two installments, will help offset the city’s cost for the Mummers parade, the Odonde Festival and everything in between.

    Mayor Michael Nutter says the city just could not afford to continue to pay for of the various ethnic parades and cultural festivals.

    “We are trying to do our best to work our way out of this incredible recession. In the meantime, we need to make sure that we are able to to still have a vibrancy and excitement about what city living is really about and the many traditions that Philadelphia is known for,” said Nutter.

    Congressman Bob Brady put the private fund together to cover parade costs through 2012. Brady, who said he hopes the city will again be able to foot the bill once the economy recovers, said he established the fund to make sure the city’s traditional parades continue. “When we lose our tradition, we lose our identity,” said Brady.

    Parade organizers say they will use their money to enhance their parades instead of having to scramble to cover sanitation and police costs.

    Al Taubenberger runs the Von Steuben parade. He says not facing a big bill from the city will make the parade better.

    “Last year, we brought in a large group from Wisconsin and also some other German bands,” said Taubenberger. “This gave us the fabric and backbone to continue our work. What I really like about the money we saved was the ability to hire and solicit local high school bands not only to give us the international flavor, but the Philadelphia flavor as well.”

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