Holidays in Philly

Mummers Parade 2019: Photos from Philly’s storied New Year tradition

The weather was beautiful, and so were many of the performances.

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Danya Henninger / Billy Penn
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Updated Jan. 2

The 119th Mummers Parade took place on a perfect weather day, with Philadelphians of all ages lining the streets of Center City.

Parents and kids were there both to strut and to watch, most hoisting a soft pretzel and beverage no matter what side of the parade fence they were on. There were people of all colors in the crowd — and in the brigades, too, though the parade is still a predominantly white affair.

In recent years, the city has worked on moving the Mummers organization forward and making the event — considered the oldest folk parade in the nation — more inclusive and representative.

Having each brigade submit its chosen theme in advance has helped reduce the blatant stereotyping that used to fill the parade — but hasn’t stamped it out entirely.

This year, one of the skits included a portrayal of Jay Z  leading around Mayor Kenney like a dog on a leash, which caused a controversy over blackface and minstrelsy and engendered statements from the mayor and council president.

Other floats and skits did not veer away from the political as they toed the line of correct. Performances commemorated everything from moon landings and Sesame Street’s anniversary to a Stan Lee tribute with “Stop” and “Frisk” police officers and a scenario where Gritty saves American democracy from Putin’s grasp.

Here’s a selection of photos that let you relive the more positive parts of the one-of-a-kind event.

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Michael Reeves / For Billy Penn
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Michael Reeves / For Billy Penn
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Danya Henninger / Billy Penn
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Michael Reeves / For Billy Penn
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Michael Reeves / For Billy Penn
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Michael Reeves / For Billy Penn
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Michael Reeves / For Billy Penn
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Michael Reeves / For Billy Penn
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Danya Henninger / Billy Penn
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Michael Reeves / For Billy Penn
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Danya Henninger / Billy Penn
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Danya Henninger / Billy Penn
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Danya Henninger / Billy Penn
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Danya Henninger / Billy Penn
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Michael Reeves / For Billy Penn
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Michael Reeves / For Billy Penn
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Michael Reeves / For Billy Penn
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Danya Henninger / Billy Penn
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Michael Reeves / For Billy Penn
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Michael Reeves / For Billy Penn
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Michael Reeves / For Billy Penn
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Danya Henninger / Billy Penn

 

Want some more? Explore other Holidays in Philly stories.

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