UPDATE: South Philly resident (and friend of the Passyunk Post) has started a campaign to keep the Mummer strutting through South Philly, including this Facebook page: Keep the Mummers Struttin’ in South Philly.
The Mummers are considering a new New Year’s Day parade route that would start at City Hall and head south only to Washington Avenue, rather than starting at Oregon and going north.
The Inquirer reports that parade organizers are mulling the change because the repeated stops and starts have made it less fun to perform and to watch. Judging would happen at the start of the parade, rather than the end, meaning that brigades would flow past spectators.
But why stop at Washington Avenue, skipping the traditional heart of the parade route?
Says the paper:
The proposed change seems in part a result of demographic shifts the city has undergone. South Philadelphia once was home to large populations of migrants from Ireland and Italy, who produced both Mummers and crowds along the route. Those populations have thinned and been replaced by new immigrant groups – Asians and Hispanics – with fewer ties to the parade.
Now … Broad Street on parade day can be largely empty south of Washington, [said Leo Dignam, the city's deputy commissioner for parks and recreation]. “All those Mummers marching up south of Washington are really marching to nobody now,” he said.
What do you think? Does this sound like a good idea?