Right now, thousands of landline phones are ringing in South Philadelphia, delivering a largesse of juicy post-mummers gossip. While the winners and losers may change each year, the chitchat always boils down to one baffling phrase that’s been cracking me up for years: “It’s all politics.”
The saying has evolved into a catchphrase for South Philadelphian matriarchs, but it always confused me. Is there some sort of highly secretive mummer’s cabal, manipulating the entire affair with (glittery) puppet strings? Is the government involved somehow? Is it Obama’s socialist agenda at work?
While those questions may be valid, they’ll invariably fall flat when presented to loyal mummers fans, probably because the saying eloquently evokes powers outside any one fancy brigade’s agency, achieving a small glimmer hope for next year’s competition. Does that sound at all familiar, Eagles fans?
For the rest of the country (and most of Pennsylvania), the Mummer’s Parade is nothing more than a friendly tradition, but for those of us either directly or tangentially involved with the one day of the year when your Uncle Tony can freely don sequins, it’s an institution that’s teetering on the edge of oblivion. Budget problems, waning interest and one now-infamous (though alleged) mummers club/whore house have forever-tarnished our once proud and colorful peacock feathers.
But, thankfully, all of that is easily forgotten once you get a good strut goin’! Photos by Lou Perri, parade results are below.
1. Woodland . . . 94.4
2. Quaker City . . . 93.4
3. So. Philadelphia . . . 92.1
4. Ferko . . . 89.3
5. Fralinger . . . 86.750
6. Hegeman . . . 84.950
7. Avalon . . . 82.850
8. Aqua . . . 81.250
9. Greater Kensington . . . 78.400
10. Polish American . . . 76.100
11. Uptown . . . 75.100
12. Pennsport . . . 71.950
13. Durning . . . 62.350
14. Duffy . . . 57.200
15. Greater Overbrook . . . 55.550
16. Broomall . . . 50.850
17. Trilby . . . 50.350