Disheartened Mummers say cancellation of parade is ‘premature’

John McDevitt
July 14, 2020 - 5:47 pm

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — All large-scale events in Philadelphia are officially canceled for the next six months due to the threat of the coronavirus pandemic — a disheartening blow to veteran participants of the annual Mummers Parade.

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Events in the city are prohibited until at least Feb. 28, as health officials worry that they would attract out-of-towners and result in additional COVID-19 spikes.

Neighbors near Two Street in Pennsport, which is home to several Mummers clubhouses, voiced disappointment that the annual New Year’s Day parade will not go on as planned.

Mummers disappointed over canceled parade
Mark Denato has been a Mummer for 50 years, ever since he was a kid. The parade is a family tradition, and one he will greatly miss this year.

“My grandfather was in the parade,” he said, “all my uncles were all in the parade. To see tradition go away like that hurts.”

However, he understands the gravity of the pandemic and the urgency for the cancellations. Some virus experts have argued that large events will not be safe until there's a vaccine

“You see all of those numbers come back and all, you got to be safe and take precaution,” Denato said.

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Mummers disappointed over canceled parade
Residents like Stephanie Wilson and Joel Hennelly were not so forgiving. They say making this decision so far in advance is “ridiculous.” 

“Way, way premature,” said Wilson. “It’s too early. We are still in the midst of figuring this out day by day. It’s brand new. It’s unchartered territory that we’re in. How do we know we’re not going to find a vaccine?”

Others in South Philadelphia said they hope the city changes its mind.