Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

What do Budget Cuts Mean For Mummer's Parade?

Mayor Nutter's grim budget cutting plan slashes city funding for a beloved Philadelphia tradition -- the annual Mummers Parade, held each year on New Year's Day. The city has cut $355,000 that it gives to the Mummers for prize money -- a cut that will apply to the next parade. And George Badey, publicity director for the Philadelphia Mummers Association, said the Mummers are not happy about it. "It’s drastic to say we’re going to give them no prize money after 108 years," Badey said. "It’s sending the message that they don’t care about us and if the Mummers went away it doesn’t matter." The prize money covers only a fraction of the costs that clubs incur to participate in the parade. A string band could spend up to $100,000 to compete in the parade and the top prize it could win is about $9,700. Still, Badey said they were promised the money. He said Mummers leadership hopes to talk with the city soon about the decision. "I would hope the city would sit down and openly acknowledge the importance of the Mummers to the city," Badey said. Another issue for the Mummers is who will pay police overtime costs on parade day. The mayor's budget plan says the city will be more rigorous about collecting overtime costs for special events. But the mayor's press office said it hasn't been determined yet who will pay for the overtime for the Mummers Parade.

What do Budget Cuts Mean For Mummer's Parade?

Members of the Pennsport String Band perform before the judges during the 2008 Mummers Parade. (Ron Tarver/Inquirer)
Members of the Pennsport String Band perform before the judges during the 2008 Mummers Parade. (Ron Tarver/Inquirer)

Mayor Nutter's grim budget cutting plan slashes city funding for a beloved Philadelphia tradition -- the annual Mummers Parade, held each year on New Year's Day.

The city has cut $355,000 that it gives to the Mummers for prize money -- a cut that will apply to the next parade. And George Badey, publicity director for the Philadelphia Mummers Association, said the Mummers are not happy about it.

"It’s drastic to say we’re going to give them no prize money after 108 years," Badey said. "It’s sending the message that they don’t care about us and if the Mummers went away it doesn’t matter."

The prize money covers only a fraction of the costs that clubs incur to participate in the parade. A string band could spend up to $100,000 to compete in the parade and the top prize it could win is about $9,700. Still, Badey said they were promised the money. He said Mummers leadership hopes to talk with the city soon about the decision.

"I would hope the city would sit down and openly acknowledge the importance of the Mummers to the city," Badey said.

Another issue for the Mummers is who will pay police overtime costs on parade day. The mayor's budget plan says the city will be more rigorous about collecting overtime costs for special events. But the mayor's press office said it hasn't been determined yet who will pay for the overtime for the Mummers Parade.

About this blog
Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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Sean Collins Walsh is from Bucks County and went to Northwestern University. He joined the Daily News copy desk in 2012 and now covers the Nutter administration. Before that, he interned at papers including The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Seattle Times. E-mail tips to walshSE@phillynews.com
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