I haven’t heard any other place that celebrates Mother’s Day with a parade than Chester, Pennsylvania. For many Chester folk it’s the only parade they’ve ever seen live.


I’m a parade fan no matter how large or small. Of the ones I’ve seen, the Puerto Rican Day Parade on 5th Ave in NYC has been my favorite followed closely by the Caribbean parades in Brooklyn and D.C., the Halloween parades in NYC and D.C., and the whatever they call the gay parade in D.C. I’m not too keen on standing in the cold to watch a parade so the TV does a great job bringing me the Thanksgiving Day Parades.

I’ve yet to attend several bucket list pre-Lenten parades including Mardi Gras, and the Carnivals of Rio, Martinique, and Trinidad & Tobago.

And then there’s the Mummers Parade.

I was practically an adult when I learned I wasn’t supposed to like the Mummers. Therefore, I’m going to make this confession right here on the blog…I enjoy the Mummers (as I hear several of you click back to Facebook).

I love the strings, the horns, and the magnificent costumes. The comic division makes me laugh even though I’m not supposed to at times. I don’t see that the Mummers are much different than the Carnival performers.

The Mummers have been accused of being racists. I think it’s more of an issue of them being drunk and territorial. When you’re strutting a couple miles down Broad Street in 20 degree weather wearing 50 pound costumes blowing a horn, there’s not a lot of opportunity to be racist. (…as you search for the comment button)

If more black folks played horns and strummed an instrument, maybe we could have our own parades. Even the Puerto Rican and Caribbean parades rely heavily on DJs-on-a-float to blast music to the crowd. I prefer my parade music to be bands – schools, military, or Mummer.

While at the Phillies game this week I witnessed a troop of Mummers walking in with me. Those costumes take up a lot of room as they strutted 4-abreast nearly taking out everything and everyone in their trek around the concourse of Citizens Bank Park.

A black Mummer at the Phillies game. I don’t think he thinks I see him.

When I saw a black dude playing the sax with the Mummers at the ballpark, I wondered what some people black people would think of him. Here’s what I came up with…

  • He’s an Uncle Tom
  • He was first runner up as a side man in Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band
  • He’s 2nd cousin first removed of Darius Rucker of Hootie & the Blowfish
  • He’s in the witness protection program

Let me know the next time there’s a parade around. I’ll try to make it.