Mummers Parade beats weather, money woes

Jan. 1, 2010 at 11:57 PM
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PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 1 (UPI) -- A century-old New Year's Day tradition in Philadelphia, the Mummers Parade, beat long odds this year to go forward on schedule.

Mayor Michael Nutter and the Mummers announced a cost-sharing agreement Thursday, less than 24 hours before the 110th annual parade was set to begin, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. After months of negotiations, the Mummers agreed to pay $150,000 to help the cash-strapped city with costs like police overtime.

The final hurdle was the weather. After more than a week of rapid changes that included a major pre-Christmas snowstorm, the sun shone as the Mummers began the march up Broad Street.

Rain, a destroyer of spangles and braid, would have canceled the parade.

Peter Broomall, captain of the Broomall String Band, founded by his grandfather, held a golden pitchfork and wore white overalls. This year, the Broomall band chose to go back to the land, complete with milkmaids and numbers like "Turkey in the Straw."

"Some get wrapped up in the competition," he said. "It's the tradition that's important."

The parade had also been threatened by Philadelphia's precarious finances.

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