Bedazzled brigades and Satan on wheels: Philadelphians take over Broad Street for the 2024 Mummers Parade

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Gray clouds did not dim the cheer of thousands of Philadelphians eager to ring in the new year the only way Philly knows how: by joyously flouting open container laws and making deals with the (cardboard) devil.

“This is a suit that the club has been putting out for decades at this point,” said Mike Carwile, as his father pointed behind him to a large feather-trimmed Satan on wheels. “We fixed it up a little bit this year.”

The father-son duo joined several other local families, lifelong friends, clubs of wenches, comics, and string bands who made the 1 1/2-mile-long march down Broad Street to mark the 124th annual Mummers Parade.

Philadelphia’s annual Mummer’s Parade brought families to march down Broad Street on New Year’s Day, Jan. 1, 2024. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

The annual tradition is rooted in comic performances that date back millenia. But its recent history in Philadelphia is not without controversy.

In 2020, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney threatened to cancel the parade after multiple Mummers wore blackface. Four years earlier, organizers received similar backlash over accusations of racism, homophobia, and transphobia from parade participants.

  • January 1, 2024
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