They're our Mummers and we love them

Philadelphia native or not, love of civic tradition runs high on Penn’s campus—or so the Current found out when we asked, “Mummers. Good or bad?” Sequined costumes, painted faces, choreographed struts and of course the string bands—you find it all delightful. Doesn’t everyone like to have something they call their very own?

Associate Director, Development & Alumni Relations
School of Social Work

“I’m a big fan of the Mummers Parade. It’s a great Philadelphia tradition. I have some cousins that [were] also in it—I think it’s Hog Island, which is one of the fancy [costume] brigades—and I just think it’s a wonderful tradition that Philadelphia can call its own.”

Staff Assistant to the Dean, School of Social Work
“I love the Mummers. They’re part of Philadelphia’s history. They’re wonderful, they practice art. I had a nephew who was in one of the string bands that competed for many years… They’re part of Philadelphia, just like William Penn, and City Hall, and the Philadelphia Eagles.”

Academic Assistant, Landscape Architecture
[Whispering, in a really conspiratorial way] “I’ve never been to one [Mummers Parade].”

Program Coordinator, Graduate Program in Historic Preservation
“It’s a Philadelphia tradition. It’s a unique sound.”

Executive Secretary to the Dean, Graduate School of Fine Arts
“I think the Mummers Parade is a very festive event, and we should celebrate it.”

Manager of International Programs, Graduate School of Education
“I used to go to the parade. The last time I was there it was still a 12-hour event. I don’t go anymore because I have a dog who won’t stand still in the crowd. …But I’m all for the Mummers.”

Administrator Coordinator of International Programs, Graduate School of Education
“I’ve never been to one. I’m new to Philly. I’ve heard a lot about it and think it’s an interesting concept.”

Associate director for executive and continuing education, Graduate School of Education
[Giggles] They are Philadelphia hokey. [Pause] And that makes them good.”

—Eden Lin and Trinh Tran

Next issue’s question: What were your New Year’s resolutions? Have you kept them? And if you haven’t, how long did it take you to break them? Got an answer? E-mail us at or call 215-898-1426.

Originally published on January 16, 2003