By Jonathan Wilson & Tom MacDonald, WHYY, photos by Ronald Gray
January 1, 2019What a difference a year makes. January 1, 2018 saw the Mummers march down Broad St. with temperatures in the mid-teens, the coldest temperature ever in the history of the parade. 2019’s parade saw temperatures in the mid-fifties.
40-year parade veteran Ed Cox, a member of the Fancy Division’s Golden Sunrise called the 2018 parade the worst ever for marchers and spectators alike. Cox’s only concern this year was the wind which would occasionally gust along Broad St. and caused some challenges for marchers.
Along with the many traditional themes, the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing and Woodstock commemorated by B Love N.Y.B. and Pop Adair Golden Slipper respectively.
Musically, strains of the Eagles fight song could be heard interspersed among traditional favorites Oh, Dem Golden Slippers and Happy Day Are Here Again.
Fran Masino of South Philadelphia carefully cradled his son Remmington in his arms while marching in the parade. “He’s five months old, he’s a third-generation mummer, very emotional, very emotional,” he said.
Ed Lafferty from Springfield, Delaware County says he was up early and does some 100-proof preparation for the event. “We start our liquid diet all day since 4:30 in the morning, it’s a beautiful thing,” he joked.
The unseasonable weather also brought out big crowds to enjoy the more than century-old tradition of welcoming in the new year.
Laura Galdo is marching with the Froggy Car Comics, her first time strutting with the Mummers. She says this is something she’s always wanted to do.
“I love the weather because I’m not a cold-weather person, I love the atmosphere, it’s a great time,” she said, basking the spring-like weather.
Dave Frelini agrees. He’s been coming to the parade for nine years. He says 2019’s weather is the nicest he can remember.
“It is beautiful this year, anybody who had the opportunity to come down should be here, this is wonderful, no rain, not too sunny, beautiful temperature,” he said. -- (WHYY)