Will the Parade Go On?

Mummers and city meet over parade budget issues

Every year since the beginning of the last century, Mummers have devoted the days before New Years to practicing for the big march up Broad Street.

But this year the march is in question and the focus is on ongoing meetings between the Nutter administration and the Mummers like one held Tuesday night in Center City.

The city has put a limit on how much it will spend to keep the sequins and feathers and golden slippers marching up Broad Street, because of the budget crisis.

"The city is just trying to be absolutely clear to anybody who is listening that we only have 300k to put towards this parade and after that they’d have to accept any cost beyond that,” said Mayor Nutter’s press secretary Doug Oliver.

That's $300,000 on a parade that the city estimates will cost at minimum $347,000.

"If the city's saying you have write a check, which we don’t have the money for anyway…we’d have to get that from sponsors. Then at a minimum the city should tell us, this is what it costs normally on a normal day, but because of your parade, it costs this much more," the Mummers lawyer George Badey said.

The city insists that $347,000 is the cost for police, sanitation and other services related to the parade.

So while the two sides haggle, the Mummers like the Hegeman String Band continue rehearsing.

The question is are they just getting some exercise under I-95 in South Philadelphia, or will they march on New Years Day.

"It's gonna be their call," Olvier said.

"We're gonna have to decide that. That remains to be seen," said Badey/

The city says the deadline for a march/don't march decision is this coming Thursday. The two sides are due to meet again Wednesday.

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