PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Mummers Parade has been cancelled or postponed a few times over their long history, but mainly for rain or snow. Cold seems like something that comes with the territory.
But this year, the cold is expected to be so extreme that decisions have to be made.
Make no mistake, they can handle a good shiver with their strut.
“We are Mummers, this isn’t our first time,” said Nick Magenta, captain of the Polish American String Band.
But the question for city leaders and Mummers Parade organizers is: how cold is too cold?
The New Year’s Day Mummers Parade is likely to be met with a wind chill in the low single digits.
“We know going into it, five days, four days in advance that it is going to be really really cold, so there is a decision that needs to be made,” said Charlie Nicholas, captain of the Pennsport String Band.
Comic Division President Rich Porco says it makes sense when you consider the costumes.
“They cover you, but its all according to what theme you’re taking out. You know? You may have someone out there in a bathing suit,” said Porco.
Porco says the weather could also affect the instruments, with the biggest problems being posed to the brass bands.
“That they spend a lot of money on. They average anywhere from $12,000 to $15,000 per band. They won’t be able to play, because most of them are horns,” he said.
“The horns are going to freeze up, the music is going to sound not as good as it should,” said Nicholas.
He would like to see it postponed.
As for the Polish American String Band, a dry run on a frigid evening is good practice in the event that they do spend their Monday as planned, marching south on Broad.
“This is probably pretty close to weather that we will experience on Monday, so why not be out here now and try to get used to it?” said Magenta.
Mid-Saturday, officials will make the call as to whether the parade will go on as scheduled, or possibly moved to the 6th of January, when temperatures are forecasted only slightly higher.
The last time the parade was postponed was 2003, that time it was due to rain.
KYW’s Dan Wing contributed to this story.