By Howard Monroe

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Philadelphia tradition returns. The mummers will be back on Broad Street on New Year’s Day after this year’s parade was canceled because of the pandemic.

The mummers made the announcement Tuesday morning that the Philly tradition is making a comeback. The parade has been going on for 120 years.

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The last parade was on Jan. 1, 2020, right before the pandemic forced the lockdowns. That parade was marred in controversy after two participants were disqualified for wearing blackface. Councilman Mark Squilla, who is a mummer, says the groups are working to rid themselves of what many people believe are racist acts.

“We’ve been working really hard with human relations, and we met with them and each member is doing some training so the mummers are taking it very seriously,” Squilla said. “They understand that this is a big picture that makes sure we stand for everybody. We can’t say one division does this or another division does that. We as mummers have to stand together and do the right thing and I think that training is part of that and education and training. Sometimes people do things in the form of comic relief and maybe it’s perceived as not comic relief and it’s not comic relief if it hurts somebody individually.”

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The parade kicks off at 9 a.m. on Jan. 1 at City Hall and will go along Broad Street down to Washington Avenue.

You can watch the parade from:

  • City Hall at North 15th & Market Streets (with “A” stand for judging)
  • Broad & Sansom Streets (at the Union League Performance Area – String Bands only)
  • Broad & Pine Streets (Fancy, Wenches, Comics, Fancy Brigade)
  • Broad & Carpenter Streets (all divisions perform)
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The judging will still take place at the convention center later that night.