What I do when I’m not writing

Saturday, I took a break from writing and my sister and I walked over the newly constructed bridge to Manayunk to watch the Mummers Mardi Gras Parade.

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Until I visited Philly, I had never heard of a Mummer.

Then I read an article in the newspaper and knew I had to see them. Last year, my partner and I watched the Treme series on DVD and became hooked on all things Mardi Gras related.

Yet, I was conflicted. The Mummers had behaved poorly at the annual Broad Street New Year’s parade here in Philly. That parade is known for being wild, and for drinking and partying, and some of the Mummer comics had made anti-gay jokes while others browned their faces for a Mexican dance number.

So totally not cool, guys.

According to a news article, the bad eggs had been kicked out the group and/or reprimanded, and this year’s Mardi Gras Parade was promised to be family friendly.

And it was very family friendly. It was also a blast. Imagine burly blue-collar working guys decked out in pink feathers, fluff and costumes that flowed and twirled. Others dressed as trees and skeletons and marched down the street playing instruments.

There were traditional Mardi Gras beads, and you didn’t have to show your boobs to get a strand, either. All you needed to do was slip a dollar in one of the donation buckets and presto, a strand of cheap, shiny beads appeared around your neck.

Mummers danced with kids and old ladies and tough-looking men with tattoos. There was music (very, very loud music) and clapping and cheers, and babies sat on their father’s shoulders and confetti flew through the air and everyone smiled, and some people sang along in boisterous, off-keyed voices, and no one cared.It was just that kind of day.

Still, maybe it was the knowledge that some of the members had made racist gestures and anti-gay comments that caused me to notice that the majority of the Mummers were white, and that there were very few women, too.

Hopefully, the Mummers will get with the program and include more diversity in their flock.

Aside from that, they put on a damned fine parade.

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10 thoughts on “What I do when I’m not writing

    1. Wow, I had no idea mummering had such old roots. It’s kind of fascinating, isn’t it? Thanks for the information. I’m kind of an information/odd facts kind of person (and sooner or later mummers will turn up in one of my books, lol). Cheers and have a great week.

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  1. Mardi Gras in Philly! Great photos, Cinthie, and I agree, there could be more diversity among the mummers but then maybe they’re just fun to watch but not hang with 😉 Guy in the tree costume really creeps me out, though. Great costume; just scary 😉

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    1. Marie: I have a photo of me hugging one of the tree guys, lol. My sister was afraid of them but I loved their roughness and the fact that we couldn’t see their faces (I’ve always loved the bad boys). Cheers and have a great and writing filled week.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve never heard of this. What does one have to do to be a Mummer? As you point out, sounds like they could use more diversity among their ranks. But it made for great, colorful photos. These are wonderful.

    Thank you for visiting my site. Much appreciated!

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    1. Carrie: I’m so excited that you visited my site–thanks so much. Have no idea what a person has to do to be a Mummer. Until last week, I had no idea they existed. P.S. I bought your book and can’t wait to read it. P.S.S. Are you a runner? Your email sounded as if you might be so I thought I’d check (I’m a bit obsessed with running, lol).

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      1. I am not a runner (unless I’m at a hotel and the treadmill is the only option), but I do work out most every day. I have a collection of fitness DVDs I’ve collected over the years. I love exercising to them. So much variety so I don’t get bored. Cheaper than a gym membership and I don’t have to leave the house. 🙂

        Thank you so much for your interest in my book. So nice to hear. I hope you enjoy it!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Interesting! Those tree costumes are kinda creepy/cool. We never saw the mummers when we lived in Philly, but we saw the Gombey dancers, which is sort of similar, a lot when we lived in Bermuda. (Of coures, we lived there a lot longer than we lived in Philly.) The Gombeys wear lots of bright colors, and these sort whicker-looking masks so you can’t see their faces, and peacock feathers on the tops of their heads so they look really tall. They’re really cool to see. Interesting thing though… I’m pretty sure it’s only black Bermudians (hard to really say because of the masks…) who participate in Gombey dancing there, so kind of the opposite of the all-white-dude mummers you saw.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, the tree costumes are pretty cool. Love the information on the Gombey dancers. It sounds as if they’re similar to the Mummers but probably the Gombey dancers carry a longer cultural tradition. Still, it’s all crazy and good. P.S. I’m off to Google Gombey dancing. It’s totally perked my curiosity.

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