There’s a big change coming to the 2016 SugarHouse Casino Mummer's Parade, called the Philadelphia Division. The Mummers and the city are reaching out to Latino, African-American, Asian-American and LGBT groups to participate in this years parade. Following a meeting between the leaders of the Mummers and officials from the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations the "Philadelphia Division" was born. It is the hope of the Mummers and the city that adding diversity to the parade will bring greater audiences and sustain the parade for decades to come.
The division will include San Mateo Carnavalero, 2nd to None Drill Team, drag queens and a few groups to be determined. The Philadelphia Division will kick off the 2016 Mummer Parade before the Comic Division begins.
"There was a consensus, in order to survive and thrive through the 21st century and beyond, it has to evolve, and it will embrace more diversity," said George Badey, Mummers spokesman.
Mayor-elect Jim Kenney, a former fancy brigade member is also an advocate of the change.
The Mummers Philadelphia Division is sponsored by PECO.
"PECO is one of the Greater Philadelphia region's most active corporate citizens, providing more than $5 million in grant support annually to educational, arts and culture, diversity, environmental, economic development and community programs and organizations. And we are proud to join in the rich traditions that make our region truly unique – like the Mummers Parade.
"For nearly 20 years, we have celebrated the New Year by supporting the Mummers. This year, we are proud to expand that support by sponsoring the new Philadelphia Division!" -- PECO