PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (AP/WTXF) - “Putting sequins on the Captain’s back right now,” said Jack Averill.
Last minute touches over on Two Street where the Spartans Fancy Brigade are readying for the big show.
“It’s Philadelphia New Year’s,” Averill said.
Jack Averill is on his 30th year as a Mummer. The only break came in his two tours in the Army. He’s home now and relieved the parade will go on as planned despite the extreme cold weather.
“If it’s not New Year’s Day, it’s not the same,” Averill stated. He went on, “It’s tradition. You just go when it’s cold. I mean, it’s January first, it’s wintertime, it’s supposed to be cold,”
Despite some uncertainty this week-a last minute Mummer’s vote taken Saturday, December 30 makes it official-the cold weather won’t stop their strut.
And though the show will go on, safety is the city’s top concern. They’re setting up warming stations and trolleys for performers, mapping out spots like the Kimmel Center for spectators to dodge into and gain some relief from the bitter temperatures.
“I’m actually going to layer up twice with Under Armor. I have two layers of Under Armor to put under my suit. I should be good,” said Averill.
“I was a fan for it,” said Joe Falck.
Falck saw a silver lining for a delayed parade. As a member of the Fancies, he’d perform inside the Convention Center either way.
“We’d march twice,” said Falck
Now, it’s game on.
The tradition holds strong.
“Yes, it’s New Year’s in Philly, exactly,” said Averill.
Warming station will be open at Dilworth Plaza. People are asked to please dress warmly in layers.
Temperatures are only expected to be in the high teens on Monday, along with single-digit wind chills. Concerns had been raised that the bone-chilling temperatures could be dangerous for parade participants and some instruments used by string bands that march in the parade.
Officials say heating tents and warm buses will be set up along the route for the Mummers.
The parade has been canceled or postponed in the past due to rain or snow, most recently in 2003.
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