PHILADELPHIA - The future of the Mummers Parade is in jeopardy if leadership doesn't make immediate changes to better control the parade, Mayor Jim Kenney wrote in a letter.
Kenney calls the parade one of our city's most unique and recognizable traditions but goes on to say that "the behavior of a few participants has once again cast a shadow over that tradition."
"This parade has an infamous history of using racially and culturally insensitive themes, and the repeated inability of Mummers leadership to control the use of blackface by some participants threatens the City’s continued support for the parade," the mayor wrote. "Despite your progress in recent years, every time a parade participant mocks our Black community through the willful, ignorant use of blackface, it exacerbates the parade’s association with racism and bigotry."
He added, "Our diversity is Philadelphia’s greatest strength. In a proudly diverse city, you simply cannot alienate fellow Philadelphians who may see these hurtful images. You must understand the anger and frustration of those who feel strongly that taxpayer dollars and corporate funds should not be devoted to supporting this event. It is therefore critical that you take decisive steps to end this behavior for good."
The mayor went on to say that ultimately the city may produce its own New Year's Day parade or celebration that is more inclusive, which will displace the Mummers Parade on Broad Street if meaningful changes are not made. Mayor Kenney hopes to meet with Mummers leadership as soon as possible.
Read the full letter below or click here:
The letter comes after the Froggy Carr Club was disqualified after marchers were accused of wearing blackface at the 2020 Mummers Parade.
For the latest local news, sports and weather, download the FOX 29 News app.
DOWNLOAD: FOX 29 NEWS APP