On July 14, 2020 the City of Philadelphia and Mayor James F. Kenney announced they would be taking measures to protect residents from COVID-19 by canceling all large-scale events and social gatherings through February 2021. Due to these new restrictions implemented from the city, this will result in the cancellation of the 2021 Philadelphia Mummers Parade as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in our area. The parade, which was set to take place on January 1, 2021 and pass through Center City Philadelphia, was to be the 120th year of the longest-running parade in Philadelphia. The last time the parade was not hosted by the City of Philadelphia was in 1934 due to the Great Depression. In previous years, the parade has attracted over 200,000 spectators and participants.
The Philadelphia String Band Association had worked alongside local officials on plans to put on a parade in 2021 that would be safe to attend, but the rising cases, hospitalizations and the city’s new orders for outside gatherings has prompted the city to cancel this year’s parade. The Philadelphia String Band Association fully supports the City of Philadelphia’s decision to cancel the 2021 parade in an effort to keep both our participants and spectators safe.
Though we are disheartened by these developments, the String Band Association does not think it would be prudent to invite tens of thousands of people to Center City, Philadelphia during this pandemic. While we will miss performing for our fans and residents of Philadelphia, the String Band Association does not want to contribute to the spike in cases in any way.
The Philadelphia String Band Association and the City of Philadelphia will continue to work together to bring the sights and sounds of the String Bands to Broad Street once it is safe for large gatherings and at that time we will still honor our essential workers. The String Band Association is also working with our television partner PHL17 to ensure there will be a String Band showcase that will air on New Year’s Day for our fans.
We will continue to provide updates as they become available. During these unprecedented times, the Philadelphia String Band Association is hoping that everyone continues to stay healthy and safe.