Outrageously costumed Mummers strutted their stuff Friday at the city’s annual New Year’s Day parade, a colorful celebration that features string bands, comic brigades, elaborate floats and plenty of feathers and sequins.
Participants danced wildly and toted parasols down Broad Street, the city’s main north-south thoroughfare, during the 116th edition of what has been called Philadelphia’s Mardi Gras.New this year was the “Philadelphia Division,” meant to inject some diversity into the parade, with two new Hispanic performance groups, a black drill team and the LGBT Miss Fancy Brigade.
Some critics called the parade offensive, with one performing group painting their faces brown to portray Mexicans and a wench brigade mocking Caitlyn Jenner.
Philadelphia’s incoming mayor Jim Kenney called the display insulting and hurtful.
“It was bad. Hurtful to many Philadelphians. Our Trans citizens do not deserve this type of satire/insult,” Kenney wrote in a Twitter reply.
Dozens of activists from the Black Lives Matter movement used the parade to stage a protest.