PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Organizers of the Mummers Parade are hopeful cultural education efforts will mean a more respectful and inclusive tone throughout their traditional Philadelphia New Year's celebration.
Recent years have been marred by racially and socially offensive displays. The 2013 parade included a minstrel theme and last year's parade included a skit that mocked transgender celebrity Caitlyn Jenner.
The new initiatives provide sensitivity training and online videos on what's culturally appropriate. The Mummers also published an open letter last week condemning "expressions of hate and bigotry." And Mayor Jim Kenney has called upon them to adopt a tone that celebrates the group's traditions while honoring the city's diversity.
The parade features ornate costumes and musical performances, and attracts thousands of spectators each year. It's broadcast live on local TV.