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What we know about the Mummers march | Morning Newsletter

And, the latest on the relief package.

    The Morning Newsletter

    Start your day with the Philly news you need and the stories you want all in one easy-to-read newsletter

Good morning. I’m happy to be back with you.

First: The Mummers Parade has a long history of controversy, but the latest iteration could be forging ahead with a large gathering in the pandemic.

Then: It was back in September when President Donald Trump said “bad things happen in Philadelphia” during the first presidential debate, and if our look back at the year is any indication, residents of Philadelphia didn’t take offense, they took it as a challenge. Here are 10 good things that happened in Philly this year.

And: After demanding higher payments, Trump has signed the relief bill.

— Ashley Hoffman (@_ashleyhoffman,

The city did not stop these “historically chaotic celebrations” from happening in 1919 due to the pandemic or in 1934 due to the Depression. And this year’s official parade may be officially canceled, but that hasn’t stopped thousands of rogue Mummers from vowing to take their strut to the streets for an unofficial event. This time, it’s going to be a “protest.”

A Facebook page that two anonymous hosts started calls it a “Mummers/New Year’s Day protest against Mayor Kenney.” It’s happening on South Second Street, instead of along the South Broad Street parade route where many take in the spectacle. Roughly 2,700 people have indicated they’ll be in on it, and 8,300 more expressed interest. Social distancing is not expected, and it seems that safety precautions may even be used to lampoon Gov. Tom Wolf. Mayor Jim Kenney says the city won’t use force to break up the proceedings.

We talked to one expected participant, and this is everything we know so far about what could be a Mummers protest march.

Before we depart this hectic year, it’s about time for some very good stories. This year will go down in the history books for seismic changes and unspeakable tragedy, but that’s not all that happened.

There were the inventive things we did, the spirited things we did. Amusing things we discovered, old things toppling down, and things we fell in love with. Ten stood out to reporter Stephanie Farr. She’s the same scribe who got people talking about their favorite random interactions with kind strangers and with complicated news pressing in at every turn, here we are looking at these positive stories.

“Amid the dumpster fire that was 2020, Philly still became a beacon of joy and absurdity, Farr writes in her look at the 10 good things that happened in Philly this year. “From passionate expressions of love amid powerful protests to dancing mailboxes and ballot boxes outside of the Pennsylvania Convention Center, the city showed the world just what it means to be Philly this year.”

Helpful COVID-19 Resources

  1. We’re answering some of the most common vaccine questions in our updated FAQ.

  2. Here are the updated coronavirus case numbers as COVID-19 continues to spread across the region.

  3. Before New Year’s Eve your pandemic safety guide to the holidays that covers just about everything.

  4. What to know before visiting someone who’s recovered from COVID-19.

  5. Is it safe to travel this winter? If you are traveling, here’s a full breakdown on how to stay safer away from home wherever you stay and however you get there.

  6. What are the first symptoms of the coronavirus and what are the differences between COVID-19, the flu, a common cold, and allergies?

  7. Even for people with severe allergies, the COVID-19 vaccine could be a wise decision, experts say.

  8. Sign up to get free coronavirus news updates in your inbox three times a week.

What you need to know today

  1. Yesterday, Trump signed a $900 billion bipartisan COVID-19 relief bill passed by Congress last week. The news came after he railed against the package with a demand that Congress increase payment checks to individuals from $600 to $2,000. It could still take weeks for people who claim unemployment benefits to see their payments.

  2. COVID vaccines are getting rolled out to long-term care facilities in Pennsylvania and New Jersey today. The exciting day is clouded with a very significant possibility that complicates matters.

  3. Yesterday, police in Philadelphia and Camden searched for the killers in two separate shootings overnight that left a teenager and a man in his 40s dead.

  4. The lots where a Philly developer agreed to build affordable homes are either empty or pulling in large checks. For years, housing officials just stood by as he didn’t hold up his end of the bargain.

  5. Federal agents investigated the home of a possible person of interest in the explosion in downtown Nashville that damaged dozens of buildings on Christmas morning.

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

Here’s a beautiful reason to look up in West Philly. Thanks for sharing @city_of_architectural_love.

Tag your Instagram posts or tweets with #OurPhilly and we’ll pick our favorite each day to feature in this newsletter and give you a shout-out!

That’s interesting

  1. 🥘 As the pandemic drags on, beloved restaurants get shuttered at an alarming pace, no matter the profile. Without a bailout, there’s no knowing how permanent these closures will be. We asked Inquirer readers to share their heartfelt memories of the restaurants that have temporarily shuttered and those that are gone for good.

  2. 🦅 Why columnist Mike Sielski views last night’s Eagles loss as a good thing.

  3. 🏛️ How the pandemic actually saved a reenactment of Washington crossing the Delaware after it was canceled for two years in a row.

  4. 😷 Her husband and their four children all were diagnosed with COVID-19. Now she’s volunteered to administer the vaccine.

  5. ❤️ These are the best ways to have family fun right now.

  6. 🎭 What’s the future of art? Six forward-thinking Philly museums with some idea are forming a pact to try to harness the virtual world to eradicate the COVID-19 dystopia.

  7. 🏀 Doc Rivers does not sugarcoat what the 76ers need to work on.


The cartoonist for The Inquirer and Daily News since 1985, Pulitzer Prize winner Signe Wilkinson, reflects on 35 years of drawing cartoons on Philadelphia’s politicians and life.

“But, as we have repeatedly seen, this president who claims to love the military is eager to use U.S. military forces as a political prop - and to try to manipulate them for partisan purposes.” — Columnist Trudy Rubin writes that this was President Donald Trump’s most grotesque Christmas gift.

  1. Moodys’ Mark Zandi predicts how Biden will do a 180 on Trump’s approach to governing. Here’s what he writes will be doable for the new president.

  2. Activist and friend of Gloria Casarez, David Acosta, writes that painting over the Gloria Casarez mural erases a rare symbol.

What we’re reading

  1. Philly Mag examines how Philly’s real estate market’s victory lap will continue into 2021.

  2. Instead of their time-honored New Year’s Eve concert, the jam band Phish will challenge fans to a game of live online chess, Mashable reports. Quick: Get some Queen’s Gambit fans together to strategize.

  3. Billy Penn interviews a mother moving back to a shelter who wants to know why the cost of COVID-19 hotels couldn’t have gone to rental assistance.

Housebound? Hop on an imaginary ride through this photo essay of photo ops of a lifetime for a John Cena action figure.

Our photographer Charles Fox has explored memories inseparable from his heart by placing the plastic pro wrestler in all manner of scenarios. And Cena was the ideal subject. “The multi-jointed strongman was not only flexible enough to create different positions, he was flexible in character, as well, easily able to go from muscle-bound pugilist to adventure-seeking he-man to fun-loving good-time guy,” he writes.

But his commitment to the subject is beyond words. Read on for all kinds of fun photos and the zenith of the John Cena toy photo, a shot of him posing humbly with an inflatable flamingo.