Sequins and hot-glue guns are back in the picture for ethnic parades as philanthropist Gerry Lenfest has offered a half-million dollars to the Greater Philadelphia Traditions Fund to help pay for the city's costs.
Meanwhile, City Council amended a parade bill yesterday to have the city cover security and cleanup costs.
The bill was originally going to cap the fee that the city would charge parades at $7,500. Now, the city will cover basic safety costs and charge parade sponsors for extra necessities such as stage equipment or sound systems, according to Justin DiBerardinis, aide to Councilwoman Maria Quinones Sanchez, the bill's sponsor.
Lenfest's money will now cover more expenses than parade organizers thought.
Ten organizations - the Mummers, Odunde Festival, Columbus Day, Steuben Day, Puerto Rican Day, Greek Independence Day, Gay Pride, St. Patrick's Day, Pulaski Day and the Asian Festival - will collectively receive $100,000 per year for five years, U.S. Rep. Bob Brady said at a news conference yesterday.
Knowing that there is money for organizations to defray the city's costs has relieved almost a year's worth of stress for Kathleen Murray, Columbus Day Parade coordinator.