Happy Friday, and Happy (almost) New Year. Whether you're ready to say "good riddance" or savoring the last holiday fun, there's plenty to do in the Philly area this weekend, including (hopefully) the annual Mummers Parade. Either way, I'll see you in 2018!

If you like what you're reading, tell your friends it's free to sign up to get this newsletter in your inbox every weekday. I would love to hear your thoughts, ideas, and feedback, so please email me, tweet me @aubsn, or reach our social team on Facebook. Thank you for reading.

— Aubrey Nagle

Downtowners’ Captain Anthony Stagliano, center, dances the middle of his brigade as they perform “Rio Festival of Animals.”
Michael Bryant / Staff Photographer
Downtowners’ Captain Anthony Stagliano, center, dances the middle of his brigade as they perform “Rio Festival of Animals.”

Baby, it's cold outside. So cold, in fact, that Mummers officials and  City Hall are discussing whether to postpone the iconic New Year's Day parade for the first time in 11 years.

If you do end up dancing in the streets Monday morning, see our ultimate guide to the Mummers Parade for the best places to watch. And if your relatives are still in town, school them on Mummers history so they understand all the sequins.

If you're going out the night before, check our guides to New Year's Eve parties and ball-drop (and mushroom-drop) gatherings in the region. Staying in? Try these fancy cocktail recipes. Then prep yourself with the only hangover cure that really works.

It's been a record-breaking year for overdoses in Philadelphia, 85 percent of them from opioids. Reports suggest the total will surpass 1,200 by year's end — quadruple the murder rate.

And it could have been worse. Police officers (and even librarians) have been using an overdose-reversing spray to save hundreds of lives. The city is considering adding safe-injection sites as a next line of defense.

But it isn't enough, yet. Reporters Mike Newall and Aubrey Whelan explore how the opioid epidemic is changing Philadelphia in a new, harrowing report from the front lines.

In recent days, taxpayers have rushed to take advantage of property tax deductions that will be scaled back under the federal tax overhaul. Now the IRS is saying it may be for naught.

The agency announced Wednesday that deductions for prepayments can only be claimed on taxes that have already been assessed. Municipalities are still trying to figure out whether pre-payers will be able to deduct what they've paid. In Philly, at least, prepayment meets the IRS guidelines.

Those displeased with this latest hiccup can thank Pennsylvania's own Sen.Pat Toomey. He was instrumental in crafting the tax legislation.

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The Boston Globe
Christopher Weyant
The Boston Globe
"In 2017, racism not only won the day. It won the year. That's my takeaway from a 12-month span that saw America inaugurate a president who ran on a hate-filled platform that denigrated and demeaned anyone who was not a white male. " Columnist Solomon Jones
— recounts the biggest moments of racism in 2017.

What we’re reading

Your Daily Dose of | Lights, Camera, Action

Jian White, a senior at Drexel University, plays “Dog Jackson” while senior Kate Howarth acts the part of “Piggie Wonder.” In the foreground, Jose Tomas Crisostomo Flores and Kent Wycoff direct the scene.
Jeffrey Stockbridge / For The Inquirer
Jian White, a senior at Drexel University, plays “Dog Jackson” while senior Kate Howarth acts the part of “Piggie Wonder.” In the foreground, Jose Tomas Crisostomo Flores and Kent Wycoff direct the scene.

Hollywood's got nothing on these budding directors: Drexel students are helping CHOP patients turn their own stories into movies.