Believe it or not, there are Philadelphians who don't like the annual Mummers Parade.

Can't stand it. Would rather spend New Year's Eve with a million people in Times Square than endure one fancy brigade strutting up Broad Street.

It's not always easy to identify these folks. So conscious are they of the fervor for Mummers in these parts that they try to keep their feelings to themselves.

On New Year's Day, they stay in bed, sleeping off the night before or - heaven forbid - watching the Rose Bowl Parade on TV.

Some anti-Mummers, of course, are transplants, who have not had the opportunity to develop an affection for the parade from the cradle.

Others, however, are Philadelphia born and bred, and grew up on hoagies, soft pretzels with mustard, and cheesesteaks "wit" fried onions.

We understand that some may have been put off by an unpleasant experience at a parade.

But, this being the City of Brotherly Love, we should heed our better angels and not despise those who do not appreciate the tradition, the history, the enduring passion that the mummers represent.

So a warm invitation is extended to each and all to come out this year and get into the spirit.

They might find themselves pleasantly surprised.

And if not, well at least they gave it a shot.

Happy New Year!