I first wrote about Philly’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 5 years ago, of a time about 5 years before that when my wife joined her family in St. Louis for the holiday while I stayed home. Having nothing to do, and it was unusually warm, I went into Philly to see the parade and then planned to eat at our local Chinese buffet. Long story short, the parade started earlier than I thought and I missed it all, then the Chinese buffet was closed. Both ideas were a bust.
This year was unusually cold and my wife was home, so I watched the parade on TV. Not much has changed in those 10 years. Here are my observations:
The TV coverage opened with a group of dancing high school girls showing a lot of skin. It was 24 degrees! They were so young, I wanted to order them back inside and put their coats on or I would ground them. Nobody is thinking of sex at 24 degrees (well, nobody my age). They just looked deranged, dancing in the cold. If I was in charge, I would decree no one showing bare skin other than the face and hands would be allowed to participate if the temperature was below freezing, Mummer’s New Year’s Day Parade included.
The area in front of the Art Museum was for performing. The parade route was just to get there, then wait to perform. In my day, a parade meant a moving performance, but that was before TV coverage and paid bleacher seats.
The paying customers sat behind the performers while the performers faced the TV cameras in front. No doubt who was important, but this meant the paying customers only saw the backs of whatever was going on. Not quite a Broadway experience. The Museum’s steps and patio seemed to be off-limits to the public, but I realize budgets are tight.
The parade coverage was sponsored by Dunkin’ Donuts. The normal cups with the company’s name prominently displayed in front of the TV anchors were apparently too subtle. Instead, there were posters of giant coffee pots hiding most of the anchors, but showing the sponsor’s name in huge letters. It hardly made me want to visit my local Dunkin’ Donuts. (The company, itself, is not about selling donuts—it’s about selling franchises.)
Tomorrow, I’ll be in a better mood. I promise.