Happy Anniversary Murray Comic Club

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The Murray Comic Club celebrates its 80th anniversary tonight and its 18th 1st Prize in a row with a gala at SugarHouse Casino.  500 attendees are here, including past presidents and officers of other clubs. And, of course, big cheers to President Rich Porco and his daughter, Jessica, long time leaders of Murray and standard bearers of Mummery.  As Rich said tonight, “We’re not a club, we’re a family.”

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Murray has been a steady supporter of Easter Seals, our Armed Forces overseas and Philabundance. On New Year’s Day and throughout the year, Murray is number one. Congratulations and thank you, Murray Comic Club.

Talent is in the House

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And I mean on the stage. The Neumann Goretti High School Talent Show is underway in South Philadelphia. Congratulations to all the students.
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The row of judges are busy including my SugarHouse Casino Mummers Parade partner Alicia Vitarelli of 6ABC and PHL17 News at Ten. Thanks to Father Olson and Bruce Robinson for being such good hosts.

Fancy Brigade Banquet 2016

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Members of the Shooters styling on the deck at SugarHouse Casino tonight at the annual Fancy Brigade Association Banquet in Philadelphia.

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It’s a night to honor all the men, women and children who every New Year’s Day entertain the city with the Mummers tradition inside the Pennsylvania Convention Center, and throughout the year are there for family, neighborhood and country.

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Tonight is a night to remember the late FB Association President and former Captain of the Downtowners, Jim Julia.

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It’s a night to honor and welcome Tommy Knight, Jr.,  into the Hall of Fame.

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Among those here, Mary and Tom Loomis, Jessica and Rich Porco, Palma and John Lucas,

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and other representatives of other Mummers Divisions. Other strong supporters,

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including Vince and Norma Giannini of PHL17, joined the Brigades in this massive celebration at the new SugarHouse.

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Congratulations to Champions Golden Crown and all the clubs. A great night for a great tradition.

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The People Have Spoken

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Congratulations to Woodland String Band and to Bill McIntyre’s Shooting Stars, winners of the 2016 SugarHouse Casino Viewer’s Choice Awards for their performances on New Years Day in the Mummers Parade. 

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Mummers from all Divisions gathered tonight at the new conference and event facility at SugarHouse Casino for the annual revelation. A pleasant time was guaranteed for all.

Let’s Strut

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Happy New Year! Sitting in the broadcast booth anticipating the parade! Happy 2016. Long live the Philadelphia tradition! Have fun.

Until We Meet Again, Jim.

Jim3IMG_20151119_091408663Jim Julia, Sr., has been laid to rest. Friends, colleagues and admirers have been spending today remembering Jim and, with his family, truly mourning the passing of a life taken too soon.  In a highly emotional moment, members of the Downtowners Fancy Brigade lined the center aisle of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in South Philadelphia at the end of the funeral Mass.  The closed casket bearing Jim was led down the aisle and as it passed, members reached out and touched the coffin in one final goodbye. The words and music at the service had struck every right chord in honoring Jim for his compassion, dedication and leadership.  The funeral procession then traveled by vehicle past the Downtowners clubhouse and up around the Mummers Museum, and then back down 2nd Street in one last parade.TwoMG_20151119_091523856

Thousands of people tried to say goodbye today. But, if you really need to prove the wonderful life of James J. Julia, Sr., you need to look no farther than his family.  Jim Julia, Jr., eloquently addressed us all near the end of the Mass.  His sister Meghan stood beside him, as he spoke of his father’s life, and of his father, a kid from Tree Street, losing his mother at an early age. He recalled Jim’s love of Mummery and of tradition, and Jim’s life lessons on family.  The words were more evidence of Jim, Sr.’s, love for his family and they for him.  This sudden loss is deeply painful for them.  But, you can also tell that they are trying to ask themselves, “What would Jim do now?” Most beautifully real of all is Debby, Jim’s Sr.’s, wife.  The clear love she has for her husband, the patience and grace with which she greeted each of us and the honesty with which she mourns are as moving and meaningful as anything I have witnessed.

Jim Julia has been laid to rest. I have a feeling part of him is glad we paid some attention to him.  He may even be smiling and wondering what took us so long.  But, then he’ll take a sip of coffee and tell us to move on. I imagine he’d say that if we do want to honor him, then we should remember him by doing the right thing for tradition, for family and for the people of Tree Street.JimOneIMG_20151119_091457589.jpgThank you to Debby, Meghan and Jim, Jr. and to all in his family for sharing Jim Julia, Sr.    And to Jim.  Thank you, sir.  Goodbye.

Viewer’s Choice Finalists Announced

MUMMERS_ROWThe finalists in the 2015 SugarHouse Casino/PHL17 Viewer’s Choice Poll have been announced and SugarHouse is also planning on handing out thousands of dollars to some lucky Mummers clubs Tuesday night, January 20th, at 6:30 p.m.!  Here’s what we know.

 

The 5 finalists in the Fancy Brigades are, in alphabetical order:

Avenuers

Bill McIntyre’s Shooting Stars

Satin Slipper

South Philly Vikings

Spartans

The 5 finalists in the String Band Division are, in alphabetical order:

Fralinger

Hegeman

Polish American

Quaker City

South Philadelphia

Sugar House 2011The winner of each of the two divisions will be announced Tuesday evening, January 20th, at SugarHouse.

Each will receive the big Viewer’s Choice trophy and a check from SugarHouse for $1,000.

In addition, each of three lucky “mother” clubs across the 5 divisions will be the recipient of $1,000.  To be eligible for those 3 drawings of $1,ooo, a club member has to show up at the Casino and report in at The Refinery area.  Say what club you are with.  The winning clubs will be drawn during the announcement ceremony.

So, the people’s voice will be heard Tuesday night and a total of $5,000 will be handed out to Mummers clubs.  It’s going to be a good night.  Mummers are asked to arrive at 6:30.  Make sure you check in and let them know what club you represent.

Good luck to the finalists and thanks to all Mummers for a great parade.

 

 

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