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South Williamsport, PA
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75th South Williamsport Mummers’ Parade Steps Off This Saturday, October 15

It has been three years since the last South Williamsport Mummers’ Parade was held. It was interrupted first by the COVID pandemic in 2020 and then a deluge of rain in 2021. But this year, it is back bigger and better than ever. According to Dori Rankinen, one of the parade organizers, they have added

It has been three years since the last South Williamsport Mummers’ Parade was held. It was interrupted first by the COVID pandemic in 2020 and then a deluge of rain in 2021. But this year, it is back bigger and better than ever.

According to Dori Rankinen, one of the parade organizers, they have added several circus performers, some juggling, unicycling, and stilt walking. There will also be several new bands such as Doc & Greg, Pebbles Reboot, and Trip the Light.

“We’ve tried to honor several of last year’s Mummer’s Queen and court as well as this year’s group of young ladies. The Flaming Foliage Representative from last year will be attending the parade, coming all the way from Washington, D.C., and her new college life to do so,” Rankinen told Webb Weekly. “The usual favorites such as the Woodland String Band, Nittany Highland Pipe Band will be here, and the Swingin’, Saggin’ Seniors will be honoring us with their last-ever parade performance as they head into permanent retirement!”

She said the title sponsor for this year’s parade is Muncy Bank & Trust.

After the parade, there will be a celebration in Southside Park. There will be bounce houses, games, a child ID program provided by the Family Moose Lodge of South Williamsport, as well as live music and more performing by the circus folks who will be juggling fire!

The night will be capped off with fireworks sponsored by Geisinger Medical Center.

According to Rankinen, it has been quite a challenge dealing with the interruptions of the parade for the past several years.

“Unfortunately, during the pandemic, we had no control over the Governor closing down the state. The second cancellation came from a strong storm front that dropped lots of rain and brought us gusting winds. The decision was made for the safety of both participants and spectators,” said Rankinen. “As much as we all love the parade, nothing could justify a catastrophic injury or possible death. Although many people complain that the parade is not held at night, that too is due to safety issues. We no longer live in the same world we did in the ’50s and ’60s.”

She continued, “The last year’s cancellation was difficult for everyone. People realize the amount of planning, scheduling, calling, and confirming involved in pulling off a successful event. With it being the 75th Anniversary Celebration, the cost of the event was $20,000. Even though the event was canceled, many entertainers that we had contracted needed to be paid.

Rankinen was asked, what about having a rain date? She answered, “Well, that is difficult on many levels. Families are involved in multiple sports teams or dance, and church activities and are unable to shift to a rain date. When we mentioned that the parade has evolved over the last two decades due to spectator demand for more interesting and exciting performers that involve more money; to book an attraction for one day may cost as much as $4,500. Booking a group and asking them to schedule two days because of possible rain would be a $9,000 bill that wastes a lot of money! Even high school bands are competing more frequently and aren’t always available. We’ve seen an increase in float entries over the last five years, which is exciting. So, you have to weigh the pros and cons, and honestly, safety will always be our top priority.”

She said the committee is comprised of 10 volunteers. They always welcome new members to help with ideas, organizing and setting up the day of the parade especially.

The parade begins at 2:00 p.m. and starts at Central Avenue and Market Street, goes west on Central, and proceeds down Clark to Southern Avenue and goes east on Southern, and ends at Howard Street.

The judges’ stand is located across from the CVS plaza, where bleachers will be available for spectators. Officially, the parade disbands at Howard St., so there are many optimal viewing spots along the parade route in which to enjoy the afternoon.

Enjoy the festivities this year and remember to thank the parade workers for their dedication to this historic event.