2008-11-13 / Local & State

Mummers Lose $350,000 In Phila. Budget Cuts

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - City budget cuts are going to impact Philadelphia's Mummers.

Mayor Michael Nutter is eliminating a $355,000 annual contribution to the costumed performers who participate in the city's traditional New Year's Day parade as part of his deep budget cuts to deal with Philadelphia's growing budget problems.

The cutback, announced last week, will cost each of the 17 string bands $7,500 and trim $10,000 from the prize for the competition's firstplace finisher. Also gone is more than $50,000 for the Mummers Museum.

Nutter's cutbacks also require sponsors of public events to pay the overtime for police and Streets Department workers, which could leave the parade with a bill.

Frank Passio, a member of the Joseph A. Ferko String Band and founder of Philadelphia Mummers Parade Marketing Group, a selffunded organization that promotes the Mummers tradition, said the fallout from the cutback could be severe.

``This will break some string bands,'' Passio told The Philadelphia Inquirer. ``We used to have 28 (bands). Now we have 17, and we could go down to 12 in 2010.

``The parade will be significantly jeopardized.''

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