Day 24,358: Beads, Beer and Broad Street

If it’s January 1 and it’s Philadelphia, it’s the Mummers Parade on Broad Street. And that’s exactly what we did yesterday, January 1 2020 to start off the new decade and year. Actually, my intent for the day was to be out of the fray and inside The Kimmel Center to take advantage of their free half-hour organ demonstration.  But, to get to the Kimmel, it took an odd Lyft ride around closed off streets and eventually a walk down Broad Street with all the B street Beer Boozers to get to that end of the block. And, it was worth it.

We saw, of course, Mummers; gathered tons of Mardi Gras beads; saw a beer holiday tree being decorated on the spot as empty cans magically appeared from the crowd; and saw the inside of The Kimmel Center. It was an odd combination of street art on the outside and classic art on the inside.

Untitled design

And, here’s where the great marketing comes in.  On this day of the year, The Kimmel opens its doors for free and lets the public in. There are kid-friendly events throughout the lobby (origami, face painting, hip hop demonstrations), Jose Garces hot chocolate for a fee on Tier 1 and an indoor viewing station, plus an organ demonstration every hour on the top of the hour in the main hall.  And, of course, there are tons of marketing stuff all over the place including enticing posters, and friendly volunteers to talk about membership.

It was then and there, I decided two things – ok three. No, these are not my New Year’s resolutions, just a few action items.

  1. I might join The Kimmel. I’d like to join The Kimmel, but never really found enough shows I wanted to see at times I could go. But, I might join because I was impressed with the place.
  2. I would attend at least one show in 2020.  Again, it’s not a resolution so much as an intent of action.  The resolution is that I will see more shows and take advantage of Philly events in 2020 and one of them will be at The Kimmel.
  3. Next New Years, I will buy tickets to either the Mummers evening indoor event at the Philadelphia Convention Center, or the second tier brunch seats at the Kimmel to give me balcony access to Broad Street and ongoing access to indoor plumbing. Whichever I don’t do in 2021, I’ll save for 2022.

Then, today, January 2, I came home to an email promotion from The Kimmel to buy tickets to a show for $20.20. Of course the seats are high up in the balcony, but the price is right for the show that I’d be happy to see, but not highly motivated to pay big bucks for a seat. Ok, it’s Riverdance, which I already overdosed on many years ago on TV. But, for $20.20 I’m in for late January and a live performance.

So let’s talk marketing. The free entrance obviously worked. It got me in the door. It made me more open to pitches. It provided trial and enticement to come back for more. And, it got me talking about that organ — the largest in any concert hall in the U.S.!  I’m already Philly proud of that organ. That, my friends, is good marketing, and I’m a sucker for good marketing.

If you want to come visit for New Years next year, I can guarantee a fun New Years Day somehow related to the Mummers.  Just say the word, and the guest bedroom is first come, first served. Or, just meet me on Broad Street.  You’ll first find me on the front steps of the Kimmel ballroom, and after we’ve collected enough beads, we’ll head over to the main performance campus. There’s a hot chocolate there with my name on it.


Featured Mummers Image credit:  Skeeze from Pixaby