June 5, 2009

WDAS FM Cancels Unity Day 2009

It will be Philadelphia's first summer since 1978 without a Unity Day.

WDAS 105.3 announced that the family-friendly outdoor event would not be held. "It's the economy," said station manager Joe "Butterball" Tamburro. "It's atrocious out there. We don't have the resources to do it the way we've done it in the past, and we decided to take a break. We'd rather people remember it as it was." Tamburro said he did not know if Unity Day would return when the economy improves.

The event most likely won't return after a 30 year run. The "family-style picnic" was originally held in a park in West Philadelphia on a Sunday afternoon in 1978, eventually moved to the downtown area of the city on the Parkway near the famous Art Museum. However last year the event was downsized to a weekend concert at a venue on the city's waterfront.

The first 'Unity Day' picnic on July 16, 1978 was not held on city property as the city wouldn't grant the station a permit. The station held the event at parks in West Philly where 10,000 people showed up. Read more on the history of the Unity Day and the station's role in the community.


  1. This is a grave loss to Philadelphia, and to hear Mondesire on the radio blaming the citizens of Philadelphia did not help my feelings about the situation. I didn't receive an email asking for money. I didn't hear anything about possibly charging the visitors, which would not have stopped me from attending. I did not hear anything about any attempt to actually SAVE Unity Day, and for people to give it up so easily, citing it's "30 year run" is really sad. The Mummers saved their parade. We must save Unity Day, whatever it takes. For the 28 times in 30 years that I attended Unity Day, I want to thank Butterball, the WDAS family, and all of the performers and vendors who participated. I and my family will miss Unity Day quite sorely:-(

  2. The cancellation of Unity Day shows that there is no unity in Philadelphia. How can some business executives make a decision about one of our cultural events and everyone is okay with that... Shame on the ones screaming unity for 30 years, because it shows that it's about money.. Not UNITY...

  3. PHILLY - UNITY DAY - AUGUST 23, 2009

    Just wanted to let Everyone know, that we're working to bring Unity Day Back to the Parkway for this year: 2009, without Clear Channel ...

    If you want to help, contact us:

    Unity Day on the Parkway, Inc.
    4113 Brown Street
    Philadelphia, PA 19104






  4. The telephone number that "frontrunner" supplied has "been suspended" and no calls can be connect to that line>:(


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