By Shannon Frost Greenstein
So, we all know by now the role Crisco has played in getting the Eagles to this point. In an attempt to keep jubilant fans from scaling lampposts, as we’ve been known to do, the city slathered the poles with the lard.
Naturally, this did nothing to stop jubilant fans from scaling lampposts after the Eagles’ victory over the Vikings.
But we digress.
This Super Bowl has become synonymous with the cooking product, as Crisco itself sent a tray of Thank You cookies to the city police for boosting its brand, and Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey welcomed Super Bowl visitors with, “For the Eagles fans, don’t worry. We’ll be greasing all the lampposts, so you’ll feel right at home.”
Come Monday, come what may, there may be further need to grease poles…or there may not be. But either way, it’s NOT the last opportunity Eagles fans have to scale a slippery lamppost.
Come May 19th and 20th, South Philly will hold an old-fashioned Albero Della Cuccagna, which is…quite literally…a greased pole-climbing contest. Traditionally, teams compete to scale poles covered in grease, hoping to win prizes of cash, cheese, and cured meats.
“Come on down May 20th, and climb our grease pole, because we literally have the only grease pole in the city that you’re allowed to climb,” said Michele Gambino, who produces the annual Italian Market Festival on Ninth Street.
Now, the fun is limited to adults only, who must prove their sobriety with a breathalyzer test. This is the event’s third year in existence, and history has shown the most successful winners work in conjunction with others: Larger contestants support a smaller individual in getting high on the pole, who then wipes off as much grease as possible with socks, towels, or any other grease-wiping mechanisms they can find.
Registration for this event is already open, so if you’re already mourning the absence of slippery posts, you need only keep your calendar clear for the weekend of May 19th…and maybe start working on your core strength, because you’re probably gonna need a LOT of that to make your way to the prizes at the top of the 9th & Montrose Piazza pole!