Recently named the nation’s “Best Holiday Parade” by a USA Today readers’ choice poll, the Philadelphia Mummers Parade has roots dating back to the 1800s as a celebration of the New Year.
December 13, 2017
The Philadelphia Mummers Parade will kick off the New Year on Jan. 1, 2018 at 9am as thousands of colorfully costumed musicians and flamboyant performers strutting and dancing along the Broad Street parade route.
Recently named the nation’s “Best Holiday Parade” by a USA Today readers’ choice poll, the Philadelphia Mummers Parade has roots dating back to the 1800s as a celebration of the New Year. The colorful procession along Broad Street features performances by comics, string bands and fancy brigades in their spectacular costumes.
The Mummers Parade includes five divisions, each with its own artistry, sound and customs. Leading off is Golden Sunrise Fancy Club, the last remaining Fancy Club. Next come the Wench brigades, men clad in bonnets and bloomers, waving multi-tiered parasols. Then it’s the Comics, with their send-ups of politics and pop culture.
Next, the legendary String Bands, the heart of the parade, are known for their unique sound (Parade rules prohibit brass instruments in a String Band – only saxophones, banjos, accordions, violins and percussion), as well as elaborate costumes. Brilliant materials, glitter, sequins and feathers all combine to make the showy costumes. The Fancy Brigades, hot off their mid-day performance at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, will march interspersed among the String Bands, dressed in sequined costumes, masks, and makeup.
Fancy Brigade Finale
Often described as a cross between Broadway and Mardi Gras, the indoor Mummers Fancy Brigade Finale is a high-energy showcase of masterfully choreographed routines by more than 2,500 costumed performers divided among 12 clubs. A special family show starts at 11:30am, with a second show at 5:00pm. Both are at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
In addition, MummersFest, a four-day, family festival (December 28-31), gives fans a chance to make crafts, try on authentic Mummers costumes and watch the clubs rehearse.
For over 300 years Mummers have marched in Philadelphia on New…