The Philadelphia Mummers Parade Welcomes New Year with a Purpose
Published: Dec 15, 2016
Pennsylvania Convention Center welcomes the Mummers
PHILADELPHIA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Philadelphia Mummers Parade steps off Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017 at 9am with thousands of colorfully costumed musicians and flamboyant performers strutting and dancing their way down Broad Street.
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.
Marching among the Comics will be groups representing their own distinctive cultures: the vibrant Mexican dancers of San Mateo Carnavaleros; The Miss Fancy Brigade, an LGBT group of Philadelphia’s top female impersonators; Second 2 None, an African-American precision drill team; Southeast By Southeast, showcasing the dance and music of Southeast Asia; and the Trinidadian steel drum band Philadelphia Pan Stars Steel Orchestra.
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 Year’s Day. The official, City-sponsored Philadelphia Mummers Parade began January 1, 1901, and is the longest running traditional folk parade in the U.S. For more information, including prime viewing locations, visit www.phillymummers.com.