String Band Division 1:20 pm
Uptown String Band: “The InTENTS, UnBearable, and AXtreme Outdoors”
Greater Overbrook String Band: “Brazilliant!”
Duffy String Band: “Log-A-Rhythm”
Durning String Band: “Bootin’ Scootin’ and Nashville Hootin’”
South Philadelphia String Band: “Gangs of Gotham”
Aqua String Band: “When Swing Was King”
Greater Kensington String Band: “Moonshine Mountain”
Fralinger String Band: “The Machine”
Polish American String Band: “Fifty Shades of Hay”
Broomall String Band: “Alice in Wonderland: We’re All Mad here”
Quaker City String Band: “One Man’s Trash Is This Band’s Treasure”
Woodland String Band: “One Heart One Spirit”
Pennsport String Band: “The Pirates of Pennsport”
Avalon String Band: “The Sky’s The Limit Episode II: Revenge of the Fallen”
Hegeman String Band: “Immortal Utopia”
Ferko String Band: “INDIA”
Fancy Brigades, Indoor at Convention Center:
1.South Philly Vikings Fancy Brigade , “Day of the Avatar/Master of the Elements” (Captain Pete D’Amato)
2.Golden Crown Fancy Brigade, “A Prince’s Tale” (Captain Bob Runowski)
3.Downtowners Fancy Brigade,”Merlin’s Mystical Realm” (Captain Frankie Devito)
4.2nd Street Shooters Fancy Brigade, “Winter’s Fantasy” (Captain Richie Lind)
5.Clevemore Fancy Brigade, “Ritual the Devil’s Domain” (Captain Ralph Tursi)
6.Avenuers Fancy Brigade, “CarnEvil” (Captain Bob Fitzmaurice)
7.Bill McIntyre’s Shooting Stars Fancy Brigade,”The Mysterious Island” (Captain Michael Adams)
8.Satin Slipper Fancy Brigade, “Midnight in the Mansion” (Captain John Bielec Jr)
9.Spartans Fancy Brigade “The Pharaoh’s Revenge” (Captain Tim Luko)
10.Jokers Fancy Brigade, “Glory of Rome: Siege of the Barbarians” (Captain Joe Gallagher)
11.Saturnalian Fancy Brigade, “Space a Whole New Dimension” (Captain Jack Hatty)
Mummers tradition dates back to 400 BC and the Roman Festival of Saturnalias where Latin laborers marched in masks throughout the day of satire and gift exchange. This included Celtic variations of “trick-or-treat” and Druidic noise-making to drive away demons for the new year. Reports of rowdy groups “parading” on New Years day in Philadelphia date back before the revolution. Prizes were offered by merchants in the late 1800’s. January 1, 1901 was the first “official” parade offered about $1,725 in prize money from the city.
The Mummers parade is a celebration of the New Year but is serious business in Philadelphia. Clubs work on the costumes and practice all year for their one day in the sun (…wind, rain or snow). There are many lively discussions over the scoring by the judges and adherence to the complicated set of rules the marchers must follow when being judged. String Bands are judged on their musical presentation as well as the costumes. Seeing and hearing a String Band performing live in the parade is a one-of-a-kind experience.
Comic clubs tradition from ancient Greek god Momus who was the personification of mockery, blame, ridicule, scorn, raillery and stinging criticism. Momus was expelled from heaven for his/her criticisms and ridicule of the gods. The comic clubs continue to raise controversy over these themes they use in the parade that make fun of current issues and news stories such as issues involving religion, ethnicity, and feminism. Many Mummers parade controversies over polices, such as the exclusion of women and the use of black-face, lasted many years.
The outdoor parade was postponed in 2003, the first time in 13 years . There have been 22 weather-related postponements since 1922. There was no parade in 1919 due to WW1 and in 1934 due to the depression and the lack of prize money.