Mummers to quit the city for their 'Show of Shows'

Posted: December 08, 2004

Ending a Philadelphia winter tradition, Mummer string bands are going down the Shore.

The annual String Band Show of Shows, an indoor extravaganza performed in Philadelphia every year since 1938, will be held Feb. 26 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.

Two performances are scheduled: at noon and 5 p.m.

In addition to the bands' reprising their New Year's Day performances, the event always has been a social affair for Mummers to meet, greet and toast competitors in other bands.

FOR THE RECORD - CLEARING THE RECORD, PUBLISHED DECEMBER 9, 2004, FOLLOWS: An article yesterday about the annual Mummers String Band Show of Shows failed to note that the Uptown String Band was to be among the participants.

Until 1996, the Show of Shows was usually in the Civic Center's Convention Hall, where there was room for bands to set up places to party.

When Convention Hall closed, that aspect of the event closed as well.

Recent performances at the Spectrum and the Liacouras Center lacked both the camaraderie and the crowds of past years.

"This is venue-driven, and we're hoping for larger crowds," said Anthony Celenza, chairman of what is now called the 2005 Pepsi String Band Show of Shows. He also is president of the Ferko String Band.

The event will be held in the same building that hosted the Miss America competition.

"We're calling it 'Back to the Hall,' " Celenza said. "We're looking forward to all of the pre- and post-events, to meet new friends and reestablish old relationships."

Participating will be the Aqua, Avalon, Broomall, Duffy, Durning, Ferko, Fralinger, Greater Kensington, Greater Overbrook, Hegeman, Polish American, Quaker City, South Philadelphia, Trilby and Woodland string bands.

Contact staff writer Murray Dubin at 215-854-2797 or mdubin@phillynews.com.

If You Go

Performances of the String Band Show of Shows are set for noon and 5 p.m. Feb. 26 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. Tickets are $25, $21 and $18, with special rates for groups of 30 or more. For more information, go to the Boardwalk Hall box office or contact Ticketmaster at 1-800-736-1420 or www.ticketmaster.com.

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