December 29, 2012 |
In much of the country, women have a hard time getting their blue-collar boyfriends onto the dance floor in a club or even at a wedding. In Philadelphia, however, the guys not only dance willingly, they do so in feathers and sequins. Readying for their New Year's spotlight, Mummers on Thursday were busy building sets and floats at the Convention Center. Most Mummers will strut in the famous parade that starts at 9:45 a.m. New Year's Day at Broad Street and Washington Avenue.
December 28, 2012 |
Forget watching college football bowl games on TV and nursing hangovers. If you're a Philadelphian, one New Year's Day activity trumps all others. We speak, of course, of the Mummers Parade, the now-112-year-old orgy of banjos, glockenspiels, feathers and sequins that as much as anything we hold dear, symbolizes our sweetly eccentric corner of the universe. But for something that virtually defines the word "tradition," the Mummers Parade is a surprisingly evolving entity, which is likely why the relic of the horse-and-buggy era has survived into the time of Instagram and "Gangnam Style.
December 28, 2012
Here's the order of march for the 2013 Mummers String Bands. The first band steps off at Broad and Ritner at 10:30 a.m. (Number in parentheses indicates a band's 2012 prize ranking.) Greater Overbrook (15) Captain Bill Razzano Theme: Headin' For The Hills High in the Smoky Mountains, a shotgun wedding is about to take place. The groom to be is Captain Bill Razzano, the hillbilly clan leader. Plenty of homemade moonshine is served at this ceremony, accompanied by dueling banjos and mountain music.
December 21, 2012
MACHO MEN in makeup. Gritty guys in gowns. Strongmen struttin' in sequins. It's that time of year again. The annual Mummers Parade will begin at 10 a.m. New Year's Day at Broad Street and Washington Avenue, with the Comics Division kicking things off. The city will hold a news conference Friday to outline details of the parade, which include a new bleachers arrangement for the judging area that will offer improved sight lines, organizers say....
December 12, 2012 |
Their South Philadelphia warehouse was still smoldering from a four-alarm fire earlier in the day, but members of the Fralinger String Band declared Monday night that they would not miss the Mummers Parade. "Fralinger will never back down from a challenge," said Thomas D'Amore, 24, the captain. The band had been renting first-floor space at Second and Wharton Streets to make props and costumes, D'Amore said. "Unfortunately, this is the first year we've rented this spot," said D'Amore, drinking a Pepsi outside the Shamrock Pub down Two Street.
December 11, 2012
THE FRALINGER String Band broke decisively into the winner's circle of the Mummers Parade in January 2003, after a 16-year drought, with the help of aliens and a spaceship. The rain-postponed parade featured the usual duel with archrival Quaker City, launching Fralinger on a string of eight wins in the highly competitive String Band Division. Fralinger and Quaker City came in first and second, respectively, from 2003 to 2009. Fralinger won in 2010, and Joseph A. Ferko came in second.
December 11, 2012 |
A four-alarm fire raging in South Philadelphia may put a serious damper on New Year's celebrations in the City. A blaze broke out shortly after 2 p.m. at a warehouse rented by one of Philadelphia's preeminent Mummers organizations. At Second and Wharton Streets, more than 120 firefighters from 33 companies battled the fire in the building where the celebrated Fralinger String Band stored its equipment. Men from Fralinger stood at the scene as huge plumes of thick black smoke billowed from the three-story structure's roof.
December 3, 2012
IT WAS A FUN read, last week's revelation that this year's Mummers Parade would include DRAG QUEENS! You mean (gasp) men dressed as women? Wow! Wave your Rainbow Flag. The heck with marriage - gays get to take part in Philadelphia's unique celebration of the New Year. It's historic! It's unprecedented! It's a first! Except . . . it's been-there, done-that. Proof? Two words: Wench Division. Just what do you think that is? Right - men in dresses (technically known as suits)
November 29, 2012 |
DRAG QUEENS WILL glitz up the next Mummers Parade in Philadelphia. Ten veteran drag performers will join the New Year's Day celebration, each in costumes matching the theme of a Fancy Brigade. "I think it's kind of crazy to be so mainstream now," said Ian Morrison, who handpicked the members of the first "Drag Brigade. " Morrison will participate as his drag alias, Brittany Lynn. He's been performing for 15 years and said that "Philly's come a long way" in terms of LGBT rights.