January 3, 2013
FRALINGER String Band's "Back from the Dead" theme this year had more than one meaning: The band survived near-disaster when a fire tore through its workshop space last month. And after a two-year drought outside the top three, Fralinger is back on top after snagging first prize - the band's first top honor since its eight consecutive first prizes from 2003 to 2010. Fralinger captain Thomas D'Amore, 24, was awarded top honors as captain for the second year running. As for the rest of the results, no surprises or upsets to speak of. The oft-high-scoring Quaker City String Band came in second place, with last year's winner, Woodland, taking third.
January 2, 2013
By Jonathan Zimmerman Men dressed as women - at the Mummers Parade! Can you believe it? In November, parade organizers announced that 10 self-described "drag queens" would accompany the String Bands along Broad Street from Washington Avenue to City Hall today. They're also expected to perform at the Convention Center between the acts of the Fancy Brigades. Philadelphians greeted the news with a collective yawn, because cross-dressing has long been a staple of Mummery. Starting in the 1920s, feminine-attired "wenches" paraded down Broad Street paired with tuxedo-clad "dudes.
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.