There were sequins. There was glitter. There were feathers and ruffles and bangles and jewels. There was some facepaint — but only in festive colors. No big controversy erupted to mar Philadelphia’s annual Jan. 1 tradition this year, as the 116th Mummers Parade spread festivity throughout the city.
Broad Street sidewalks were packed with spectators from City Hall down to Washington Avenue with families and friends who’d come out to watch the show, and the String Bands did not disappoint, strutting their way down the center of the city with a elaborate carnival of colors and sound. Inside the Convention Center, the Fancy Brigades performed miniature plays with coordinated costumes that had just as much visual thrill.
Here are some of the best sights from New Year’s Day in Philly.
Greater Kensington String Band had a warrior theme.
Women weren’t allowed in the parade at all before the 1970s, but now they participate in several clubs, including the Duffy String Band.
Mummer Brigade leaders went through sensitivity training this year, and all skits were pre-approved. Some chose to poke fun at that.
Police presence was very apparent this year. Every vehicle in the parade, including all floats, were inspected by bomb-sniffing dogs. The PPD also brought out radiation detectors.
City Hall makes a great backdrop.
Meanwhile, inside the Convention Center, the Fancies went all out.
The Saturnalian Fancy Brigade performed “Gangs of New York”
The Irish gang from “Gangs of New York.”
The Vikings performed “It’s All in Your Mime.”
These costumes were enough to make you dizzy, no New Year’s Day drinking required.
Golden Crown performed “Raindance” — a skit about Native American dance that was deemed to respect tradition and culture enough to go on.