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Mummers Parade: A Colorful Celebration of Philadelphia's Mummers Parade

Updated on November 28, 2009

The Mummers Parade

One of America's fastest-growing parades, The Mummers Parade, also happens to be one of our country's oldest.

Held on New Year's Day in Philadelphia, Penn., each year, The Mummers Parade has roots in the 17th century English, Irish and Swedish Mummer's Play revivals, which fanciful costumes and music were displayed and performed in celebration of national culture.

Indeed, Philadelphia's Mummers Parade offers an amalgalmation of floats and displays from a number of world cultures, including the Swedish, Finnish, Irish, English, German and African-American heritages which helped define the City of Philadelphia.

Elaborate parade floats and entrants are typically divided into four separate categories for judging, including Comics, Fancies, String Bands and Fancy Brigades. Fancy Bridgades, today, represents the largest and most celebrated category of the entire Mummers Parade, which now includes a separate ticketed event at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, where winners are declared in the Fancy Bridgades category.

A majority of the floats and parade performances are created in the South 2nd Street clubhouses, where organizations also meet for regular club functions.

The 2008 Mummers Parade carried a price tag of just over $1 million, which included $360,000 for prizes, and $750,000 for police and parade services.

Locally, the Mummers Parade is broadcast on Philadelphia's WPHL-TV. A taped and edited Mummers Parade was also broadcast on January 3, 2009 on WGN-TV/WGN America, the national cable network.

The WGN broadcast was the result of a movement to take the Mummers Parade to national television.

Mummers Parade Poll

Which Street is a Better Host to the Mummers Parade?

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