Thursday, January 5, 2017
A Preview Peek of the Mummers
The Mummers Parade is America's oldest folk festival. I have never witnessed the parade but had been many years ago to the finalists' show, an indoor affair where the winners from each division would perform. The parade itself is held rain or shine outside starting early in the morning and finishing late afternoon, its participants practicing and then putting on a main show in front of judges at the City Hall before passing through the center of the city, the streets flanked with spectators. There are 4 categories, these are in order of show; fancies, comics, string bands and fancy brigades.
The last time I'd seen the Mummers was in 2005 when Bill Bowen Jr. made a lasting impression as Captain of the Fralinger String Band. I was excited to see the actual parade for the first time. We booked into our hotel room, after standing in a long line that snaked around a corner to the reception, the waiting made more tolerable by staff handing out tiny plastic drink ware holding champagne. I managed to snaffle four of those. We dumped bags and took to the streets to find the preparation area of the parade participants.
We had time for one beer before we sat down to dinner at Nom Wah, a Chinese dim sum restaurant that served some pretty good dumplings and other tiny tasty dishes. We packed away about 12 dishes between us before we waddled out onto the street and back towards City Hall to inspect the Christmas decorations at Dilworth Park. This is an area which has been transformed from a concrete walkway into a green and friendly space with an ice rink and sparkling lights decorating a large tree and a small park area.