Early on New Year's Day we jumped up out of bed, showered and headed immediately out of the door. We didn't sit down for breakfast so grabbed a snack as we walked. I got cream cheese on a toasted bagel with a coffee, held precariously as I attempted to take photographs. We made straight for City Hall where the Fancies were already lining up to be judged.
Ferko String Band, their theme, We Stand as One. Their Captain, Thomas D'Amore won the String Band Captain group.
The images following are of The South Philly String Band, their theme, Awakening the Dragon, was one of my favorites.
I took a video of their practice performance. Unfortunately because I was so enamored and excited while watching them, there were a few times when the camera view dropped down a little, but I think that can be excused.
Uptown Swing Band, their theme, Mr Future. The 'starter' guy who stands in front for the whole performance was very friendly, telling me that in 1980 there had been 31 string bands, but this year there were only 17. The expense for this performance is astronomical, and while some of the bigger bands with regular wins have sponsors, many raise their own money through the year with band performances. His grandson is above playing the bass. I actually laid down on the ground to take some of these shots. While they practice their routine, they only come forward to a certain point so I was able to take photos without getting in their way. It was an exhilarating experience to have them leaping and bounding right in front of me.
Pennsport with their theme, Tiki Island Jungle Jivin'. It was a surreal time walking around the convenience store with these incredible characters milling about us. But hey, they were hungry and thirsty too, as well as enjoying the warmth inside the store, it was freezing outside. Some were even lining up for the restrooms. All along the parade route and practice streets were 'Royal Flush' porta potties, and a few times we had to suppress laughter watching some of these folks battling to get their costumes inside or trying to extract themselves from the tight cubicles..
Below are Hegeman String Band with their theme, Golden Gala.
Their band and Captain both came 6th in the results.
Aqua String Band with their theme, Mine Blown!
Below are Quaker City String Band with their theme, Winter is Coming.
The band came top of their division!
Fralinger String Band with their theme, Spellbinding. They came second in their division, and their Captain, Scott Wray, came third.
Bill Bowen Jr. who is now in the Mummer's Hall of Fame. His body movements, his smile, just the whole ensemble nailed it for me, I could have watched him all day. I was so happy to see he came second in the String Band Captain Results.
Crossing over Market Street, it felt as though I'd come full circle when I spotted
the same back drops we'd seen the day before, from the Greater
Kensington String Band, which we never managed to see but somehow it was a fitting end to the trip. They had been the first and last props of the Mummers Parade that I'd see nand I now bid them a silent adieu until next time.
The main website for The Mummers Parade is here.