Kick off the New Year in true Philly fashion by attending the 112th annual Mummers Parade presented by Sugarhouse Casino (new this year!) on January 1. We have a helpful guide to the Mummers, below.
The Mummers’ tradition actually dates back to 400 B.C. with the Roman Festival of Saturnalias, where folks marched around in masks throughout a day full of satire and noise-making.
Today’s Mummers, who make up the oldest folk parade in the country, are serious business while still invoking the merry-making of bygone Mummers. Clubs work on the elaborately sequined and colorfully plumed costumes months in advance and practice their well-choreographed routines all year long.
It’s best to get an early start on the 1st to stake out a good spot on the parade route. While you’ll see the marchers all up and down Broad Street from South Philly to City Hall, you may want to position yourself at one of the free six performance zones so you can catch all the skits.
Six free performance zones:
• Broad and Shunk Streets
• Broad and Wolf Streets
• Broad Street and Washington Avenue
• Broad and Pine Streets
• Broad and Sansom Streets
• 15th and Market Streets
• JFK Boulevard judging station: Purchase tickets for $19 in advance at the Independence Visitor Center or Fairmount Park Welcome Center for seats on the bleachers.
• Pennsylvania Convention Center: After a performance at Broad and Washington, the Fancy Brigades head to the Convention Center for ticketed shows at noon and 5 p.m. (tickets are $17 and available online). Before the noon show starts, snap pictures with performers on the show floor, and get in step with the merrymaking in a Giant Mummers Strut. You can also get a special sneak peek of the show on December 30 at 7 p.m.
For the outdoor parade, dress weather-appropriately as the show goes on rain or shine (or wind or snow or sleet…). And it wouldn’t hurt to pack a thermos of hot cocoa to keep you extra toasty.
We’ve included the detailed parade route map, below. Take a look because the route is a little different this year.
When: January 1, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Where: Parade runs along Broad Street, starting at Oregon Avenue and ending at JFK Boulevard (new this year)
Cost: Free along main route; $17 for Fancy Brigade shows
More info: www.mummers.com