Watch out if you’re walking around Philadelphia the first few days of January because you may run into sequins, glitter, feathers, and a number of other things left behind by some of the city’s most animated bunch – the Mummers!
That’s right it’s almost time for the 2017 Mummers Day Parade – one of our country’s most well-known New Year’s traditions.
Visitors have and continue to come from around the world to experience the parade, which dates back to colonial times when the boisterous Swedish custom of celebrating the end of the calendar year with noise making and shouting was combined with the tradition of the British mummery play. It was in 1876, during the American centennial, that what were known as neighborhood celebrations turned into an area-wide parade featuring various mummers’ clubs. Then in 1901, Philadelphia’s city government decided to sponsor the popular parade, and 42 fraternal organizations received permits to stage a parade in which prizes were awarded for costumes, music, and comic antics.
Now, the parade is one of the city’s longest running traditions – featuring unique costumes, music, and pageantry.
This year the parade will once again start at 15th and Market, right in front of Dilworth Park, where the Mummers will perform and be judged, and then will march south on Broad Street down to Washington. If you’re looking for the party to continue, head down to 2nd street where most of the performers end up to finish out the night!
Here is a detailed look at the parade route:
Staging Area: JFK Boulevard between 16th and 22nd Streets
Main Performance: City Hall – 15th Street and JFK Boulevard
Parade: Enjoy continuous performances as the Mummers parade down Broad Street
Family Viewing Area: Creative and Performing Arts School – 901 S. Broad Street
Parade End: Broad Street and Washington Avenue
The parade will start at 9:00 a.m., with the Fancy Brigade finale taking place between noon and 5:00 p.m. Spectators are encouraged to leave their cars behind and take public transportation into the city. Those who drive should park in a garage. One of the best places to view the parade is from the judging stands near City Hall.
Tickets for Grand Stand seating at City Hall (15th & Market Streets) are available at the Independence Visitor Center (6th & Market Streets, (215) 965-7676) for $20 per person. Tickets to both Fancy Brigade Finales can be purchased for $20-$25 online atcomcasttix.com in person at the Independence Visitor Center