Friday, January 1, 2010

2010 is here!

Happy New Year!

May you all have success and prosperity.

Resolutions, everyone will be talking about them, making a bunch, and hopefully, keeping many. This would be my favorite holiday if only it fell in June, July or August! It’s cold out there so I plan to snuggle up and watch TV…

The MUMMER’S PARADE to be exact.

This parade is phenomenal. When I lived in California, I searched the airwaves and never found it. When I talked about it, west coasters looked at me like I’d grown horns. After all, they are Rose Bowl babies and wouldn’t know what to do out in this weather. (Not sure I understand what I’m doing living in it sometimes!)

I was fortunate enough to work the parade once as a production assistant. I ran coffee back and forth to the local stars who commented for the day. Once, when the producer wasn’t back on time, I got to do the 3…2…1 countdown before the cameras rolled! Sounds simple, right? Guess it was, but I had to know which camera was running first, location of the camera, but yes, it was easy. Still it meant a lot to me because this is my favorite parade in the whole wide world. I think to understand that—you have to be Philly born-and-bred.

The parade itself began in 1901 and draws visitors from around the world to see the costumed entertainers ring in the New Year. However, Philadelphia Mummery goes back much further. You can find some very interesting facts at: and take a 6 minute strut with a couple videos dated 1956. (Heck, I was 2!)

There are various divisions of the parade consisting of the Comic, Fancy, String Band and the Fancy Brigades (which have moved inside now and it is a spectacular show of color, imagery and sound.)

For the vast sea of participants alone, and just plain old fun, this parade should be seen at least once. The Mummer’s Strut (2 Street Strut), the music, and above all the costumes, which have become more elaborate and expensive with each passing year, you should consider visiting in person. I read at the site above a captain’s costume can now cost as much as 10K!

Here are just a few pictures from: Really, take a look at the String Band and Brigade pictures from 2009, the amount of detail for a parade just floors me. Although I guess with the Brigades being inside now, it's more of a show than a parade, but it's still awesome. Hey, I'm from Philly!

Fancy Brigade: Shooting Stars

More Shooting Stars
Fancy Brigade: Satin Slippers

String Band: Duffy

String Band: Ferko

String Band: Woodland

Yes, I’ll be letting the champagne wear off and helping that along with lots of hot blueberry flavored coffee! And no, I didn’t make any resolutions. I’ll do that in the spring.

Growl and roar-it's okay to let the beast out.-© J. Hali Steele


Annie Nicholas said...

Those costumes are amazing. I love parades, I wonder if I can catch it on TV here?

J Hali said...

Here in Philly viewing area it's on WPHL if that helps! I've been glued there off and on waiting for the the String Bands, one of my fav divisions. 8-10 tonight they'll have the Fancy Brigades inside - they're the best IMHO. The skits are awesome!

Darla M Sands said...

Thank you for sharing these lovely images with the unwashed masses. I had no idea such beauty existed a few hours away.