NEW YEARS DAY IN PHILADELPHIA
A Fanciful New Year’s Celebration!!
The Mummers are as much a part of New Year’s in Philadelphia as confetti celebrations, countdowns, and resolutions. Like clockwork on January 1st, clans of Mummers parade through the city streets, strutting and dancing throughout the day.
The Fancy Brigades put their own spin on a time-honored Mummers tradition by taking their revelry inside the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
The most theatrical of the bunch, the 12 clubs get into character with lavish costumes and elaborate floats and props, then take center stage to perform Broadway-quality choreographed performances.
Year after year, it’s a sequined-studded show no Mummers-fan should miss.
What is a Mummer?
They’re dancers, banjo pickers and kazoo players, thespians and improve artist – all turned Philadelphia Icons.
Every January 1st, thousands of men, women, and children take to Broad Street in Center City Philadelphia and the Convention Center to joyously ring in the New Year with music, sequins, beads and colorful plumage.
There are the Comics, clowns and the like, the Fancies, pulling large framed suits, the String Bands, who make their own musical fanfare, and the Fancy Brigades, famous for their dancing and large props.
Mummers pull out all the stops in a show that is a year in the making, all for bragging rights for the most festive New Year’s display.
But competition aside, collectively, the Mummers have won a spot in Philadelphia history for their infectious showing of style and spirit, for more than a 100 years.
MummersFest, December 28-31
Because Mummers can’t contain their excitement for New Year’s Day…. Join them in a four-day end-of-year celebration, with spirited activities for the whole family to enjoy, and get an up-close look at what it takes to be a Mummer and to put on a New Year’s Day spectacular.
As part of MummersFest, the Fancy Brigade Association provides activates for the whole family to enjoy all the while learning about Philadelphia Mummery, some of these activities include:
A Backstage Pass – Go a 50 minute behind the scenes tour with a veteran Mummer Captain as he walks you through the backstage frenzy and excitement as performers hurry to put on the finishing touches on floats, assemble props, don their costumes and rehearse their steps and struts.
Design Corner – Get a closer look at the mastermind behind the Mummers magic in a walk through an exhibit of costume renderings and award-winning suits in all their sequined splendor. Chat up with a designer to learn the latest trends in costuming, and tap into some creative inspiration.
Costume Party – Wonder what it’s like to walk a mile in a Mummer’s shoes? Slip 'em on. And while you’re at it, try a whole costume on for size.
Make-And-Take Activities – To keep the experience alive the rest of the year, families and groups are invited to make Mummers keepsakes – great for show and tell.
Practice Makes Perfect – catch a sneak peak of the performances in store on New Year’s Day, as Mummers mark time with props and music in a full-scale rehearsal.
Fancy Brigade Finale - January 1st
The Fancy Brigade Association offer two shows on New Year’s Day and an option for groups to have a private lunch on site with a private Mummers Visit.
Calling all fun-loving groups and families, the New Year’s celebration gets started at 11:00 a.m., get into step with the merrymaking in a Giant Mummers Strut, and then catch the Mummers matinee at noon with four and a half minute performances by each of the 12 competing Fancy Brigades, followed by a chance to snap some pictures with performers on the show floor following the last performance.
Fancy Brigade Finale
Fancy Brigades put on the Ritz for top performance honors in the day’s second show, the judged show, slated for 5:00 p.m. Prizes are awarded based on judges reviews of choreography and costumes, with an overall winner and captain chosen. Of course, after all the mingling earlier in the week at MummersFest, you’re sure to have your own favorites.
Groups, Group Tours, and Tour Leaders
The More the Merrier
MummersFest and the Fancy Brigade Finale is a perfect event for groups and the Mummers Fancy Brigade Association makes it easy to plan a Mummers Experience.
Might we Suggest an Itinerary
Start New Year’s Eve with a daytime visit to MummersFest and the Behind the Scenes look at the making of the Philadelphia famous New Year’s Day parade, indoor at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
Watch the final preparations and rehearsals for the Mummers Parade. Learn about Mummers history, and preview themes for this year’s performances on a guided tour with a veteran brigade captain.
Return to the Pennsylvania Convention Center at 11:00 a.m. on New Year’s Day and top off your Mummers experience with an indoor reserved seat to the excitement and action of the 2 ½ hour Mummers Fancy Brigade Finale Noon Family Show. Participate in a large Mummers Strut on the show floor and have a meet and greet with Mummers in costume at the end of the show (11:30 AM only).
Complete your day with a private party with your friends, clients, or members by reserving a private party room overlooking the show floor.
Extend your visit and enjoy Philadelphia’s many historical and cultural attractions.
The Philadelphia MummersFest and Fancy Brigade Finale has been recognized by the American Bus Association as one of its top 100 international Events!
Individual Tickets can be purchased starting October 1st for the 11:30 AM Family Show and the 5 PM Finale Show by:
Calling SpectraTix at 800-298-4200 Or go to the web at www.spectratix.com Single Ticket cost are $25 and $20 per ticket, including all fees.
For Groups of 15 or more contact Brittany DeMeo – Director of Tours
Philadelphia Mummers Brigade Association
PO Box 37541. Philadelphia PA 19148