The 2018 Mummers Parade is right around the corner, and you don't want to miss this uniquely Philadelphia tradition when Mummers don the costumes they've been working on for a whole year to strut down Broad Street to elaborately choreographed routines. Here's a quick guide on what's new this year, where to stand and, most importantly, where to get your coffee fix.
The parade route
This year, the Wenches, the Comics, and the Fancy Brigades will be stopping at Broad and Pine Streets, a new performance stop that was added to the parade route. They will also be performing at 15th and Market Streets and Broad and Carpenter Streets, in front of the High School for Creative and Performing Arts.
The String Bands will be performing at 15th and Market Streets, in front of the Union League at Broad and Sansom Streets and Broad and Carpenter Streets. You can find the performance order of the Wenches, the Comics, the Fancy Brigades and the String Bands at mrmummer.com.
The crowds generally thin out as the parade moves south, so if you have small children, consider parking yourself near the last performance stop.
How to watch the parade from your house
The Mummers Parade will be televised on PHL17 in the Philadelphia area. Viewers outside the area can stream the parade online at mrmummer.com. Coverage will begin at 9 a.m.
The Mummers Fancy Brigade Finale
If you prefer to enjoy the festivities in a more comfortable way, the Mummers Fancy Brigade Finale is a great indoors option. The two-and-a-half hour show features 12 routines, each one carefully choreographed by the Fancy Bridge clubs. The Mummers Fancy Brigade Association is presenting two shows in Hall C at the Pennsylvania Convention Center on New Year's Day, at 11:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Reserved center seats are $25, while reserved side seats are $20. Tickets can be purchased at the Independent Visitors Center or via Spectratix.
For a sneak peek at parade activities before New Year's, check out MummersFest at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. MummersFest runs from Thursday, Dec. 28 through Sunday, Dec. 31. Admission is $4 and visitors will be able to make crafts, watch the clubs rehearse their routines and try on authentic Mummers costumes. Former club captains will also lead 30-minute backstage tours of show props and floats.
MummersFest will be open from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, 12 to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, and 12 to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets can be purchased at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and the Independent Visitors Center.
Many of the roads around the parade route will be closed, so the best way to get into the city is by SEPTA.
Forecasters are currently predicting a chilly New Year's Day, with temperatures potentially down to 21 degrees. Be sure to pack plenty of hand and feet warmers, and wear plenty of layers. Other things that might be nice to have on hand are lawn chairs (unless you want to stand for hours on end) and thermoses that you can refill with hot coffee at Wawa.
There will be portable toilets stationed along the parade route, but a great place to warm up is the Kimmel Center, which will be hosting its annual New Year's celebration from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visitors will be able to get a panoramic view of the parade from inside the building.
If you're looking for a hot beverage, there are plenty of coffee shops and cafes that are open on New Year's Day. La Colombe in Dilworth Plaza will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Starbucks at 341 Broad St. will also be open, as well as the Dunkin' Donuts at 809 Broad St.