While it often seems as if the Mummers Parade is one of those tried-and-true, always-the-same events each year - and this is its 111th - little nudges and nuances differentiate one year from the last.
This year, for example, students from the city's Creative and Performing Arts High School will provide entertainment throughout their building as an adjunct to the Mummers. The building, at 901 S. Broad St. near Carpenter, will be open during the parade for those varied performances.
This year, too, there will be only two Fancy Division clubs, with the Oregon fancies becoming a wench brigade in the Comic Division. There will still be 17 string bands, 10 fancy brigades, three parent comic clubs, and eight wench brigades, accounting for about 10,000 participants.
The parade starts at 10 a.m. when the comics step off at Broad Street near Washington Avenue. At 10:30, the Fancy Division begins near Broad and Moore Streets, followed by the string bands, which leave from Oregon Avenue at 11. The fancy brigades start at Broad and Oregon at 1:30 p.m., after their noon show at the Convention Center, then strut only as far as Washington Avenue before going back to the Convention Center for the 5 p.m. show.
Tickets for the Convention Center shows are $15 and $20 and can be purchased through www.comcasttix.com or at 1-800-298-4200.
Though final judging for all groups - save for the fancy brigades, which will be judged at the Convention Center - will still be at the review stand near 15th and Market Streets, there will be five other designated performance areas on Broad Street: at Shunk Street, the traditional Methodist Hospital (Ritner Street) site, Washington Avenue, Pine Street, and Sansom Street near the Union League.
In addition, food-vending areas will be set up at Washington Avenue, Pine Street, Bach Street (near Locust), Moravian Street (near Walnut), and City Hall.
If the parade is canceled because of inclement weather, Sunday is the backup date, followed by Jan. 8. Any change will be announced by 4:30 a.m. Saturday on KYW-AM (1060). Parade television coverage will start at 9 a.m. on MYPHL17. Most of it will be live, but the fancy brigade competition will be taped and shown from 8 to 10 p.m. New Year's Day.
For more information, call the city Department of Recreation at 215-683-3600.
Order of March
7. Cara Liom
8. Froggie Carr
1. Golden Sunrise
2. Hog Island
4. Broomall Irish American
5. South Philadelphia
7. Greater Kensington
9. Polish American
14. Quaker City
16. Greater Overbrook
1. Satin Slipper
3. Bill McIntyre's
4. South Philly Vikings
5. Golden Crown
8. 2nd Street Shooters
by Robert Strauss