THE ORDER of march for the 2012 Mummers String Bands. The first band steps off at Broad and Oregon at 10 a.m. (Number in parentheses is how the band placed last year.)
1. Duffy String Band (13)
Captain: Ted Kudrick
Theme: All Decked Out
A full deck of cards comes to life featuring Jacks, Queens, Kings, Aces and Jokers. Luck and sleight of hands are plentiful. Duffy knows when to hold 'em and when to show 'em. Captain Ted Kudrick plays the King of Spades.
2. Fralinger String Band (4)
Captain: Thomas D'Amore
Theme: Stars Over Scotland
Fralinger ventures across the Highlands of Scotland and the festivities of its proud and loyal clans. Theme features Scotland's most acclaimed instrument, a lone bagpiper. Expect Scottish dances, visits to Edinburgh Castle, a Scotch whisky distillery and maybe an appearance by the Loch Ness Monster. Fralinger's unprecedented string of eight consecutive first prizes ended in 2011.
3. Peter A. Broomall String Band (17)
Captain: Peter J. Broomall Sr.
Theme: Tin Can Alley
At the stroke of midnight, city cats gather in the back alley of trash cans and Dumpsters for song and dance. Cats appear in leather jackets, zoot suits, fedoras, tuxedos and top hats. Songs include "Stray Cat Strut" and "What's New Pussycat?"
4. Aqua String Band (11)
Captain: Ron Iannacone
Theme: Hay Fever
Just another day on the fertile fields of Aqua's funny farm as Captain "Ron MacDonald" Iannacone oversees his trusty, hardworking farmhands. Rural life here includes entertainment provided by dancing scarecrows and the chicken cluckin' band. Vibrant barnyard costumes.
5. South Philadelphia String Band (3)
Captain: Denny Palandro
Theme: A Tune Full Of Sugar
A journey down the magical road to sweet surprises. South Philadelphia takes you to a candy land of pure imagination. Characters include Captain Sweet Treats, the Gummy Drop Kids, Suzie Moo, Mr. Swirly Vanilla and Choo Choo Charlie, among others. Happy and syrupy music. Noted for their extravagant props, South Philly consistently finishes in the top four.
6. Polish American String Band (8)
Captain: Mark Danielewicz (1)
Theme: We Salute
A tribute to the Marines, Air Force, Navy and Army. Score consists of patriotic music and military anthems with bandsmen dressed in elaborate armed-forces garb. Troops are led by Mark Danielewicz, First Prize Captain in 2011. Watch as a Giant Uncle Sam Hat turns into a red, white and blue American Eagle during the finale. This band is a crowd favorite, always placing high in PHL17's "People's Choice Award" voting and with the Union League judges.
7. Uptown String Band (9)
Captain: Ryan Radcliffe
Theme: Jest for the Pun of It
A lighthearted trip back in time to the days of Camelot where brave knights protected fair maidens and the king ruled his subjects - in this case a bunch of jokers! With a castle backdrop, the comedic festivities revolve around these mischievous jesters who play havoc with the king, played by Captain Ryan Radcliffe. Look for the interesting parody from Rapunzel's tower.
8. Joseph A. Ferko String Band (2)
Captain: Anthony Celenza
Theme: The Carnival Comes to Town
Step right up! Carnival Barker Anthony Celenza leads his band of carny performers on a rollicking trip down the midway. Turn-of-the-century music with unique twists and demanding musical licks on traditional song selections. Fairgrounds includes vendors, jugglers, clowns, a funhouse, a carousel and a calliope wagon. Noted for its unique sound and style, Ferko has finished in the top five the past 24 years and missed the top five only four times in the past 50 parades.
9. Quaker City String Band (1)
Captain: Charlie Roetz
Theme: A Toys' Night Out
Quaker City defends its first-prize finish in 2011 with a kids' delight. Toys go out for a night on the town. Toy soldiers break out of their boxes followed by the invasion of robots and G.I. Joes. Cast also includes bass-fiddle-playing teddy bears as well as Cabbage Patch Kids, cowboys, porcelain dolls, space rangers and a flying superhero - Captain Charlie Roetz. Must-see costumes with familiar tunes accompanying each of the characters.
10. Avalon String Band (5)
Captain: Jack Hee
Theme: Avalon in Wonderland
The Mad Hatter (Captain Jack Hee) cordially invites all to join Avalon's tripped-out characters bouncing around "Wonderland." From dancing rabbits to strumming cats, from oversize hares to lumbering Tweedles, nothing is as it seems in this fantasy world. Music selection ranges from Disney songs to jazz. Avalon consistently places in the top five.
11. Greater Kensington String Band (10)
Captain: Ken White
Theme: Haunted Harmonies
Trick or Treat? Greater Kensington is inspired by all things Halloween. New Captain Ken White (Count Dracula) leads the many popular macabre characters haunting your street every October. Scary musical score includes songs associated with Halloween, complete with creepy sound effects.
12. Greater Overbrook String Band (14)
Captain: John Hicks
Theme: Fire Fightin' Follies
Greater Overbrook takes a lighthearted look at a most serious job, firefighting.
The bell rings and, led by first-year Captain John Hicks, the firefighters jump into action, leaving the station for the burning house. Costumes consist of "mummerized" firefighters gear. Backpieces pay tribute to the different fire companies in Upper Darby, where the band is based.
13. Original Trilby String Band (16)
Captain: Joseph Kaminski
Theme: Hoodoo Voodoo . . . We Do
Voodoo priest (Captain Joseph Kaminski) from New Orleans' French Quarter returns from his grave to perform his dark, evil magic. Shrunken heads, voodoo dolls and coffins abound. Trilby is the oldest string band, marching in the first official Mummers Parade in 1901.
14. Pennsport String Band (15)
Captain: Charlie Nicholas
Theme: Make a Wish
Pennsport portrays the culture of the Middle East through its customs, music and myths. Set in a Middle Eastern marketplace and desert, sword dancers, genies, snake charmers, sheikhs and an Arabian prince make appearances. Props include a magic lamp, genie bottles and a flying carpet.
15. Durning String Band (12)
Captain: Joe Pomante
Theme: We're Wheelie Motorvated
Durning "revs up" its engines presenting the sights and sounds of race day. Five colorful auto race teams compete for the trophy complete with their pit crew. Captain Joe Pomante is "Speed Racer." Even the Michelin Man makes an appearance. Durning is noted for its creative, comedic themes.
16. Hegeman String Band (7)
Captain: John P. Baron
Theme: Y'all Don't Know Dixie
Hegeman gets you ready for some Southern hospitality. Down by the riverside, Alexander's Rag Time Band performs. The Beaus and Belles of Hegeman will be dressed in traditional Southern attire. Song selections include "Old Man River" and "Sweet Georgia Brown."
17. Woodland String Band (6)
Captain: Tom Robison
Theme: It's a Jungle Out There
Woodland String Band welcomes you to the heart of the jungle where restless natives are eager to celebrate New Year's Day and not all wildlife is friendly. Over-the-top props include moving tiger, elephant and large monkey props. Jungle drums and jungle tunes. Watch for the stampede as the animals run away from the king of the jungle to end the show.