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Mummers 2016: A guide to the string bands, parade & more

There's always something new, from the music to the routines and costumes. Last year, even the route was different, as the parade marched down (not up) Broad Street. That directional change continues this year.

More than 10,000 mummers and 17 string bands converge on Manayunk's Main Street for the Mummers Mardi Gras Parade. Saturday February 28th, 2015.
More than 10,000 mummers and 17 string bands converge on Manayunk's Main Street for the Mummers Mardi Gras Parade. Saturday February 28th, 2015.Read moreCHRIS FASCENELLI / Staff Photographer

There's always something new, from the music to the routines and costumes. Last year, even the route was different, as the parade marched down (not up) Broad Street. That directional change continues this year.

New for 2016 and stepping off in lead position at 9 a.m. New Year's Day is the Philadelphia Division, a response to criticism that the parade lacked diversity.

The division includes the Mexican group San Mateo Carnavalero, a drag group called the Miss Fancy Brigade, the Second 2 None Drill Team, and Los Bomberos, a Puerto Rican drum and dance group. Five more divisions follow - the Fancies, Wenches, Comics, and String Bands, interspersed with Fancy Brigades, fresh off their noon show at the Convention Center.

Read on for the String Bands' themes and order of march, provided exclusively to the Daily News by Joe Leso.

Get tickets for Mummers Parade Grand Stand bleacher seats ($19), and the Fancy Brigade Family Show (noon, tickets still available, $20 and $25) and Finale (5 p.m., sold out) at the Pennsylvania Convention Center at 1-800-537-7676, at the Independence Visitor Center at Sixth and Market Streets or at the Welcome Center at 16th Street and JFK Boulevard. More info at

Here are String Band details, listed by 2016 marching order.
Note: The number in parenthesis next to the band name indicates its 2015 prize.

Original Trilby String Band
Captain: Joseph Kaminski
Theme: Lettuce Meat Olive Your Eggspectations

Trilby returns to Broad Street bringing culture, cuisine, and music from around the world. Band members will be dressed as chefs, waiters, and waitresses. The Trilby name goes back to 1901; Trilby participated in the first "official" Mummers Parade.

*Trilby didn't march last year.

Polish American String Band (7)
Nick Magenta
Theme: The Toys Are Back!

Toyland comes alive with dolls, toy soldiers, and dancing jack-in-the-boxes. Listen for the delicate music box opening and such familiar tunes as "My Favorite Things" and "Pure Imagination." Look for the Build-A-Bear Machine and magical coloring book. Captain Magenta is the head toy maker.

The defending champions are on an expedition to a mysterious jungle with a vibrant, colorful rain forest, pulsing music, ancient ruins, and a treasure-filled Lost Temple. This journey is not for the faint of heart as Fralinger encounters spiders, a colossal cobra, temple guards, and a live volcano. Captain "Sun" Wray is the village leader.

Bugs get their due here - blue, black, and red ants, mosquitoes, lightning bugs, grasshoppers, and bees with their queen (a.k.a. Captain Good). Tunes include "Flight of the Bumblebee," "Summertime," and "Rhapsody in Blue." Keep an eye out for the bug zapper and tap dancing tarantula.

Avalon String Band (8)
Carmen Maniaci
Theme: Egypt: Two Thousand Sphinx-Teen

Travel back 5,000 years to the land of the pharaohs, including pyramid landscapes, three-dimension columns, and mummies. Songs include "Mr. Sandman" and "Walk Like an Egyptian." Maniaci makes his debut as captain.

A parody of the Roman Empire. Among the ruins of ancient Rome, Caesar (Captain Nicholas) presents his army for battle; however, Pennsport gladiators don't want to fight. They'd rather rock, bop, and swing to '40s and '50s music.

Hot times here as Uptown presents its version of firefighters circa 1920, led by Chief Caldwell. Watch him rescue a cat from a tree! Dancers are dressed as flames and fireballs. Some perform with ladders. A fire truck and dalmatians complete the scene.

Join these unpredictable and entertaining jesters at a classic masquerade ball, with elegant costumes and waltz, swing, and salsa music. Captain Maminski hosts.

Celebrate Mexico's Day of the Dead with up-tempo tunes, a mariachi band, vibrant colors and costumes, and beautiful scenery.

New Captain Moyer is the Mad Scientist whose band of nerdy chemists, escaping lab rats, and assorted characters bring a laboratory to life. Songs include "Tales From the Crypt," and the "Back to the Future" theme as Doc departs in his DeLorean time machine.

Celebrate the beautiful music and rhythms of Hawaii. Musicians are dressed to symbolize the water, flora and fauna of the Rainbow State in a production that revolves around surfboard-riding Captain Razzano and his warrior dancers.

Woodland brings the beauty of Jurassic Park to Broad Street, with its own paleontologist and herds of dinosaurs (including raptors and a T. Rex) that take control of the park while hunters try to restore order. Captain Robison is the park owner.

Here's a fishy, underwater "gangster" theme set in a coral reef in the 1920s at the Clams Casino. Meet Don "Coral" Leone (Captain Baron) of the Grouper Fish family, Bugsy Seagull, and the untouchable EELiott Ness. The Flipper Flapper and Oyster Pearl showgirls entertain.

Captain Pomante portrays J.P. Morgan, the wealthiest man in town. Costumes represent denominations of money with the saxes wearing Washington ($1) and Lincoln ($5) costumes. Songs include "Pennies From Heaven," "Can't Buy Me Love," and "We're in the Money."

A young boy named Jake brings to life the spirits of an abandoned carnival and takes a whirlwind tour of the games and funhouse, meeting sideshow characters and four unusual types of clowns. Captain Kudrick plays a dual role as the fortune-teller Zoltar and the Ringmaster.

Peek through the fence as a construction crew spoofs a day's work in song and dance. There's a lunch truck, scaffolding, and port-a-potties at this hard-hats-required site. Songs have the word "work" in the title.

Enter if you dare an abandoned, ghostly barnyard, an enchanted forest and a terrifying cornfield. Encounter pumpkin scarecrows, witches, zombie farmers, and a galloping headless horseman. Captain Celenza is the Grand Scarecrow Farmer.

Marching Order:
The new Philadelphia Division leads off at 9 a.m. at City Hall, followed by the Fancy Division at 9:30, the Wench Brigades at 10, the Comic Division at 11 and the String Bands about 1 p.m. The Fancy Brigades will join in after their noon show at the Convention Center.

Here Come the Judges:
String Bands and Comics face the judges at 15th and Market Streets, in front of Dilworth Park. The Fancy Brigades will be judged at the Convention Center beginning at 5 p.m.

At the Kimmel Center:
Enjoy great parade views and free family activities and concerts, plus soups, sandwiches and more to buy, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., or go all out for the VIP experience from Garces Events, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Details at

More Food & Fun:
Outside CAPA, at Broad and Christian streets, a family view- ing area will offer food trucks, a big-screen TV, bleachers and more, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Fancy Finale:
The Convention Center hosts the Fancy Brigade finale with two shows: one at noon; the other, for judges, at 5 p.m. This event goes on rain or shine, but you need a ticket ($20-$25; call 800-298-4200 or go to After the noon performances, the Fancy Brigades will march south on Broad Street.

Getting There:
SEPTA Broad Street Line trains run every 8 to 10 minutes beneath the parade route. Elsewhere, it's a Sunday/holiday schedule. Rail lines, Market-Frankford El and PATCO stop near the Center City route. Buses around City Hall will be detoured, and traffic and parking will be ugly (but free) anywhere near the parade.

Weather or Not:
The forecast for New Year's Day is clear and dry, with temperatures in the 40s. If the weather turns bad, a marching decision will be made by 4:30 a.m. Friday and broadcast on KYW-AM (1060). If the parade is post- poned, Mummers will march on Saturday.

On TV:
WPHL (Channel 17) will cover the Mummers from 8 a.m. Friday, beginning with the special "Breakfast with the Mummers," followed by live coverage of the parade itself, in high-definition. String band results will be announced live at 8 p.m. From 8 to 10 p.m. the Fancy Brigade finale will be a tape-delayed broadcast. The parade will stream live at