DRAG QUEENS WILL glitz up the next Mummers Parade in Philadelphia.
Ten veteran drag performers will join the New Year's Day celebration, each in costumes matching the theme of a Fancy Brigade.
"I think it's kind of crazy to be so mainstream now," said Ian Morrison, who handpicked the members of the first "Drag Brigade."
Morrison will participate as his drag alias, Brittany Lynn. He's been performing for 15 years and said that "Philly's come a long way" in terms of LGBT rights. He lauded the city for its support of the gay community, especially in such an iconic Philly tradition.
In the parade, the "Drag Brigade" - made up of Crystal Electra, Alexis Cartier, Misses P., Porcelain, Bridgette Jones, Stella D'Oro, Mary D' Knight, Navaya Shay and Cherry Pop - will lead the string bands from Washington Avenue to City Hall.
Each drag artist also will perform at the Convention Center for two minutes before her fancy brigade starts its competition performance.
"We're like their court jester or, like, hype person that hypes up their entrance," Morrison said.
"We do this all the time, just not in such a grand scale," he said, adding that each drag queen has at least five to six years of nightclub performing under her belt.
The "Drag Brigade" members are creating costumes to match their assigned fancy brigades, but without the deep pockets enjoyed by the Mummers.
Morrison didn't disclose his costume's theme for the South Philly Vikings, saying the element of surprise is crucial to the competition.
"Bring the drag queens back to the brigade," Morrison said, adding that the Mummers once were an all-male group wearing dresses.