IN ALL THEIR decorated glory, the Mummers are gearing up for their 114th strut down Broad Street, and this year, they welcome their newest Fancy Brigade in 14 years.
"I think, this year, the excitement is really growing," City Councilman Mark Squilla said at a news conference yesterday outlining plans for the 2014 parade. "The city is really getting behind it. This could have such a big economic impact to the city of Philadelphia, so knowing that we have that opportunity, let's capitalize on it."
What sets 2014 apart from past years' parades are the additions of the new Spartan Fancy Brigade, a compilation of more than 60 Mummers who either jumped from other Fancy Brigades or are total newbies.
The Spartans will boast Native American-themed costumes - feathers, arrowheads and spears to represent a bit of their heritage. In addition to the first-time Mummers, the city will also welcome the Miss Fancy Brigade, made up of drag kings and queens to sashay down Broad Street with the whole gang.
"We're going to have the LGBT community significantly represented," Mayor Nutter said. "For more than a century, the Mummers Parade has truly been unlike anything you will find anywhere else in the world. You can only get this in Philadelphia."
Nutter offered a fun fact about Philadelphia Mummery: that it is the oldest continuously running folk festival in the world.
"This parade gives kids opportunities they may not have to get in touch with their neighborhood and understand the history of their neighborhood and the history of their city," said Michael DiBerardinis, deputy mayor for environmental and community resources who handles parade logistics.
The New Year's Day parade will kick off with the Comic Division leaving Broad Street and Washington Avenue at 9:30 a.m.
Performance stops will be at the intersections of Shunk Street, Washington Avenue, Pine Street and Sansom Street. Main judging areas will be on JFK Boulevard and Market Street between 15th and 16th streets.
The Comics, Comic Wench Brigades, Fancy, String Band and Fancy Brigade divisions will all perform at the Pennsylvania Convention Center that evening.