HOLIDAYS: NEW YEARS :
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UNITED STATES: CITIES: PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA:
The Mummers Day Parade
The Mummers Parade is held each New Year’s Day in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. It is believed to be the oldest folk festival in the United States.
Local clubs (usually called “New Years Associations”) compete in one of four categories (comics, fancies, string bands, and fancy brigades). They prepare elaborate costumes and moveable scenery, which take months to complete. This is done in clubhouses many of which are on or near 2nd Street (called “Two Street” by some local residents) in the Pennsport neighborhood of the city’s South Philadelphia section which also serve as social gathering places for members. Numerous Irish and Italian immigrants once populated South Philadelphia, forming the Mummers and parade goers. As these groups have begun to be replaced by Asian and Hispanic immigrants, local ties to the parade have weakened.
The parade has been broadcast since 1993 on WPHL-TV, which has live streamed the event on its website since 2011. After a national campaign to get the parade nationally televised, an edited two-hour broadcast of the parade was picked up by WGN America and WGN-TV; the broadcast debuted January 3, 2009.
1.1 Budget problems
2 Location, time and route
3 2nd Street
4 Black face
5.3 String bands
5.4 Fancy brigades
6 See also
8 Further reading
The parade traces back to mid-17th-century roots, blending elements from Swedish, Finnish, Irish, English, German, and other European heritages, as well as African heritage. The parade is related to the Mummers Play tradition from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Revivals of this tradition are still celebrated annually in South Gloucestershire, England on Boxing Day and in parts of Ireland on St. Stephen’s Day and also in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador around Christmas.
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