PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It’s sort of like Broadway meets Mardi Gras. The 111th annual Mummers Parade is today. The stands and bleachers were filled as the performers strut their stuff.
For the last several months it has been practice, practice, practice. Today, the wait is finally over.
Family is a big part of what this centuries old celebration is all about. Many of the mummers have been performing with their families for years and have made performing in the parade an annual tradition.
Woman#1: “We used to come when I was young, 50 years ago and so it’s a new generation with my granddaughter. It’s even better maybe because of the grandchildren. It brings it all back again.”
And as the Mummers strutted up Broad Street the crowds cheered them on.
Woman#2: “People are having a good time. Guys are wearing dresses!!!”
Kuznits: “Describe the strut?”
Mummer: “Just pick up your legs high and dance around.
Kuznits: “What are you dressed as?”
Mummer: “Lady Gaga …go-go for Gaga we are all babies.”
So why did so many people make the effort to see the Mummers in person?
Woman#3: “When your home it’s more like entertainment for you but when you are here you are doing something with a lot of other people. A lot of people marvel why do people come out of state to see this but now that I am here I can see that.”
As the Mummer’s took center stage at the convention center, Director Nick Cansulo described the scene.
“Broadway meets Mardi Gras, that’s the easiest way explaining it; best two hour show money can buy, it’s just non-stop excitement from the first group to the tenth group.”
Jerry from Yonkers says the Convention Center set beats the outdoor parade by a mile, “this is even better because they have a lot more young people, it’s a lot more to see, this is our second trip. We were here last year; we enjoyed it so much we came again.”
Bottom line? Awesomeness!
Brian Longobardi is directing a documentary called “What’s a Mummer”.
Through his months of filming and following the Uptown String Band, he’s learned what it takes to pull off such an extraordinary show.
Reported By Jericka Duncan, CBS 3; Hadas Kuznits, KYW Newsradio; Molly Daly, KYW Newsradio.