By Steve Patterson
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The final result of the Mummers Parade is a dazzling array of color and sound.
But before the Mummers ever look like that, hours of work must be done.
“It’s always down to the wire.”
And for the first time in twelve years that work is being done by a brand new fancy brigade: the Spartans.
“It’s hard, it’s real hard. We started with nine guys and a fog machine.”
Nearly one year ago those nine guys, veterans with over a century of parading experience, decided start their own gig.
President Michael Otto says the goal is more than just family mummery.
“We wanted to go a different direction. We wanted to go a different route.”
And as those nine guys grew to 85, the goal shifted with projects like community clean ups, Thanksgiving food drives, even raising money for scholarships.
“I think the biggest feeling is, as Mummers we’re always asking for help, we thought it was time to give back.”
Giving back may be the focus but the Spartans are here to win, and as a competitive fancy brigade thousands of dollars must be raised to have a fighting chance.
“Man fundraising, the fundraising never stops.”
Plus, it’s tough being the new kid on the block.
“For the most part it’s been pretty welcoming. There are a couple of naysayers that said we couldn’t do it but it looks like we made it.”