PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It wasn’t New Year’s Day and it definitely wasn’t Broad Street, but the Mummers were out strutting their stuff Saturday to raise funds to help pay for the elaborate costumes they put together each and every year.
An unusually warm day set the perfect conditions for the thousands of people that lined Main Street in Manayunk to check out the Mummer’s Mardi Gras Parade. All 17 string bands went all out with their costumes and showmanship, just like they do on New Year’s Day, but joining them were volunteers working as ‘Bucket Brigades,’ collecting donations to help the bands keep the tradition going.
Bud Hess used to march with the Polish-American String Band. He said those extra funds are definitely needed.
“When I was marching back in the 18th century (laughs). No, seriously, back in the 1970s and 1980s, our band was spending about $50,000,” Hess said. “By proportion, you can imagine how much it is today.”
Kristie Tran runs a nail salon on Main Street. She was happy to see all the people having a good time.
“Business is slow,” Tran said, “but it’s good for the street.”
She, like other store owners, were hoping the spectators would stick around after the parade and give business a little boost.