PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Pennsylvania Convention Center sounds like a construction site as the Fancy Brigades prepare for Wednesday’s opening of the four-day “Mummersfest.”

They’re sawing and drilling and gluing. Members of the 12 Fancy Brigades are building backdrops and preparing props.

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“Our theme is the Tropical Island. We’re getting there,” said Spartans vice president Earl Hawthorne. “Palm trees, some trussing and what not. A lot more painting and things to be done.”

Bill Burke, vice president of the Fancy Brigades Association, says thousands of fans at Mummersfest will get an early look at everything except the costumes.

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“They’re all under wraps until New Year’s Day,” Burke said. “But you’ll see the full performance — the floats, the rehearsals. Everything that you would see New Year’s Day except for the costumes on Friday night.”

Todd Marcocci is producing Golden Crown’s “Raindance” theme.

“We go from a dry riverbed where the Maoris are praying to the gods that it’s going to rain because it hasn’t rained,” Marcocci explained. “And all of a sudden, then it starts to rain.”

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Mummersfest runs Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 4:30 pm to 9:30 pm, and Saturday from noon – 6 pm. Tickets are $4 at the Convention Center door.