PHILADELPHIA (CBS) –– The Convention Center played host to the dozen Fancy Brigades, and the hundreds of spectators happy to come out of the cold to see these Mummers compete in all their theatrical glory.

Towering trees, a regal staircase straight out of a storybook and colorful balloons swirl inside a clear sphere.

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These are sets beyond what Broadway could imagine even for one show, and there are a dozen different ones here.

“This is a giant elephant,” said Robert with the Saturnalians.

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He is one of several pachyderms in the room.

“We go down on all fours, we walk like elephants,” he said. “We do a couple tricks as elephants would do in the circus.”

You’d need to be a giraffe to be level with fellow Saturnalian Madeline.

“Nearly 10 feet tall,” she said.

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Madeline could be the jester in this circus-themed show if she wasn’t on stilts. What’s John have on, as part of the South Philly Vikings?

“They make it and I just wear it,” he replied.

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Okay, it’s colorful sheer fabric worn like a jacket but stretching seven feet above his head, it resembles coral gently swaying in the sea.

“Dancing around with it, waving around,” he said. “There are six of us.”

The cast of characters for each brigade can top 60 and that’s not even counting the crew like the 18 people it took just to drag the ocean floor into place for the Vikings’ “King Neptune’s Return to the Reef.”


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Find out who the winners of this year’s Mummers Parade were here!