Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Year's Day in Philadelphia

Another New Year's Day, and another Mummer's Parade in Philadelphia - that gaudy spectacle in which blue-collar guys (and gals) bedeck themselves in feathers and sequins, strap on banjos and march on Broad Street. It's like Mardi Gras, but earlier, colder, and without the nudity. This parade has been happening for so long (on or around New Year's Day) that it is widely held to be the oldest folk festival in the United States. 

Always subject to budget constraints and controversy, this year the parade appeared in a rather abbreviated form, starting at City Hall and progressing southward down Broad Street only as far as Washington Avenue.  This not only reversed the usual direction, but cut two miles and several hours from the route and almost completely bypassed South Philadelphia, the mummers' traditional home neighborhood.

See more photographs on Flickr.

"When the spirit moves you" by James G. Mundie

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