Thousands of Philadelphians spend the whole year practicing dance and band routines and constructing extravagant feather and sequin-adorned costumes for one day of glory: the Mummers Parade, held on New Year’s Day.
Those who miss the excitement can still experience this singular tradition at the Mummers Museum, which preserves the uniforms, songs and memorabilia of the past and explains the customs of the Mummers clubs.
The costumes steal the show: the playful, sometimes goofy rag-tags of the Comics, the gaudy sequin-festooned uniforms of the String Bands, and the often-massive feathered constructions of the Brigades and Fancy Division.
Visitors can push buttons to compose their own Mummers medley and learn the Mummers Strut; filmed highlights of past parades are shown on a large screen.
The Mummers Museum preserves memorabilia of the past and explains the customs of the Mummers clubs.
One of the many small museums left as a legacy of the 1976 Bicentennial celebration, the Mummers Museum celebrates a centuries-old Philadelphia tradition, which can be traced back to English settlers who brought to the Colonies their Christmastime custom of dressing in costume and performing pantomimes.
The Mummers Parade started in South Philadelphia on New Year’s Day 1901 and has grown into an elaborate 10,000-person, all-day affair.
Kids get to bop on a glockenspiel, one of the essential instruments in a string band, play “Oh, Dem Golden Slippers” and learn to strut like a native Mummer.
Book the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package for stays through September 3, 2018 and get FREE hotel parking as well as free tickets to the Museum of the American Revolution, free tickets for a ride on the Ferris wheel and roller skating at Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest, a $25 CHeU Noodle restaurants gift card, free mini-golf and a carousel ride at Franklin Square, free passes to ride the PHLASH Downtown Loop and a $10 Lyft credit.