What a day! Luke and I just returned from the ultimate ‘South Philly’ experience. I brewed some Vin Chaud(first sampled at the Parisian Christmas Markets) using Williams-Sonoma mulling spices, (2 T spices + 1/3 c. sugar + 1 L wine into a sauce pan, simmered for 20 minutes) packed it in some travel cups, and we headed to the annual Mummer’s Parade.
The Mummers Parade is held each New Year’s Day in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Local clubs (usually called “New Years Associations”) compete in one of four categories (Comics, Fancies, String Bands, and Fancy Brigades). They prepare elaborate costumes and scenery, which take months to complete. This is done in clubhouses, many of which are located on or near 2nd Street (called “Two Street” by some local residents) in the Pennsport neighborhood of South Philadelphia, which also serve as social gathering places for members. (From Wikipedia).
It’s hard to explain. It’s fun and mayhem combined Here’s a quick peak from our spot on Pine Street:
You really have to be there to experience it. The crowds are unbelievably rowdy and pack the streets so tightly that its hard to move. The parade itself is a blast in an unconventional way. Most participants have been consuming copious amounts of alcohol since an early hour and let’s just say they can get pretty friendly. Come early for the Comics who always provide a great laugh. Come later for the Strings and Fancies who are quite amazing to watch. It’s a Philadelphia tradition that must be experienced.
After, we hopped the subway to our friend Adrienne’s house in South Philly for a wonderful Italian meal filled with mini- meatball, pulled pork, and sausage ‘hoagies’ followed by homemade Italian cookies. Pure bliss. After great conversation and lots of laughed we headed to ‘2 street’ to see what all the fuss was about…let’s just say that wasn’t exactly our scene…sort of like Mardi Gras but colder and less nudity.
Happy New Year to You!