The People Decide!

The people have chosen their favorite Fancy Brigades and String Bands in the 2010 Comcast Mummers Parade!   With a loud voice they have chosen South Philly Vikings Fancy Brigade and Polish American String Band!  

Capt. Mark Danielewicz

Here is the Order of Finish as determined by thousands of viewers:   The top 10 String Bands:  Number 1 by a wide margin, Polish American with its nostalgic theme that featured beautiful backpieces for each member, gorgeous suits, great music and a de-emphasizing of props.    “The Jokers Ball” wowed them all.   Second in the eyes of the viewers is Fralinger String Band, which finished first in the Official Judging.  3rd among viewers is Woodland String Band and its Harry Potteresque mystical ”PhilharMAGIC” theme.  South Philadelphia is 4th.   It was razor close between Woodland and South Philadelphia with less than one-percent separating the bands.  Quaker City finishes 5th in the eyes and ears of the viewers. 

Hegeman and Greater Kensington String Band tie for 6th.  Aqua is 8th, narrowly, over Ferko, 9th and Avalon comes in 10th.  A note:  Greater Overbrook was hot on the heels of Avalon in the voting and that’s another sign that these viewers appreciate the nostalgic string band sound and look.   The obvious biggest differences between the Official Judging and the Viewers this year is Polish American taking first among the viewers compared to 7th in the official judging, Woodland finishing in the top three, Hegeman and GK finishing stronger and Aqua rising.   All this had to come at the expense of others and Fralinger finishes second again and Ferko dropped the most compared to the Judges’ calls. 

Here’s how the rest of the String Band field played out to the viewers:  After Avalon, comes Greater Overbrook at 11th, then Durning at 12th, then Duffy is 13th, Uptown-14th,  Broomall is 15th, followed by Irish American and Trilby.

It’s hard to say what motivates or hits with viewers in any given year, but this year, the appreciation of what the soul of a String Band is played prominently.   Also, the musical precision sometimes matters less with the fans than the total entertainment value.  It’s also possible some folks are desiring a change in results.  Or, simply that they thought a club was better.

 The Viewer’s decision on the Fancy Brigades Finale was also loud and clear.   

South Philly Vikings

By a significant margin, South Philly Vikings, which also came in 1st in the Official Judging, finishes first in the minds of the viewers.  Captain Pete D’Amato tells me they knew they had to get back to their strength and that is creativity, especially when it comes to the “wow” factors.  There were plenty of them in the Vikes’ post-apocalyptic world!  Pete felt great about how his brigade  performed and the viewers agree.    Coming in 2nd in the viewers’ eyes and ears,  Shooting Stars, followed by Jokers in 3rd and 2nd Street Shooters, 4th.  5th in the viewers’ decision is Satin Slipper.  Golden Crown and Downtowners come in 6th and 7th.  Saturnalians, Clevemore and Avenuers round out the viewers’ choices.  The viewers and the judges agreed on the first two positions but the Jokers,  2nd Street Shooters, and Satin Slipper fared better with the viewers.

P-A got its trophy tonight in Port Richmond.  The Vikings get their trophy in a separate ceremony within the next week.   Congratulations to all!


12 Responses

  1. Congrats to PA, and to Woodland as well!
    A special thanks to Steve Highsmith for all you do for all the Mummers! We REALLY appreciate it!
    Congrats to all the Stringband’s! Bring on the shows!

  2. My congratulations to Polish American String Band! Your band really made my New Years Day with your performance. It was such a great show and to see a band not only with feathers, but full backpieces and every member wearing one was a treat to the eyes. The show was pure mummers style as well as the music. I can only I this inspires other bands to turn the clock back some and regain that “String Band Look”. The people have spoken and I hope the Bands are listening.

    I also want to say Thanks to WGN America for showing the string bands again this year – it’s nice to atleast feel like your in Philly even though I was watching the parade in San Diego.

    Best Wishes to All the Bands and every Mummer out there!

    • I agree polish american string band was number 1 it was my first parade in person with my family and new girl friend Iam a big quaker city string band fan but polish american was number 1my family an I go to the show of shows in ac every year but the parade was so great thanks tom flamini and family ps we are from Mahanoy City pa up in coal region

  3. They’re being reloaded. Apparently some snafu kicked them out. We’re aware of it. Thank you though and sorry they’ve been missing.

  4. Fantastic win for Polish-American. They were the best without a doubt!

  5. It would be nice to have parade officials offer awards for small bands (less than ?) and large bands separately. Tough to compete with each other when available funds and support are so different. I fear that without a change, many smaller bands will disappear. What a shame! The commitment of families and supporters to this annual activity will be lost for thousands. Make the change and and recognize separate awards for the smaller bands. It’s not like they are winning any money – what do a few trophies or plaques cost to acknowledge the commitment and talent of smaller bands? Instead, let’s risk destroying the family and community commitment for this cultural event that helps bond many people together.

  6. I can do that. Just was keeping both divisions to the first ten..which for the Fancy Brigades was everyone this year.

  7. They should be in there. Let me know if next time you check they’re not there.

  8. Steve,

    Guessing no more “reveals” of the Viewers Choice on WPHL like we’ve seen in years past? It was nice to see the top ten bands and then the announcement a week after the parade.

  9. Congrats PA on winning the peoples choice award a fine and enjoyable preformance .

  10. some people need to learn how to vote lol no offense

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