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!
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.
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!