Boardwalking, Mum Style

The 2011 Philadelphia Mummers String Band Association Show of Shows lit up Boardwalk Hall this weekend in Atlantic City.  16 String Bands entertained at two shows,  led by crowd-friendly performances from the Captains, like Thomas D’Amore to John Baron to Denny Palandro to Jack Hee to Charlie Roetz to Anthony Celenza to 2011 1st Prize winning Captain Mark Danielewicz and all the Captains and members of the bands.  Folks came from as far away as Wisconsin and North Carolina to see Mummer tradition up close and personal.  The fans are awesome at these events.  One young man there with his mother baked me a cookie. Very tasty, Kevin . I and the entire audience met the Skinners.  Mr. Skinner has been coming to the Show of Shows since 1953.

 The costumes really pop under the arena lights. The powerful sound from the bands is literally felt inside the hall.  Frederick Lahm, the III, of Ferko String Band, played an elegant sax solo. Truly beautiful. Quaker City said thanks to Buzzy Woods, retiring after 42 years as a playing member of the band. Seeing Duffy String Band’s Peg Rullo and Cheryl Crowe take a bow for being inducted next month into the Hall of Fame, the first women to be inducted, was a special moment.  Seeing the Comics, Fancies and other divisions of Mummery come on down to support the String Bands was awesome, too.  The Show of Shows has been a harbinger of spring for decades. Lots of us felt the warmth early inside Boardwalk Hall. From  Broomall who started us off to 1st Prize winning Quaker City who capped each show, it was another to remember.

After the second show, I left Atlantic City and headed to Bucks County where the Fancy Brigade Association was holding its annual banquet and Hall of Fame ceremony.  Congratulations to Mickey Adams, of the Shooting Stars, to the 1st Prize winning Jokers and to all honored at the event.  The Brigades are to be congratulated.  They are growing with a new club being added this year.  And, they know how to throw a party.

Now, a few more views of the weekend.

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