Themes and Dreams

As the 2010 Comcast Mummers parade now comes up on us fast, we can conclude a few things from the themes chosen this year by the String Bands.  Nostalgia, happiness, partying and a sign of the times all come to mind.  And, Judge Jake Hart and I will have some fun deciding the “Custard’s Last Stand Award.”
I see more than a few bands scaling back to be more efficient with money and other resources, but still figuring out a way to put on great performances.  Some bandmembers have told me they will feel in a good way like it’s more the look or feel of a performance of 5 years ago, or even 25 years ago or much earlier.  One thing is also clear: the Mummers also have not lost their sense of humor, especially in these harder economic climate.
I think Ferko’s theme reflects the times.  Hobos is a traditional Mummer theme but the hobo spirit is reflective of the more difficult times of the early part of the 20th century.  Ferko will be last up the street with “Hobo Junction.”
Greater Overbrook will be first up the street but they too are nostalgic, with the theme, “Memories of the Way We Were.”
Trilby in one sense continues the theme, though with a Brazilian touch in the search for happiness with “Trilby’s La Vida Loca.”
Broomall makes us feel right by taking us down to the farm with “Broomall’s Barnyard Bash.”
Irish American and Captain Kelly Marie Elizabeth Mahon have us “Wastin’ Away in Mummeritaville.”  Wherever there’s a beach party, there’s Kelly!
Aqua has one of more intriguing and creative themes this year and I can’t wait to see it performed.  In these times, Aqua is performing, “It’s About Time!”   
The party continues with Uptown String Band and “La Fiesta Mexicana.”  A litle south of the border to warm us up.
Duffy always excels at themes that appeal to children and they are hitting another one that may go out of the park.  Duffy is “Animal Crackers.”
Durning String Band this year is “Good Clean Fun.”  I emphasize the clean.  Keep an eye on Jimmy Buck.
Woodland String Band brings the magic back to the parade with “PhilharMAGIC.”
Polish American continues the party with “The Jokers Ball.”  Count on P-A to make us smile.
And you can always count on Hegeman to party hard and when they want to be fun, they are fun.  Last year’s “Orchestrated Oddballs” comes to mind., Well,  this year they’ll be “Clowning Around Town.”
Wanna get away?  Do it with GK.  Greater Kensington String Band takes us to Russia with “Empire of the Czar.”
In these times it’s right that we get together and South Philadelphia String Band does that in a unique way with “Gathering of Nations.”
Avalon also has us partying, prairie style.  Captain Jack Hee leads the band with “Prairie Tales.”
Quaker City String Band entertains us with an uplifting theme of personal freedom, bravery and righting wrong with “Mums of La Mancha.”
And the fighting continues in a powerful Fralinger fun way with “Fralinger’s Feudin’, Fussin’ and a Fightin.”
And then Ferko, as I mentioned, rounds out the field.  A great parade is in store from the Comics, through the Fancies, the String Bands and the Fancy Brigades.