The Winners

The 2011 Mummers Parade has launched the New Year as only Philadelphia  can.  Ten thousand strutters in 5 Divisions with 3 Comic Clubs, 8 Wench Brigades, 2 Fancy Clubs, 17 String bands and 10 Fancy Brigades thrilled crowds along Broad Street and inside the Pennsylvania Convention Center.  I saw lots of Lady Gaga spoofs and more than a few environmental and economic themes in the Comics and lots of cute “penguins,” too. 

Quaker City String Band has reclaimed 1st Prize in the String Band Division.  Fralinger String Band had won 8 times in a row and has owned the 21st Century, but this year, Quaker had the right theme, the right costuming, musical arrangement and musicianship and performed at the top of their game.  Captain Charlie Roetz was a perfect clown and his planned fall from the high wire will long be remembered. 

Ferko String Band came in 2nd  for the second year in a row with its prospecting theme.  The judges actually gave them an edge over Quaker in music playing and in visual total production, but Quaker got the edge in the effect of the music and the visual presentation.  South Philadelphia came in 3rd, just 00.300 points ahead of 4th place Fralinger. 

So many Captains performed exceptionally it was hard to rate them.  The judges declared Polish American’s Mark Danielewicz number one and I could tell in practice how good he was.  Jack Hee of Avalon also excelled, coming in 2nd.  Anthony D’Amore, of Fralinger was third.  Anthony Celenza of Ferko and Hegeman’s John Baron proved again their ability and I must commend Denny Palandro of South Philadelphia and Charlie Roetz. I think both made their bands better.

Woodland String Band, South Philadelphia and Fralinger were among those performing early in the competition and historically that is a more difficult challenge.  They made the parade a greater parade and set the bar for those who followed.   Here is the String Band Order of Finish:  Quaker City, Ferko, South Philadelphia, Fralinger, Avalon, Woodland, Hegeman, Polish American, Uptown, Greater Kensington, Aqua, Durning, Duffy, Greater Overbrook, Pennsport, Trilby and Broomall. 

In the Fancy Brigades, Jokers NYA and Captain Joe “Bad News” Gallagher claimed first prize with “Clash of the Titans.”  South Philly Vikings valiantly defended their title but the Jokers were strong enough to take the top prize.  You could clearly see in the brigades performances how intense the competition is getting and how Broadway truly has come to the Convention Center.

The Fancy Division saw tight competition between Golden Sunrise and Hog Island with the Hogs coming out on top, including Captain Kenny Medeiros whose 1950’s theme was an exciting crowd pleaser.  Golden Sunrise took first prize in Fancy Trio with “Bee-u-tiful.”  The coveted Handsome Costume category was won by Golden Sunrise’s entry “Symphonic Hazard” performed by Jozef Jozefowski.  What a beautiful costume!  The piano keys, the organ pipes.  Well executed.  Golden Sunrise took the top three positions in this category.  It also won the Handsome Trim category with  Winter Wonderland.

Murray Comic Club takes 1st prize for the 13th time in a row.  Captain Dennis Pellegrino also scored the big win again with his theme, “There’s Gold in Them There Hills.”  Landi won the group top prize with “Chef Landi’s Recipe for a World Series Win.”  Murray won the brigades category with Big Daddy Wags’ Jester’s doing “Jungle Jive.”  Bud Emig, of B. Love Strutters takes top prize for Brigade Captain.

The Wench Brigades were won this January 1 by Riverfront and its hobo theme with Bryson a close second. Cara Liom came in 3rd.  Congratulations to Tom Kelhower, Captain of Riverfront, for taking the 1st prize Captain’s award.

And last but certainly not least, Jake Hart and I are pleased to announce the winner of the annual “Custard’s Last Stand” award for the “punniest” theme.  The title also has to work with the theme, not just be a good pun. The 2011 winner of the “Custard’s Last Stand” award is Uptown String Band for its theme title, “Shake, Rattle and Casserole.”  Bon Appetit!  The Mummers 2011 feast, the 111th official parade up Broad Street, was a delicious delight.

Congratulations to the Mummers.  Because of you, the real winners are the citizens of the Philadelphia region and all who get a chance to know you and be entertained by you.

String Band Order of March

The official String Band Order of March is carved in stone for January 1, 2011.  Pennsport String Band, which did not parade last year, though many members helped out some other clubs, such as Durning, will head up Broad Street first.  The band is asked to arrive at Broad and Shunk by 9:50 a.m. 

The first full drill will take place at 11:00 a.m. at Broad and Shunk.  Fralinger will arrive by 10 am. and its first full drill will be at 11:10.  Every string band of the 18 marching will leave at 10 minute intervals.  After Broad and Shunk they move up Broad.  The next full drill is at Methodist Hospital.  Music only at Tasker.  Full Drill at Washington, followed by the same at Pine.  There will be a drill, but no props at the Union League.  Then they head to City Hall where the full drill is for the judging and the tv cameras.  The first band is scheduled to arrive at City Hall at 2 p.m.

Here is the Order of March.

1. Pennsport 2. Fralinger 3. Woodland 4. Broomall 5. South Philadelphia.

6. Durning 7. Irish American 8. Greater Kensington 9. Aqua

10. Polish American 11.Trilby 12. Uptown 13 .Hegeman 14. Duffy

 15. Quaker City 16. Avalon 17. Greater Overbrook 18. Ferko

Caution: Strut in Progress

I’m ready for spring.   The whole long-cold, water-logged region is starting to utter a big sigh.  It must be what that first moment after getting out of prison feels like.  Well, anyway, as enjoyable as winter can be, we’ve served the sentence and we’re set for a Phanatic good time.  And, there is also much strutting in progress, too.  I look forward to the New Years Shooters and Mummers Association awards banquet this weekend at the Museum.  The following weekend the Wench Brigade Division has its banquet and the next day, Sunday, the String Band Association breaks bread and hands out trophies.   Meanwhile, the String Bands are making summer plans and putting meat on the bones of their themes.  Below are themes approved for most of the bands.  I’ll update the others listed as TBA as they inform me their theme has been approved, but it gives Mummers fans an idea what the bands are working on and what New Year’s Day, 2011, will look and sound like.   Here they are in scheduled 2011 Order of March.

 1.   Pennsport——————“Marching With the Mummers”

2.   Fralinger——————-“Stagefright”

3.   Woodland——————“A Bayou Blast”

4.   Broomall——————“Tin Can Alley” 

5.   South Philadelphia——“Showboat Jubilee” 

6.   Durning——————–TBA 

7.   Irish American———–TBA 

8.   Greater Kensington——TBA 

9.   Aqua———————–“Aqua Has A-Peel” 

10. Polish American——–“The Pirates of Port Richmond” 

11. Trilby———————-“Court of the Demon King” 

12. Uptown——————–“Table For Two” 

13. Hegeman——————TBA 

14. Duffy———————–“Trains” 

15. Quaker City—————“Clownin’ Around” 

16. Avalon———————“Southern Religious Revival” 

17. Greater Overbrook——-“Overbrook 3011”

18. Ferko————————“Out West-Prospecting for Gold!”

Go Phillies!

Order’s Up!

We know the Order of March for the string bands in the 2011 Comcast Mummers Parade!  Representatives of the String Bands met Tuesday night at the Mummers Museum and took part in the selection of positions.  The upshot? Fralinger is going early for the first time in a long time, South Philadelphia, too, Ferko goes up last again, there’s a good mix of strong and not as strong bands spread throughout the parade, and Duffy and Greater Overbrook get spots near the end.

Here’s the order:

1. Pennsport

2. Fralinger

3. Woodland

4. Broomall

5.  South Philadelphia

6. Durning

7. Irish American

8. Greater Kensington

9. Aqua

10. Polish American

11. Trilby

12. Uptown

13. Hegeman

14. Duffy

15. Quaker City

16. Avalon

17. Greater Overbrook

18. Ferko

How the order was determined was changed this year to make any starting position in the parade more one of chance.  Generally, band members believe going earlier in the parade lessens the chance of a good finish in the judging and going later increases the chance of finishing higher up.   Some felt the recent selection process, which allowed higher finishing bands to bunch for the most part in the last half  of the marching order, contributed to some bands continuing strong performances in the judging.  One thing is clear: After the selections Tuesday night, some bands who often saw themselves going up among the first few bands, now are energized, pumped that they get a chance to perform later in the parade.  All eyes will be watching to see how defending champion Fralinger responds to the challenge.