Viewer’s Choice Finalists Announced

MUMMERS_ROWThe finalists in the 2015 SugarHouse Casino/PHL17 Viewer’s Choice Poll have been announced and SugarHouse is also planning on handing out thousands of dollars to some lucky Mummers clubs Tuesday night, January 20th, at 6:30 p.m.!  Here’s what we know.


The 5 finalists in the Fancy Brigades are, in alphabetical order:


Bill McIntyre’s Shooting Stars

Satin Slipper

South Philly Vikings


The 5 finalists in the String Band Division are, in alphabetical order:



Polish American

Quaker City

South Philadelphia

Sugar House 2011The winner of each of the two divisions will be announced Tuesday evening, January 20th, at SugarHouse.

Each will receive the big Viewer’s Choice trophy and a check from SugarHouse for $1,000.

In addition, each of three lucky “mother” clubs across the 5 divisions will be the recipient of $1,000.  To be eligible for those 3 drawings of $1,ooo, a club member has to show up at the Casino and report in at The Refinery area.  Say what club you are with.  The winning clubs will be drawn during the announcement ceremony.

So, the people’s voice will be heard Tuesday night and a total of $5,000 will be handed out to Mummers clubs.  It’s going to be a good night.  Mummers are asked to arrive at 6:30.  Make sure you check in and let them know what club you represent.

Good luck to the finalists and thanks to all Mummers for a great parade.



Tonight’s the Night

In the words of that sage, Rod Stewart, Tonight’s the Night.  The 2014 SugarHouse Casino Viewer’s Choice Awards!  The announcement of the best string band and the best fancy brigade on New Year’s Day in the eyes and ears of the viewers will take place this evening at SugarHouse. Festivities begin in the 6 o’clock hour.  Quaker City String Band is providing musical entertainment.  The 2 winning clubs will each receive a trophy and $1,000 from SugarHouse.  In addition, there will be 3 raffle drawings each awarding $1,000. All Mummers mother clubs are invited to take part in those 3 raffles but you need to be there. Check in when you arrive at The Refinery to let them know that your club, such as Murray, or Greater Kensington, is there.

Mummers Alert: Viewer’s Choice Awards this Thursday night

Neither snow, nor rain, nor subfreezing cold shall prevent the celebration of The People’s Voice!  The 2014 SugarHouse Casino Viewer’s Choice Awards will be announced Thursday evening, January 23rd, between 6pm and 8pm at SugarHouse.  It’s also a chance for other clubs to win money. Please read the Mummerific release from SugarHouse below.


PHL17 to Name Fancy Brigade and String Band Club Winners of the Popular Vote

PHILADELPHIA — Jan. 21, 2014 — The Mummers are still strutting strong at SugarHouse Casino, where PHL17 will announce the winners of the 2014 Viewers’ Choice competition on Thursday, Jan. 23.

SugarHouse has been the title sponsor of the New Year’s Day Mummers Parade for the past three years and will continue to support Philadelphia’s Mummers through 2016. As part of this community partnership, Philly’s casino also hosts various Mummers clubs throughout the year for events in its Refinery restaurant and bar—including the awards, which will be held from 6—8 p.m.

Starting on Jan. 1, voters could pick their favorite String Band and Fancy Brigade on—and thousands of votes were submitted. The winners of the popular vote will be announced at the celebration event, and each will take home a trophy. And as a bonus, the winners this year will each receive a $1,000 prize from SugarHouse.

New for 2014, Philly’s casino is also giving away $1,000 prizes to three other ‘mother’ clubs in attendance. To be eligible, a club must have at least one representative present at the event, and should provide the name of their mother club upon check-in. At the end of the awards portion, SugarHouse will randomly select the winning mother clubs.

“It’s always exciting to see who will win the Viewers’ Choice vote each year because all of the clubs put in so much hard work to give Philly a spectacular parade,” Wendy Hamilton, general manager of SugarHouse Casino, said. “That’s why we’re looking forward to upping the ante this year, so that three other clubs have a shot at getting some added funding for their sets, suits and props for New Year’s 2015.”

Mummers and their families will also be treated to complimentary appetizers at The Refinery, and Mummers string bands will be providing the musical entertainment.

“We had historic ratings for the 2014 parade on PHL17, which led to a high volume of votes for the Viewers’ Choice awards this year,” said Vince Giannini, general manager of PHL17. “Along with the awards handed out by the judges on New Year’s Day, our online poll gives those at home a chance to pick their favorite clubs for an added competitive element.”

To learn more about the SugarHouse Casino Mummers Parade, please visit


SugarHouse, which opened in September 2010 as Philly’s casino, features 1,602 slots, up to 56 table games, fun and unique dining options, riverfront views, and free on-site parking. The casino employs approximately 1,100 people, and for three consecutive years has been voted a “Best Place to Work” in the Philadelphia Business Journal and a “Top Workplace” in the Philadelphia Inquirer for two years. For more information, visit

WPHL-TV, known as PHL17, has been broadcasting the annual Mummers Parade – a Philadelphia tradition for more than 100 years – on New Year’s Day since 1993. Each year the parade draws a crowd of thousands in Philadelphia, while Philadelphia’s PHL17 achieves some of its highest ratings of the year.

The Mummers Parade is the longest-running New Year’s Day tradition in the country. Its roots date back to the late 1600s in Philadelphia, and the first officially sanctioned parade by the city was in 1901. The parade features complex, custom costumes, music, and renowned pageantry with more than 10,000 participants.

2014 Viewers Choice Finalists!

MUMMERS_ROWThe 2014 SugarHouse Casino Viewer’s Choice Awards will be announced a week from tonight, on Thursday, January 23, 2014 at SugarHouse Casino!  The 2 winning clubs will each get a $1,000 prize.

And, in addition, every Mummers “Mother” Club present that night has an opportunity to win one of several $1,000 raffle prizes!  Details coming on Monday. But, a heads up. To win the raffle, you have to be there Thursday night. Plan for 6pm arrival. More details on Monday.

For now, congratulations to the 5 Finalists in the String Band Division and the 5 Finalists in the Fancy Brigade Division, as determined by the Viewers. The 5 in the Fancy Brigade Division, are, in alphabetical order:

Bill McIntyre’s Shooting Stars


Golden Crown

South Philly Vikings


And the 5 String Band Finalists, in alphabetical order, are:



Polish American

Quaker City

South Philadelphia

2012 SugarHouse Casino PHL17 Viewer’s Choice Awards

The winners of the 2012 SugarHouse Casino PHL17 Viewer’s Choice Poll have been announced at SugarHouse Casino.  Hundreds of Mummers were on hand to cheer the top finishers and enjoy the hospitality of SugarHouse.  The place was Mummin’. Woodland String Band, showing the class and polish it’s always had, serenaded the gathered as they awaited the results.  And, the results are:  Finishing 1st in the eyes and ears of the viewer’s in 2012 are South Philadelphia String Band and South Philly Vikings. This is the 7th year the viewers have been selecting their favorites in the String Band Division and the 3rd year they have been choosing their winners in the Fancy Brigade Division.

South Philadelphia String Band with its “A Tune Full of Sugar” theme wowed the viewers of the String Band Division.  The costuming and performance satisfied every sweet tooth out there.  Captain Denny Palandro delivered another solid display of showmanship.  Congratulations to Jim Browne and all at South Philadelphia.  Your confection was infectious.   SPSB also won the coveted “Custard’s Last Stand” award. That will be formally handed out at the String Band Association banquet.

Here’s the the rest of the Viewer’s Choice top 5 in the String Band Division.

Coming in 2nd with the viewers is Woodland String Band, which took 1st Prize in the official judging with its jungle theme.   3rd goes to Quaker City.  Ferko finishes 4th and Fralinger, 5th.

In the Fancy Brigade Division, South Philly Vikings won the SugarHouse Casino PHL17 Viewer’s Choice Poll with its theme “Ka’Light’Oscope: Harness The Power of the Spectrum.”  This trend-setting brigade broke new ground again with its electrifying visual artistry.  SPV also won the official judging on New Year’s Day.  Vikings Captain Pete D’amato also took 1st prize in the official judging for Captain. 

Finishing second tonight in the determination of the viewers is Bill McIntyre’s Shooting Stars and in 3rd place, Golden Crown.

And in a wonderful display of commitment and community spirit, SugarHouse Casino not only hosted this year’s awards ceremony, but it also donated a total of $5,000 to the Mummers Museum, $2,500 dollars in the name of each winner, South Philly Vikings and South Philadelphia String Band.

2011 PHL17 Viewers Choice Winners!

The votes of the people are tabulated! The 2011 PHL17 Viewers Choice Awards are in and once again the people have spoken. You may recall that Polish American finished first in the 2010 Viewers Choice Poll in the String Bands and that South Philly Vikings finished first in the Fancy Brigades in the 2010 Viewers Choice Awards. Who won this year and how close were some of the finishes?

The number one String Band on New Year’s Day, 2011, according to the viewers is Quaker City String Band! The number one Fancy Brigade for 2011 is Bill McIntyre’s Shooting Stars! Quaker’s Clown theme and the Stars’ Scottish theme were strong crowd pleasers.  Here’s how the top finishers fared in the 2011 Viewers Choice Poll. In parenthesis is where each band finished in the official judging, so you can compare.

The Viewers Choice String Band Top Ten Order of Finish.

1. Quaker City(1)  2. Polish American(8)  3. Ferko(2)

4. South Philadelphia(3)  5. Fralinger(4)  6. Pennsport(15)

7. Woodland(6)  8. Aqua(11)  9. Durning(12)  10. Uptown(9)

Quaker won by a substantial margin and the result is in keeping with the buzz you heard on the street New Year’s Day.  In music, in production and in eye-candy costuming, they put it all together on January 1, 2011.

Polish American moved up significantly from its official finish, but that should not be surprising in that the theme and performance were familiar and sound, and that Captain Mark Danielewicz did such a fine job.  The official judges named him 1st Prize Captain.  P-A always finds a way to give String Band fans something they’ll like from Mummers Row to Port Richmond.

The next 3 finishers in the 2011 Viewers Choice Poll were so close in voting as to be nearly interchangeable. That too, is not surprising in the sense of how good Ferko, South Philadelphia and Fralinger were and how different their performances were in style.  The biggest mover is Pennsport String Band, finishing 6th in the poll, but 15th in the judging. However, again, this is likely accounted for by the accessibility factor with “Marching to Our Own Beat,” the veteran Mummers that they are and their good performance, Captain Charlie Nicholas, and the fact that the people voting when they are voting makes them less likely to be influenced by where a band is in the Order of March. Woodland comes in similar to its judging finish. Aqua moves up 3 spots, as did Durning.  Durning’s Christmas theme was popular with the crowd. Uptown ends up close to its official position.

The top 5 finishers in the Fancy Brigades in the eyes of the viewers for 2011 are (with official finish in parenthesis)

1. Shooting Stars(3)  2. South Philly Vikings(2)

3. Jokers(1)  4. Satin Slipper(7)  5. Downtowners(5)

The Shooting Stars had one of the best uses of lighting that I’ve seen in awhile. Their Scottish “Haunted Highlands” theme was very well executed and enjoyable. If there is a conclusion that you can draw over the 5 years of the Viewers Choice Award, it is that while the viewers often mirror the judges, there are always some variations and more often than not, those differences of opinion are over the accessible entertainment value rather than specific criteria that judges might look at. You’ll often find accessible themes and presentations being warmly received by the viewers. More simply put, they are “wowed.” That wow factor was obvious in the audience when it saw South Philly Vikings’ flying carpets. The flying carpets are an example of what I call “eye-propping.” The Vikings and the Jokers finished very close to each other in the Viewers Choice Poll, almost a tie for second. The Jokers did “Clash of the Titans” and it was all that among the brigades on New Year’s Day inside the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Satin Slipper moved up 3 spots with the Viewers Choice Poll.  Downtowners held its position same as in the judging, at number 5.

On another note, a formal thank you to the great Fancy Brigade Captains of New Year’s Day. Here’s a look at how the top 2 Captain’s positions ended in the official judging. 1st Prize Captain on New Year’s Day went to Joe Gallagher (total points 178.50). The performance by “Bad News” was outstanding and his role fit excellently into the production.  Captain Jack Hatty, Jr.(175.00), of Saturnalian, finished 2nd Prize Captain. Jack’s costume soaked up your eyes. A beautiful costume, including that powerful headdress.  Jack’s production and performance were a part of and enhanced the theme. He had a strong purpose. If an energetic performance can be graceful, Jack and Saturnalian did it. Joe Gallagher accomplished something similar. The Jokers props were mammoth and there’s always the risk that a Captain can get lost, but Joe did not. He was a titan himself, as “large” as the props.

Outgoing Shooting Stars Captain Mickey Adams performed well as the leader of the “Haunted Highlands.” Mickey has a commanding presence every time he steps onto the floor. Pete D’Amato, Captain of South Philly Vikings, put together a top shelf interactive Captain’s performance. He wove himself well into the theme and throughout the routine.