Mummers strut at annual New Year's parade
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - January 1, 2014 (WPVI) -- Dancing wildly and toting parasols, colorful Mummers strutted their stuff Wednesday at the annual New Year's Day parade, believed to be the nation's oldest folk festival.
The 114th Mummers parade is now in the record books, a parade as colorful, musical and creative as ever.
And as soon as the music stopped, city clean-up crews burst into action to clean up Broad Street and JFK Boulevard.
The Fancy Brigades strutted their stuff inside the Convention Center. Nearly a year of preparation and tens of thousands of dollars finally came to a conclusion.
"Personally, I get those butterflies no matter how many times I perform," said T.J. Beck from the Downtowners.
And the nerves were building for South Philly Vikings Captain Gerald Roccia. The Vikings are the defending champions.
"They are indescribable. Your whole mood changes in a good way. You just want everything to go right for everybody who worked hard all year," said Roccia.
"I'm so excited. I'm so happy for him," said Roccia's sister Franca Barone. "He puts all his heart into this, and you know he's really passionate. It makes me want to cry. He loves it so much."
The festivities began earlier New Year's Day. The String Bands, Comics and other mummers danced along Broad as fans enjoyed the revelry.
As the sun settled, the music continued on Broad Street and down on 2 Street, where a heavy police presence kept the partying faithful in line.
"It's wild and crazy and a good time," said Mary Healy.
"It is an absolutely beautiful way to bring in the New Year," said Katherine Carney.
"The crowd has been great, the weather has been great, and I'm so excited for 2015 Mummers," said Shannon Murphy.
With the cleanup is underway, another journey is over for the Mummers, and for captains like Frank Roccia, the pressure to perform has been relieved.
"It's a lot, but that's why you are captain. When it goes good you get the praise, and when it goes bad, you got to have the skin and take it," said Roccia.
The 2014 Winners:
String Bands Division
1. Quaker City
3. South Philadelphia
2. Good Timers
1. Oregon Wench Brigade
Fancy Club Division
1. Golden Sunrise
2. Hog Island
Fancy Brigade Division
1. Bill McIntyre's Shooting Stars
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