Best time to go to Pennsylvania

Philadelphia Mummers Parade 2024-2025

Possibly the oldest folklore festival tradition in the United States

Dates: January 1

Philadelphia Mummers Parade
Philadelphia Mummers Parade
Philadelphia Mummers Parade
Philadelphia Mummers Parade
Philadelphia Mummers Parade
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The Mummers Day Parade, held annually on January 1, is full of humor, fun, and folklore. It's one of the most popular and massive events in Philadelphia with the atmosphere of a street carnival. About 10,000 people dressed in creative and colorful costumes march down the streets lined by thousands of spectators. Mummers sing, recite poetry, and perform on their way.

Philly Mummers' route, hours, & tickets

The parade starts by the City Hall on Market Street & North 15th Street and then goes south on Broad Street to Washington Avenue. On the route, there are a few major performance areas along Broad Street, also labeled the Avenue of the Arts. The fancy walk starts at about 9 am and lasts through 5 pm, but crowds start gathering quite early, thus, early birds get the best viewing spots. Note that even though the Philly Mummers is a free event, you need to hold a ticket for bleacher seating at the City Hall Performance Zone. If you're interested, please buy admission tickets at the Pliladelphia Visitor Center Corp. You can do it online by the link in the External Resources below.

Mummers Parade's participants

The parade participants are divided into five unique divisions—Comic, Fancy, Fancy Brigade, String Band, and Wench Brigade. Each division has a dedicated role to play: the Comics and Wench Brigades satirize social issues and institutions; the Fancies impress visitors with their glamorous outfits with a royal twist; the String Bands bring music to the parade playing saxophones, banjoes, percussion, and other instruments; the Fancy Brigades perform tightly choreographed theatrical shows.

History of The Mummers

It is believed that mummers processions date back to the medieval period in Europe, where they entertained commoners on central squares and streets. The tradition was brought to the U.S. by Swedish immigrants in the 17th century. The rivalry between neighborhoods quickly made mummers tradition very popular in Philadelphia. Since the early 1900s, Philadelphia Mummers Parade has become almost an annual tradition drawing lots of visitors to the city.

Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin