by Jeremy Lindy
Every year in Philadelphia the Mummers Parade takes place around the New Year. Not your typical parade, the Mummer’s Parade has been going on since 1901, and only gotten stronger. The Murmurs are a group of people who perform different plays during this parade, in one of four categories: comics, fancies, string bands, and fancy brigades.
But what exactly is a Mummer
The Mummers are local clubs that compete in one of four categories (comics, fancies, string bands, and fancy brigades). In these clubs they dress up as various characters and do a number of performances as they march through Philadelphia. These performances could be dance, music, or comical, what they tend to all have in common is theatrical with lots of color.
The Mummers parade starts on JFK Boulevard from 15th Street on the western side of City Hall, where they perform their routine for the judges. Then the Mummers march and strut their way around City Hall and south on Broad Street. From Broad Street this is the top place to watch the parade and ensure that you can see the performances. To stand around City Hall you can buy tickets at the bleachers for $19 at the Independence Visitor Center, since tickets are currently unavailable online. If you do not want to be stuck to one area, I suggest hanging around Broad Street where you can either set up shop with lawn chairs or do your best to mingle around.
Still looking to continue drinking from the night before hoping it helps with your hangover? No need to worry, drinking in the streets is an unofficial part of the Mummers Parade tradition in Philadelphia. While the laws against public drinking/open container remain in effect, most authorities will look the other way as long you are discreet and of age. If you don’t want to risk it, or want to stay warm check below for the best bars to drink at during the parade.
Where To Drink
A good way to start the morning will be at McGillin’s Olde Ale House is running specials on Irish Coffee, Hot Cocoa, and other warming beverages that you can enjoy in between shows for a quick way to warm up. Nearby McGillin’s you can get a meal at Fergie’s Pub as they will have an Irish breakfast all day as well as their “Classy Special,” a $5 can of Narragansett along with a shot of Jameson. On Broad Street, where the parade is going you can check out Jose Pistola’s, which has 12 rotating taps, and books worth of cocktails that you can drink while eating there famous Breakfast Burrito. If you’re looking to have nice meal check out Sbraga, Top Chef winner Kevin Sbraga serves creative New American small plates in a rustic yet modern room. With a rotating menu of your bound to start the new year feeling satisfied.