Once again, Philadelphia ushers in a new year with the rip-roaring spectacle that is the SugarHouse Casino Mummers Parade.
The over-the-top procession steps off for its 119th year at 9 a.m. on New Year’s Day, bringing more than 10,000 outlandishly dressed men, women, children and drag queens to the all-day parade and party on Broad Street between City Hall and Washington Avenue.
MUMMERS PARADE FAST FACTS
- Catch the free SugarHouse Casino Mummers Parade from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on January 1, 2019.
- The procession moves south on Broad Street from City Hall to Washington Avenue.
- Tickets to the Mummers Fancy Brigade Finale shows at the Convention Center are available here.
- The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts hosts free activities all day long.
A carnival-like atmosphere welcomes revelers who stop by at the last minute — but a little advance preparation helps onlookers get the best views of the spectacle. Better still, spending the night in the city ensures an early start to the day (check out the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package).
Arrive early to grab a seat along the route so you can witness this iconic and often-rowdy tradition that’s unique to the City of Brotherly Love.
Check out our guide below to get the most out of your Mummers Parade experience, including route details, best places to view the shows and other New Year’s Day events happening around town. Happy 2019!
The 119th Mummers Parade
Rundown & Parade Route
The Mummers Parade is one of Philadelphia’s longest-running traditions. For a whopping 119 years, folks have been partying their way into the new year at the Center City procession, which today features more than 10,000 Mummers embroiled in noisy camaraderie and a competition for local bragging rights.
The performers — men, women and even children — make up more than 40 organized clubs that fall under one of five themed groups: Fancies, Comics, Wenches, String Bands and Fancy Brigades. The groups work all year to create lavish costumes and plan choreography that they present to the masses along Broad Street every New Year’s Day.
Each division knows its role: The Comics and Wench Brigades satirize issues, institutions and people; the Fancies impress with glamorous outfits that rival those of royalty; the String Bands play banjoes, saxophones, percussion and other reed and string instruments; and the Fancy Brigades produce tightly choreographed theatrical extravaganzas. Philadelphia’s 119-year-old drag-ful New Year’s Day parade now embraces and features genuine drag queens, members of the well-heeled Miss Fancy Brigade Association.
The parade kicks off at 9 a.m. on January 1, 2019 moving south on Broad Street from City Hall to Washington Avenue until around 6 p.m. that night.
Where to Watch
One of the best places to view the show is from the parade grandstand at City Hall, where Mummers pull out all the stops for a panel of judges. For that, you’ll need a $20 ticket, which can be purchased at the Independence Visitor Center at 6th and Market streets or by calling (800) 537-7676.
The parade route also includes three performance zones, where spectators can view the revelry for absolutely free. You’ll find those at:
• Broad Street and Sansom Street: Just a few blocks south from City Hall, the String Bands offer an encore performance for chilly fans.
• Broad Street and Pine Street: This is one of the liveliest performance zones, which sees show-stopping numbers from the Fancies, Wenches, Comics and Fancy Brigades.
• Broad Street and Carpenter Street: The Mummers put on one last show just before the end of the parade route, at Broad and Washington.