MummersFest is in full swing

December 28, 2007 4:24:52 PM PST
With just days to go until New Years, the Mummers are getting ready for their big parade, but the festivities has begun already.MummersFest is a backstage look at what it takes to prepare for the traditional New Years day competition.

The small South Philadelphia Clevemore Club hopes their spider, ant, bumblebee and butterfly filled buggy wonderland performance can snag a win and inspire smiles.

"I'm sure people in the audience will be dancing and boogying around with us," Annette Greanto said.

People will be taken behind the scenes during MummersFest to see what it takes to build the sets and how props like these work. It's four days of family fun before the contest.

"Everybody sees New Years day and the finished product. What we're trying to say is come down and get a feel for what common people of Philadelphia are doing," Jim Julia said.

Clubs are building performances around themes like the beauty of Japan and prehistoric times.

Three time reigning champs, the South Philly Vikings have settled on the glory of Rome. They attribute their wins to more than wood and glitter.

"Heart. It's all heart. You win in between the lines with your heart. That's how you win," Mike DiBattisto said.

MummersFest performances begin Friday night and run each day through New Year's Eve. With the head to head competition on New Years day admission is $3 and free for children under three.

MummersFest has a mission.

"To make people be happy. New Years day is a happy day and I want to entertain. If I can entertain them and take their mind off of the world, then I've succeeded," Bob Finnigan, the set and costume designer, said.