Mummers prepare for strut down Broad Street

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- With the New Year only a few days away, the Mummers are hard at work getting ready for their annual strut down Broad Street.

Not only that, but the Fancy Brigades will be putting on their family-friendly show too and there's a whole weekend filled with activities.

For the last 50 weeks, the Fancy Clubs have worked tirelessly, first coming up with a fresh original theme, creating sets, choreographing and practicing. And now comes crunch time.

The Convention Center is full of a mix of glue, glitter, paint, power tools and creativity, along with excited nerves as props are pieced together.

Fancy Brigade President Jim Bradley said, "The judges are looking at regular people and they're looking for that wow factor."

The men and women behind the spectacular Fancy Mummers performances are regular people with a passion.

"Plumbers, carpenters, Morgan Stanley, longshoremen, police officers, we run the whole gamut," said Bill Burke of the Golden Crown.

On January 1, they'll bring their talents to Broad Street for the 118th annual parade.

The themes this year include:

"We're doing the Galactic Circus coming to a planet near you," said Louie Castelli, Captain of South Philly Vikings.

To make those far-fetched ideas come to life, add hundreds of manpower hours and a penchant for performance.

Burke said, "It's like a game, you give your best performance, you play your best game and you live with the result as long as you know you left everything out there on the floor."

Friday night, the Fancy's will do a dress rehearsal of sorts, mapping out their footwork with the giant props for the first time.
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