Glittering capes and golden slippers — and massive scorpions. The Mummers are making their final touches before tomorrow’s New Year’s Day parade. Some brigades are better prepared than others.
The fancy brigade Jokers N.Y.A. call their performance “Clash of the Titans.” It takes a page from old Ray Harryhausen films, featuring gigantic scorpions 15 feet long with tails arcing 10 feet high as they scurry freely around the performance area. They have been working on it since September.
“People say I’m crazy — it’s a lot of time,” said Jokers captain, Joseph Gallagher. “We put in all these great shows, only for four minutes. People ask me if it’s worth it … Sure.”
On the other side of town is, Nerd Island captain Aryon Hoselton guided his comic brigade by cell-phone light into their rehearsal space — a gutted former nightclub in Kensington that has no heat, no power and no plumbing. With just three days before go-time, clowns dressed up as natural disasters — earthquakes, hurricanes and volcanoes — receive general dance instructions from Hoselton.
“Dance alone, then when you hear the air horn, dance with other disasters. Do a disaster dance-off,” he says.
In addition to Nerd Island’s natural disasters and the Jokers’ enormous scorpions, the parade will feature haunted Scottish castles, complete with a Loch Ness Monster. Scary, no?
To make the parade more user-friendly this year, organizers will start the Mummers a little later in the day — at 10 a.m.
“You gotta remember, people are out the night before. Give ’em a chance to get some breakfast, and some black coffee,” said comic division president Rich Porco. “If the sun’s going to come out, by 10 a.m. the sun’s there. Get warmed a little bit.”
Mother Nature is putting in an effort as well; temperatures are forecast to be in the high 40s.