After last weekend’s inclement weather forced postponement, groups from the Philadelphia String Band Association finally took to Main Street in Manayunk Saturday afternoon. The bands were met with chilly yet sunny weather and a crowd of fans and supporters ready to have their go at the “Mummer’s Strut.”
The parade marched down Main Street from Shurs Lane to Carson Street from 10 a.m. to noon, while volunteers with buckets, beads, t-shirts and hats collected money for this Mardi Gras themed fundraiser that the community hopes will both benefit the Mummers Association and become an annual event for the city.
Coproduced by the Manayunk Development Corporation and ADVENT Consulting, a Roxborough-based advertising and event firm, the Mummers Mardi Gras parade is a Manayunk first, though the neighborhood isn’t a stranger to other iconic Philadelphia events, most notably the annual bike race.
Joe DeCandido, founder and owner of ADVENT Consulting began the Mummers Mardi Gras last year as a 21-plus event at the Piazza at Schmidt’s in Northern Liberties. This year, DeCandido wanted to host an event that would allow all ages to show their love and support for the Mummers.
“The parade was exactly what we had envisioned it to be,” DeCandido said after the confetti had settled. “We had the right crowd of families and people who truly appreciate the Mummers…it was well received and we are absolutely looking to continue it for years to come.”
As a fundraising event, DeCandido and the MDC guaranteed the Philadelphia String Band Association a minimum of $17,000. In addition to volunteers collecting donations on the street throughout the parade, the MDC and ADVENT partnership have launched the “I Am a Mummer” program, an online fundraising campaign that is aiming to keep the uniquely Philadelphian tradition alive.
Daylong specials continued into the evening along Main Street as spectators and Mummers continued the celebrations.
“We’re still configuring the exact numbers, but I’m confident to say we raised more than promised amount,” DeCandido said. “It was a great day of pageantry and entertainment that both benefited the Mummers and the retailers and restaurants in Manayunk”