Changes for the 2016 Mummers Parade - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Changes for the 2016 Mummers Parade

Mummers Mix in Changes to New Year’s Tradition

NBC10’s Deanna Durante reports from the parade with how the day’s events have been going. (Published Friday, Jan. 1, 2016)

Outrageously costumed Mummers strutted their stuff Friday at the city's annual New Year's Day parade, a colorful celebration that features string bands, comic brigades, elaborate floats and plenty of feathers and sequins.

Participants danced wildly and toted parasols down Broad Street, the city's main north-south thoroughfare, during the 116th edition of what has been called Philadelphia's Mardi Gras.

New this year was the "Philadelphia Division," meant to inject some diversity into the parade, with two new Hispanic performance groups, a black drill team and the LGBT Miss Fancy Brigade.

But some critics called the parade offensive, with one performing group painting their faces brown to portray Mexicans and a wench brigade mocking Caitlyn Jenner.

Some held signs with her photo on a Fruit Loops cereal box beside Bruce Jenner on a Wheaties box. Philadelphia's incoming mayor Jim Kenney called the display insulting and hurtful.

Another member of the group was caught on video yelling "F--- the gays" as he shuffled down Broad Street.

"It was bad. Hurtful to many Philadelphians. Our Trans citizens do not deserve this type of satire/insult," Kenney wrote in a Twitter reply.

Dozens of activists from the Black Lives Matter movement used the parade to stage a protest.