Struttin’ in 2009 — Philly Style

Mummers kick off 108th New Year's parade

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Once again, thousands descended upon Center City to usher in 2009, Philadelphia style.

Mummers dressed as soldiers, cowboys and construction workers strutted their stuff down Broad Street while the crowds cheered and shivered in the bone-chilling cold.

 “I’m frozen, but once I get a cup of something in me it will be much better,” said Sherri Faabong from Baltimore, MD.

Sherri Faabong came up from Baltimore with her son and husband Aaron Smith.

Aaron grew up here and got homesick for the comics, fancies and string bands -- their feathers, the sequins, the elaborate costumes and displays.

“Its like Rio, but cold,” said Smith.

Cold was an understatement as parade goers bundled up from head to toe. Some danced and cuddled to keep warm.

“it's a little chilly,” said one parade-goer.

Tom Robison, a fourth generation mummer, says dancing down the parade route is better than playing sports.

“Its in your blood. You meet a lot of great people, new friends… it's a great hobby,” said Robison who is part of the Woodland String Band.

Mayor Nutter strutted his stuff, umbrella in hand.

This year’s parade almost didn't happen as the city withdrew funding, but private donations helped saved the day.

No one attending the parade could imagine a New Year’s without a Mummers Parade.

“Its tradition,” said Delores Cross of North Philadelphia. “I love the costumes, the colors, the energy! I love it all!”

Christine Toniatti of South Philadelphia has a different opinion.

“I love the little ones! They're happy…they bounce up and down. They're a lot of fun,” said Toniatti.

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