Annual Daily News Guide to the Mummers Parade String Bands

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Wednesday January 1, 2014,The 2014 Mummers Fest and Fancy Brigade Finale at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Here, The Downtowners captain Frankie Devito performs. ( ED HILLE / Staff Photographer )

YES, THE MUMMERS are marching on Broad Street in 2015, but a lot's changed as the parade heads - literally - in a new direction. The Daily News, as always, has exclusive details about the String Bands. Uptown will step off at 12:20 p.m. New Year's Day, on Arch Street between 15th and 16th streets, and the other bands will follow at 10-minute intervals. The first band should reach the City Hall judging area by 1:30 p.m.

New this year is the opportunity to watch string bands practice on JFK Boulevard, between 16th and 20th Streets, and on the Ben Franklin Parkway as they await their turns to march.

Be there to cheer them down Broad Street! If you can't, PHL17.com/Live will stream the parade, which starts at 10 a.m. Or tune in to PHL17 for TV coverage.

Note: The number in parentheses below indicates a band's 2014 prize. And, as always, thanks to Joe Leso for his help preparing this guide.

 

Uptown String Band (10)

Captain: Ryan Radcliffe

Theme: The InTENTS, UnBEARable, and AXtreme Outdoors

Join Uptown's colorful campers as they mountain-climb, hunt, fish and serenade by the campfires. Beware of the wild animals, though, especially the bears and beavers. There's a patriotic conclusion to this camping trip, as Park Ranger Captain Ryan Radcliffe presents the national landmark Old Faithful.

 

Greater Overbrook String Band (15)

Captain: "Wild" Bill Razzano

Theme: Brazilliant!

A journey to Rio for the fun, excitement and beauty of Carnival. Brazilian rhythms of the samba, mambo and bossa nova create a perfect mood for fun and frivolity. Join in the conga line as it moves to the hypnotic beat of Latin percussion. Capt. Razzano is the Samba King.

 

Duffy String Band (12)

Captain: Ted Kudrick

Theme: Log-A-Rhythm

The Duffy Logging Company, led by foreman Paul Bunyan, occupies a forest of foolery and amusement. Listen for the Anvil Chorus and a band of theatrical beavers.

Not to be outdone are the lumber "Jills," who perform "I Feel Pretty," and the booming voices of the lumberjacks singing their national anthem. Look for Paul Bunyan (and baby Bunyan) ride out through the trees on Babe, the blue ox.

 

Durning String Band (16)

Captain: Joe Pomante

Theme: Bootin' Scootin' and Nashville Hootin'

Head south to the famous "Music City," Nashville, Tenn., and to the Grand Ole Opry for some honky-tonk, boot-kickin' entertainment.

Fiddles and violins are plentiful, as are 40-gallon cowboy hats and different styles of square and line dancing to a soundtrack of familiar country hits. Capt. Joe Pomante is the "Rhinestone Cowboy." Durning is noted for their unique and comedic themes.

 

South Philadelphia String Band (3)

Captain: Denny Palandro

Theme: Gangs of Gotham

Gotham's most dangerous criminals are on the loose after the Joker breaks Batman's archenemies out of Arkham Asylum, including the Riddler, Mr. Freeze, Catwoman and the Mad Hatter. Music includes the iconic TV "Batman Theme."

Explosions abound in this presentation - South Philly is known for its elaborate props.

Will the caped crusader stop these evil doers? Tune in on New Year's Day - same Bat Time, same Bat Channel.

 

Aqua String Band (9)

Captain: Ken Maminski

Theme: When Swing Was King

Get "In the Mood" as the Aqua "Swing" Band plays popular songs from a time when Swing was king. Selections include "Sing, Sing Sing," "Jumpin' at the Woodside," "Take the 'A' Train" and "Moonlight Serenade." New Capt. Maminski is the ostentatious bandleader. He also plays the bass fiddle.

 

Greater Kensington String Band (13)

Captain: Harry Bradley

Theme: Moonshine Mountain

Tucked in the foothills of the Appalachians is Moonshine Mountain, where Greater Kensington's free-spirited hillbillies invite you to enjoy a jug of moonshine and some good old mountain music. The soundtrack blends American folk songs with music of the hills, including a jug band. Fixin' to have fun, the mountain hideaway is complete with a still and spinning cabin.

 

Fralinger String Band (5)

Captain: Scott Wray

Theme: The Machine

Fralinger propels you to the year 3015, a future in which man and machine are one. But a revolution of the mechanical men is on the horizon!

The wired-for-sound, science-fiction score features the "Back to the Future" theme song, the theme from "The Jetsons" and the theme from "The Incredibles," uniquely played by Fralinger. This will be a futuristic mummer performance with metal, circuits, lights, wires, gears, transformers and a 10-foot-tall robot.

 

Polish American String Band (8)

Captain: Nick Magenta

Theme: Fifty Shades of Hay

A typical day on the farm? Little did Polish American's vibrant farmers know that they would be chasing crows, corralling cows and pigs, and trying to answer the age-old question: what came first, the chicken or the egg?

Expect toe-tapping, farm-favorite tunes. Props range from an authentic 1940s John Deere tractor to a bi-plane crop duster. Captain Nick Magenta is the lone scarecrow who oversees the operation while in constant battle with his nemeses, the crows.

 

Peter A. Broomall String Band (14)

Captain: Peter J. Broomall, Sr.

Theme: Alice In Wonderland: We're All Mad Here

Journey with Alice into a Wonderland world. The cast consists of some not-so-ordinary characters, including white rabbits, Mad Hatters, the Queen's Knaves of Hearts soldiers, Tweedle Dees, Tweedle Dums and the magical Cheshire Cat. Don't be late for a very important date at the Mad Tea Party. Captain Broomall is the Mad Hatter.

 

Quaker City String Band (1)

Captain: Jim Good

Theme: One Man's Trash Is This Band's Treasure

The defending champs bring a junkyard to life. Quaker's lovable, pandering band of hobos transform rubbish into beautiful musical scenes, to the chagrin of the junkyard workers trying to usher them off the site.

Will the vagrant vaudevillians end up in a car crusher or face the biggest junkyard dog anyone has ever seen? The score features hobo-related tunes. Highbrow Hobo Capt. Good is the Emperor of Unemployment.

 

Woodland String Band (4)

Captain: Tom Robison

Theme: One Heart One Spirit

Silence is spread across the land. With your ear to the ground you can hear the heartbeat of Mother Nature, as Woodland welcomes the New Year with a tribal celebration.

Expect a high-intensity show with over-the-top props and a familiar musical score. The colorful costumes are a representation of Mother Nature.

 

Pennsport String Band (11)

Captain: Charlie Nicholas

Theme: The Pirates of Pennsport

Pennsport's scrappy band of pirates return to port from their recent sea adventure, where imbibing and dancing are plentiful.

The celebration of the buccaneers' return will not be spoiled as they encounter a band of swashbucklers and a pesky crocodile. Arrgh! Watch for the pirate ship and the peg-leg dance.

 

Avalon String Band (7)

Captain: Jack Hee

Theme: The Sky's the Limit Episode II: Revenge of the Fallen

A voyage to the hostile planet Mumtropolis, located in a galaxy far, far away. This is a good vs. evil, outer-space saga between the native "Avalonians" and evil Lord Hee (Capt. Hee) and his army of aliens.

You'll encounter UFOs, asteroid showers, light-saber battles and giant, 12-foot space creatures - all against a backdrop of beautiful red terrain and imagery of the galaxies and stars. The nonstop action defies gravity. Music includes familiar "Star Wars" and "Star Trek" themes.

 

Hegeman String Band (2)

Captain: John P. Baron (1)

Theme: Immortal Utopia

One-of-a-kind production features a magical "powerful source" within the forest that controls the immortal dwellers.

This higher being casts spells, turning all new inhabitants into unexpected characters. This creepy progression takes place through costume and color changes and secretive special effects. Capt. Baron, first-prize captain in 2014, is the "powerful source."

 

Joseph A. Ferko String Band (6)

Captain: Anthony Celenza

Theme: India

The history, culture, traditions and mythology of India are explored in a visual and musical celebration. Watch the procession of the Maharaja atop one of India's iconic decorative elephants. See the Bengal Tigers and the Bhangra Dancers. Visit the Taj Mahal, one of the wonders of the world. Watch the yogis meditate and levitate. Musically, Ferko puts a unique twist on the distinct traditional sounds of India.

Note: The Original Trilby String Band (17) will not march this year, but plans to return in 2016.