National Geographic : 2001 Jan
A CENTURY OF REVELRY IN PHILADELPHIA'S MUMMERS PARADE jumping their parasolsin giddy unison, revelers in greasepaint and white satin frolic in the streets of Philadelphia on New Year's Day 2000. They're called Mummers (probablyafter the Ger man wordfor disguise) -thousands of mostly white blue-collarguys who nearly every Janu ary 1 since 1901 have paraded through the city in wild arrayfrom head to spray-paintedtoe (above). At its peak in the 1940s the parade drew two million spec tators. Today fewer than a quartermillion come-so few that last year's route was cut from 2.5 miles to ten blocks. The Mummers remain defiantly merry. Says Tom Quinn, who rose before dawn to march, "I'm not out herefor anyone but tradition."