PHILADELPHIA – Outrageously costumed and painted comic brigades and string bands have marched in Philadelphia in a Mardi Gras-like New Year's Day parade believed to be the nation's oldest folk festival.
Thousands of people lined the route for the century-old Mummers Parade along Broad Street, the city's main north-south thoroughfare. Colorful participants danced wildly and toted parasols while strutting their stuff.
The string bands wowed with huge floats while men in dresses formed the so-called wench brigades. The fancy brigades featured elaborate sets and dance routines.
Mummers clubs say they prepare all year for their big day.