My favorite mummers

Sure the holidays are over — I even celebrated their passing on this very blog — but I do feel a responsibility to share some of my favorite snaps from the Mummers Parade.

For those of you who’ve never beheld this event, imagine if David Lynch and Darren Arnofsky were given combined control over the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. What I mean to say is that there’s a lot of weirdness and a lot of tension.

But it’s also really beautiful. ¬†And please no discussion on The Black Swan.

15 responses to “My favorite mummers”

  1. lane says:

    me too.

  2. AWB says:

    Excellent. When I saw some of this in person, my eyes couldn’t really take it in; I was too hung over and it was too weird, so my brain replaced the images with a few phrases (hostile dayglo satin) and called it a day. These are gorgeous/scary.

  3. F. P. Smearcase says:

    It’s like I was there!
    (which i was)

    My favorite/the one that makes me most uncomfortable is the second from the bottom.

  4. AWB says:

    3 and 4 make me the most uncomfortable—3 because it reminds me of Aliens, and 4 because it reminds me of Ron Jeremy.

  5. ScottyGee says:

    Thanks for all the nice feedback. 4 is actually the most tragic. That particular mummer is riding on the tailgate of a truck because, presumably, he wasn’t feeling too well — he certainly doesn’t look very healthy…

  6. AWB says:

    I wondered that when we were watching the Fancy brigade competitions; how many of these guys are constitutionally incapable of walking several miles and then dancing, especially with 30-pound costumes on?

  7. Tim Wager says:

    #4: Mummer on a bummer.

    #2: There’s a hint of Ben Franklin to him, around the eyes and mouth. I love that it’s not enough to be dressed up like a clown. No, he also has to have a clown on his hat.

    #3: Creepy cake decorations come to life. And again with the duplicated clowns: a clown’s head inside of a clown’s mouth.

    I’m sure I could look it up and probably will later, but is there some sort of minstrel connection with Mummers? Banjos and pancake makeup.

  8. ScottyGee says:

    8: That’s a good question. There was one instance of racist costumes that we witnessed: a group of white men dressed as 19th century Chinese railroad workers.

    The Mummer history page seems to blur the minstrel connection, but the Mummer theme song is “Oh Dem Golden Slippers,” which was performed by some minstrel acts.

  9. That second-from-the-bottom one is pretty wild.

  10. Seems like the left half of it would be a good FB avatar.

  11. AWB says:

    11: The disgruntled clown-in-clown would, too.

  12. swells says:

    We’ve spent long hours guffawing at how chapped that clown-in-the-mouth-of-a-clown is. Scotty actually has a whole series of photos of him, trying to adjust the damn thing so it isn’t so (presumably) itchy, sweaty, askew, heavy, chafing . . . This one is the prizewinner but it’s possible to take in the entire sequence of irritability.

  13. LP says:

    This all feels very “Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” – supposed to be fun, bright and happy, but actually kinda creepy and dark. Fantastic photos, Scottygee.

  14. Jeremy says:

    I love reliving these memories with all of you… Thanks, Scotty.