PHILADELPHIA (AP) - 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 are people who wear fancy costumes and disguises and put on shows. Mummer clubs say they prepare all year for their big day.
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