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Mummers Prepare For 114th Parade

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PHILADELPHIA -

We are just five days from an annual Philadelphia tradition kicking off, the Mummers Parade.

Come January, the event will welcome in the New Year for 114 years.

The fancies, the strings, and the comics are all putting on the final touches for the event.

FOX 29's Jennifer Joyce is live behind the scenes at the convention center where preparations are underway.

Cutting, drilling, painting--a behind the scenes look at the fancy brigade prepping for the 114th mummers parade on New Year's Day.

"In 1901, we started doing it on Broad Street, and it became – captured the imagination, I think, of people in the city, especially on Second Street and in South Philly," City Parade Director Leo Dignam said.

The long-running Philadelphia tradition is going strong.

"It's more of a passion, like Rose-Bowl-meets-Mardi-Gras Parade," said Charlie Kueny, the financial secretary of the fancy brigade.

Kueny has been a mummer for 36 years.

"If it's in your blood, it's hard to walk away," he said.

This year, the brigade welcomes its newest club, the Spartan Fancy Brigade. The parade is continuing its push to appeal to the entire family, which Dignam said includes, "more bleacher seats, (portable toilets), restrooms, food trucks …"

Crews will be working 12-hour days through New Year's Eve to put the finishing touches on their floats and prepare to compete before tens of thousands of spectators.

"We have groups coming in from Spain, Ireland and most states in the U.S.," Dignam said.

According to city officials, a heavy volume of visitors could mean an economic impact of as much as $20 million for Philadelphia.

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