When the most colorful group in Philly comes out to play, JPG is always there. It wasn’t their traditional New Years Day event, but the Mummers put on an unbelievable show in their first ever February Parade to raise money for the Mummers String Bands. This bright, colorful event is completely different and totally Philly. We just couldn’t miss it, even in the February cold.
This group represented the highest quality of Mummers, a status that is tough to attain and even harder to keep up, considering the cost of gear and their elaborate costumes. As a business of the Manayunk community, we got involved immediately by sponsoring a band. These are people who spend hours and hours practicing and tons of their own money, all for our entertainment and to keep this Philly tradition alive. It’s the kind of thing you want to give back to. Lots of our staff and family members came along to the parade with buckets full of Mardi Gras beads to give away for donations. When we heard our band play, everyone cheered them on like they were rooting for our hometown team.
JPG was on the ground to shoot the entire event for the Manayunk Development Corporation. We love organized chaos and that’s exactly what shooting a parade is. In the beginning, there’s a lot of waiting where you’re trying to capture the mood, followed by more waiting. All of a sudden it starts and it just does not stop. You want to find the best angle, while maneuvering from within the dense crowds. You also can’t be everywhere at once, so you have to trust your instincts to know when to stay with the moment and when to jump to the next subject. You definitely need sturdy footwear (and to watch out for giant bass drums that could spike you in the head.)
We had no idea how many people were going to come out but they had a huge crowd that packed the streets. The Mummers were even dancing with the audience, pulling them into the parade and firing confetti into the air. It was an energizing and fun day that made for some awesome photos for a great hometown cause!