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Mummers Ditch Tradition For Spectacle

By Paul Kurtz

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) --- The Mummers have decided to do away with some long-standing traditions when they step out this year. Members have been working all year on ideas to create more excitement for the parade.

It's a drastic and much-needed change, says parade director Leo Dignam.

"Now we're gonna start at 15th and Market, right in front of Dilworth Park," he says. "They're gonna perform there, which is where the judging is done, and then they're gonna march south on Broad Street down to Washington and disperse at Broad and Washington."

With the pressure off, Philadelphia String Band Association President Tom Loomis says the performers will be able interact more with the Broad street crowd.

"We want to make sure the people come up and ask to have a picture taken with us," he says. "We want to be able to play songs just for the people in the crowd. We want to play songs they recognize. Our shows tend to be a little complex musically, but our music on the street is still good old-fashioned Mummers music and we want to show them we still have that."

Organizers also say a shorter, tighter parade will save the city money... through police officers and street closures.

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