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Mummers' Fancy Brigades Working Feverishly Toward Thursday's Show

By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The Mummers' Fancy Brigades are using the last hours until New Year's Day for putting the finishing touches on their elaborate productions at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

It's a last-minute flurry of feathers -- not to mention, stapling, gluing, and drilling -- as the eleven Fancy Brigades complete their extravagant Broadway-style backdrops and backpieces that will adorn their indoor performances.

"All the pretty stuff goes on today -- feathers, glitter, mirrors, jewels, stuff like that," says Frank DeVito, captain of the Downtowners club.  DeVito says his crew will be working right up until the first show, which takes place at 12 noon on New Year's Day.

"We have one game a year," he notes.  "It's like the Super Bowl."

Next to a big magic lamp, Jeannie Costa of the Golden Crown club was dressing a huge Aladdin.

"I sewed all the material at home," she tells KYW Newsradio.  "We're putting it together piece by piece, sleeves and vests, and hopefully it'll look its best for New Year's Day."

The city doesn't offer prize money anymore.  DeVito says the fancy brigades are competing for pride and to continue a Philadelphia tradition.

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