Air apparent

Sat­urday’s snow­fall delayed but could not de­ter the an­nu­al Fancy Bri­gade Ser­en­ade.

“Well, I’m go­ing to be hon­est with you, al­co­hol is a big help,” Joan Mc­Mil­lan said early Sat­urday even­ing as she danced around, brav­ing freez­ing tem­per­at­ures along the 1800 block of South 11th Street. “Who really cares about the cold, though, when you can en­joy un­for­get­table ex­per­i­ences among your friends?”

The eager rev­el­er walked a short dis­tance from her Passy­unk Square home to catch the Fancy Bri­gade Ser­en­ade, con­tinu­ing a tra­di­tion that she star­ted two years ago when mov­ing from Pitt­s­burgh. Thanks to the day’s snow­fall, which the Na­tion­al Weath­er Ser­vice re­gistered as hit­ting 3.8 inches in South Philly, Mc­Mil­lan and oth­er joy­ful loc­als had their cel­eb­ra­tion delayed for 90 minutes, but once the party began, it was ap­par­ent that a bliz­zard could not have de­terred them from cel­eb­rat­ing with their Mum­mers Parade her­oes.

“When I went to the parade, the weath­er was im­macu­late, and today, not so much,” Marc En­nis said as he tightened his scarf. “You know what’s con­stant, though? How good these groups are.”

The Penns­port res­id­ent called him­self “spoiled” be­cause of the heavy con­cen­tra­tion of Mum­mers-re­lated activ­ity in his neigh­bor­hood. Through his vis­it to East Passy­unk Cross­ing, with the South Philly Vik­ings, this year’s parade vic­tor for their “It’s All in Your ‘Mime’” theme, as the host, En­nis ex­per­i­enced his second ser­en­ade and, like Mc­Mil­lan, faced the harsh winds with thanks to an al­co­hol­ic pick-me-up.

Every­one was in high spir­its as the bri­gades, minus their cos­tumes yet non­ethe­less vi­brant, presen­ted their well-re­ceived routines. They all en­joyed loud praise, with Tiffany James, 14, won­der­ing how Sat­urnali­an, with “The Gangs of New York” present­a­tion, did not take the top prize on New Year’s Day.

“They’re amaz­ing!” the Mar­coni girl shouted.

About an hour in­to the cel­eb­ra­tion, a few crowd mem­bers star­ted to talk about how tem­per­at­ures would soon drop in­to the teens. That fore­cast, however, couldn’t com­pete with Joe Pac­cini’s en­thu­si­asm.

“Oh, you can warm up in your beds later to­night,” the Passy­unk Square res­id­ent said. “Be­ing cold is a small price to pay for wel­com­ing 2017 again.” SPR

Con­tact Staff Writer Joseph My­ers at jmy­ers@south­phil­lyre­view.com.


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You can reach at jmyers@southphillyreview.com.