Colorful costumes abound at Philly Mummers Parade

By PATRICK WALTERS | January 1, 2013 | 7:32 PM EST

Members of the South Philadelphia String Band, dressed as pigs, strum along during their performance of Famers "Barnyard Moosical" during the 113th Annual Mummer's parade in Philadelphia, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013. (AP Photo/The Philadelphia Inquirer, Michael Bryant) PHIX OUT; TV OUT; MAGS OUT; NEWARK OUT

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Mardi Gras-like New Year's Day parade believed to be the nation's oldest folk festival has been held in Philadelphia.

The century-old annual Mummers Parade features thousands of performers dressed in colorful costumes adorned with sequins and feathers. Tuesday's parade boasted painted comics, string bands and other brigades marching down Broad Street, the city's main north-south thoroughfare.

One skit featured a glittery yellow tank and a gigantic red, white and blue hat and was geared toward thanking members of the military. Another featured performers who amassed into a sea of pink to commemorate breast cancer awareness.

Houston resident John Akard is visiting Philadelphia and took in the dizzying and deafening scene of debauchery for the first time. He says the Mummers Parade is "a little crazy."