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Originally published Tuesday, January 1, 2013 at 4:06 PM

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Colorful costumes abound at Philly Mummers Parade

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

Associated Press

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PHILADELPHIA —

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."

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