VIDEO: South Jersey's Durning String Band Preps for Mummers ParadePosted:
GLOUCESTER CITY - New Year’s Day is a new beginning for most, but for a certain group of performers, it’s the grand finale.
On New Year's Day, 17 string bands will be dancing, playing instruments, and showing off their “Mummers Strut” in Philadelphia, but one group will be continuing its tradition of bringing something a little different to the judge's stand.
“The fact of the matter is we always try to become unique in the way we do things," said Joseph Pomante, captain of the Durning String Band. "We try to lighten up the theme with some type of comedy in there. This year we’ve put together a theme with money, and naturally, added the Price is Right.”
“We try to do something different every year — being off the wall," said Ed Eells, VP of the Durning String Band. "We’ve done a lot of different things over the years, and everybody wonders what we’re going to do next, because we’re different, you know? And we like it that way.”
Durning is one of only two South Jersey-based string bands to perform in the annual Mummers parade. This will be the band's 81st performance as its members strut their stuff throughout Philadelphia on New Year’s Day.
“The excitement, the energy, the fun, the camaraderie, the friendship that lies within the band — that’s the most important part, and that’s the most exciting part about the whole thing,” said Pomante.
The string band incorporated its theme, “All Dollared Up,” with money-themed music, costumes, and props. But between all of the hard work and practice, the band members take time to remember one of their own.
“Durning String Band will be going up this year with a heavy heart, because we’re dedicating this to a member that had passed away in the beginning of the year, Tim Gamble,” said Pomante.
With the big performance coming up tomorrow, the band is banking on having a great time, despite what their score may be.
"We are so tired, but we’re moving on, you know, because we know it’s crunch time, and we have to push just a little more to make this all happen," said Pomante.
"Good luck on New Years Day," said Eells. "It doesn’t matter who wins or who loses, just as long as we have fun. That’s all that matters."
SNJ Today is a Southern New Jersey news and information source based in Millville, New Jersey, that is dedicated to providing current stories related specifically to South Jersey.