PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - Thousands are expected to pour into the city for one of Philadelphia's oldest New Year's traditions. Preparations are underway for the annual Mummer's Parade.
It's not quite show time but these 3-hour rehearsal slots at the Convention Center all weekend are designed to feel like it. Louie Castelli is running a tight ship as captain of the South Philly Vikings.
"To make sure we get all ready for Tuesday. It is Tuesday right?" joked Castelli.
Yup. It is. The annual New Year's Day Mummers Parade in Philly demands perfection even during rehearsals.
"I just want to make sure everybody's moving when they're supposed to, getting to their spots and I want to make sure float movement is right," said Castelli. The different clubs have been moving props here to store and assemble everything ahead of the big show. Crews are on ladders; some are dressing floats while others are zipping around moving equipment.
"We've got to pull it together now and get right," said Castelli.
Back in South Philly though 18-year old Nick Blackford is excited to be part of the Hegeman String Band.
"I came over there this year. They offered me a suit so I came to play base drum." He's continuing a family tradition.
"I've been a mum since I popped up the womb." He’s not kidding either.
"My parents were both in Hegeman then my dad went to South Philly and my mom and my grandmother stayed at Hegeman," said Blackford.
Dan Tursi is building props and sets and has been for at least 30 years.
"We're just covering some stuff that's going to get decorated and fitting all these things together," he said and with one goal in mind. Winning.
"See this is what it's all about right there. See them championships," said Tursi.