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Philly fetes New Year’s with Mummers Parade but new twists draw flak

AP

Outrageously costumed Mummers have strutted and twirled at Philadelphia’s annual New Year’s Day parade, a colorful celebration that features string bands, comic brigades, elaborate floats and plenty of feathers and sequins.

Participants danced wildly and toted parasols Friday down Broad Street, the city’s main north-south thoroughfare, during the 116th edition of what has been called Philadelphia’s Mardi Gras.

New this year was the “Philadelphia Division,” meant to inject some diversity into the parade, with two new Hispanic performance groups, a black drill team and the LGBT Miss Fancy Brigade.

But some critics called the parade offensive, with one performing group painting their faces brown to portray Mexicans and a comic brigade mocking Caitlyn Jenner.

Dozens of activists from the Black Lives Matter movement used the parade to stage a protest.