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Uptown String Band Philadelphia Mummers Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit charitable corporation promoting the cultural, historic and musical heritage of the Philadelphia Mummers Parade that officially began around 1902, many years before Mardi Gras. Uptown is one of 17 "Mummers String Bands" that performs in the annual parade on New Years day. The band also does parades, concerts, strolls, appearances at parties and picnics etc. all year long to raise money for the expensive mummers costumes and props. All of Uptown's musicians, officers and board members are volunteers. The Philadelphia Mummers String Bands are famous for their fancy sequined costumes built around each year's theme and also for a unique blend of instruments featuring banjos and many saxophones along with accordions, string bass, bells, percussion and violins.