The Fancy Brigades are as much a part of New Year’s in Philadelphia as confetti celebrations, countdowns, and resolutions. Like clockwork on January 1st, clans of costumed members parade through the city streets, strutting and dancing throughout the day.

The Fancy Brigades put their own spin on a time-honored tradition by taking their revelry inside the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

The most theatrical of the bunch, the 12 clubs get into character with lavish costumes and elaborate floats and props, then take center stage to perform Broadway-quality choreographed performances.

Year after year, it’s a sequined-studded show no fan should miss.

Satin Slipper 2017

Fancy Brigade Fest Finale,
December 28-31

Because Fancy Brigades can’t contain their excitement for New Year’s Day…. Join them in a four-day end-of-year celebration, with spirited activities for the whole family to enjoy, and get an up-close look at what it takes to be a member of a fancy brigade and to put on a New Year’s Day spectacular.

As part of Fancy Brigade Fest, the Fancy Brigade Association provides activates for the whole family to enjoy all the while learning about Philadelphia, some of these activities include:

  • A Backstage Pass – Go a 50 minute behind the scenes tour with a veteran Fancy Brigade Captain as he walks you through the backstage frenzy and excitement as performers hurry to put on the finishing touches on floats, assemble props, don their costumes and rehearse their steps and struts.
  • Design Corner – Get a closer look at the mastermind behind the Fancy Brigade magic in a walk through an exhibit of costume renderings and award-winning suits in all their sequined splendor. Chat up with a designer to learn the latest trends in costuming, and tap into some creative inspiration.
  • Costume Party – Wonder what it’s like to walk a mile in a fancy brigade members’ shoes? Slip ’em on. And while you’re at it, try a whole costume on for size.
  • Make-And-Take Activities – To keep the experience alive the rest of the year, families and groups are invited to make keepsakes – great for show and tell.
  • Practice Makes Perfect – catch a sneak peak of the performances in store on New Year’s Day, as fancy brigade members mark time with props and music in a full-scale rehearsal.
  • Fancy Brigade Finale – January 1st

The Fancy Brigade Association offer two shows on New Year’s Day and an option for groups to have a private lunch on site with a private Fancy Brigade Visit.

Family Show

Calling all fun-loving groups and families, the New Year’s celebration gets started at 11:00 a.m., get into step with the merrymaking in a Giant Strut, and then catch the matinee at noon with four and a half minute performances by each of the 12 competing Fancy Brigades, followed by a chance to snap some pictures with performers on the show floor following the last performance.

Fancy Brigade Finale

Fancy Brigades put on the Ritz for top performance honors in the day’s second show, the judged show, slated for 5:00 p.m. Prizes are awarded based on judges’ reviews of choreography and costumes, with an overall winner and captain chosen. Of course, after all the mingling earlier in the week at the Fancy Brigade Fest Finale, you’re sure to have your own favorites.