Every January I receive multiple emails, tweets, and messages from people asking about the String Band Show of Shows. The most frequent question I get is “When is the Show of Shows going to be held?”. As most of you know who follow this blog, the String Band Show of Shows quietly ended after the 2013 performance in Atlantic City.
In 2014, a new string band event emerged called Mummers Mardi Gras. Mummers Mardi Gras was first held in the Northern Liberties section of Philadelphia in 2014 as a 21 and over festival at The Schmidt’s Commons. The inaugural event featured four string bands, vendors and cover band Split Decision playing throughout the day. The Mummers Mardi Gras festival was reinvented in 2015 with a family-friendly focus in mind. Mummers Mardi Gras was relocated to Main Street in Manayunk, allowing for more string bands to participate, and opened the festival to Mummers fans of all ages. For 2018, the Mummers Mardi Gras festival will be an indoor event. The event will be held at the 2300 Arena in South Philly. You can read about the 2018 Mummers Mardi Gras festival and learn how to purchase tickets to the event.
I loved going to the Show of Shows as a kid and I’m still bummed it’s not being held anymore. It was a lot of fun going backstage at the Philadelphia Civic Center and most recently the Atlantic City Convention Center to see the bands warm up and play music in the pit before they went out on the stage and performed for the audience. I feel that the new Mummers Mardi Gras festival in South Philly will be trying to capture the spirit of the Show of Shows. I hope it’s a success.
Looking around online, I found some great videos from the old Show of Shows. Share your Show of Shows memories in the comments section below.