As many of you know, the Avalon String Band was disqualified from the 2016 Mummers Parade for using a ground covering. The band rolled out a piece of blue fabric that turned into the Nile River towards the end of their routine and danced on it. The fans who interacted with me on New Year’s Day were very upset Avalon was DQ’d and wanted to know why something that seemed so minor was grounds for a DQ.
I believe the ground covering rule was established after the 2008 Mummers Parade. In 2006 and 2007 South Philadelphia String Band used full ground coverings to enhance their performance (see videos below). In 2008, South Philadelphia and Avalon both used full ground covering in their performance (see videos below). In 2009, the full ground coverings were gone from the string bands and have not returned. I tried to do some research about the Ground Covering Rule but there is nothing about it on the Internet. The reason I heard ground coverings were banned after the 2008 parade was due to slipping concerns.
Most people who saw Avalon’s performance realize that rolling out and dancing on a piece of blue fabric is not the same as the giant tarps used by South Philly and Avalon from 2006-2008. Apparently, the rule doesn’t leave room for interpretation and Avalon was DQ’d. Hopefully the string band rules will be revised in 2016 so that points are deducted for infractions instead of complete disqualification.
If anybody wants to provide additional clarification about the ground covering rule please post it in the comments section so it can be shared with everyone and I can update this article.