Mummers! Who knew?
According to a history of the parade from the sponsoring New Year's Shooters and Mummers Assn., it began with the custom of immigrants going door to door on New Year's Day and dancing while reciting rhymes such as,
"Here we stand before your door As we stood the year before. Give us whiskey; give us gin Open the door and let us in."
Say, why don't we have cheerful immigrants like the old-timey ones any more?