LOWER SALFORD — As the Mummers All Stars started their set, Don Bader encouraged audience members at the Birches at Harleysville to sing along.
"This is not listening music. This is participating music," Bader said, telling the attendees to join in even if they didn't know the words.
From the sound of things, most of them did know the words to the songs performed, including "I'm looking over a four leaf clover," "On the way to Cape May," "It's a sin to tell a lie," "Fly Eagles Fly," You're a grand old flag," "Yankee Doodle Dandy," "When the saints go marching in," "Beer Barrel Polka," "Babyface," "You are my sunshine," and, of course, "Oh them golden slippers."
Each of the three members of the Mummers All Stars — Bader, Bob Haywood and Bob Lindberger — have marched in the parade for at least four decades.
"They're both in Uptown String Band," Lindberger said. "I'm with Greater Kensington String Band."
At 82, Lindberger said he has been playing music 71 years and was in the Mummers parade for 55 years.
Being a Mummer isn't a one day a year thing, the three said before the start of their performance on Feb. 12.
"All the bands are busy all year," Bader said. "It's not just a New Year's Day thing. New Year's Day costs us about a hundred thousand dollars for our band and we're out earning that money all the time."
Uptown String Band, which is based in Langhorne, performs at five places on the fourth of July, Haywood said.
St. Patrick's Day and other holidays are also busy times, Bader said.
"All those major holidays, towns all over the East Coast have parades," he said, "so we parade and we have shows."
The Mummers All Stars also perform at other shows, including for retirement communities and weddings, Lindberger said. He can be contacted at 267-626-8071 to book a show.
Souderton resident Frank Hennessey, who was one of the members of the public attending the performance, said he had often gone to see the parade in Philadelphia.
"My uncle was a captain. That was way back when they had the big headdresses," Hennessey said.
Information about the Birches at Harleysville is available at www.thebirchesatharleysville.com.