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James May of James May Costume Company has been making Mummers costumes for over 50 years.

“It’s something that gets in your blood. It doesn’t feel like New Year’s, it doesn’t feel like a holiday unless you have a little bit of mummery,” said Jim May.

Back in the day, he made an average of 1,200 suits per year in his shop located in Delaware County.

“There used to be eight different styles per group, eight different sizes, all different colors…I don’t think I can handle it today.”

Technically retiring three years ago, Jim will be 80 years old in February.

“I wish I was younger because there’s not really that many costumers that are doing this field.”

This year, Jim scaled back his work to 30 suits and two captain suits. With the supply shortages, it’s possible that costumes will be more expensive this year with an average suit already costing well over one thousand dollars.

“Last year was a little bleak but this year they’re coming back strong. They’re excited. They’re building beautiful costumes. It’s going to be a beautiful parade.”

You can watch the Mummers Parade all day long on PHL17. Coverage kicks off with Breakfast with the Mummers starting at 8 AM.