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Meet Ferko

Since 1922, the Joseph A. Ferko String Band has been entertaining audiences the world over. A participant in Philadelphia's annual Mummers Parade since 1923, the Ferko String Band boasts the most successful record in the history of the parade competition.  With prizes that include 20 Championships and placing in the top 5 a remarkable 87 out of 96 parade competitions, the Ferko String Band of Philadelphia has proven to be a model of consistency and professionalism. 

From New York to France, New Orleans to Italy, Texas to Hong Kong, and all points in between, the Ferko String Band has performed with its unique sound and elaborate costumes to people all over the world. Audiences of all ages sing and dance to the sights and sounds that are unique to the Ferko String Band Mummers of Philadelphia.

History Of The Ferko String Band

On a freezing cold evening in 1922, three men were chatting in a local restaurant on Market Street in Philadelphia. Through the course of the night, they founded what was to become a musical organization unparalleled by any other Mummers organization, the World Renowned Joseph A. Ferko String Band of Philadelphia.

From its first New Year's Day Mummers Parade in 1923, the band's history of prize-winning is unmatched.  This internationally known string band and marching unit has appeared in every parade since its inception.

In 1947 the Joseph A. Ferko String Band made its first recording and in the summer of 1955, they broke into "Billboards Top 100" with their version of "Alabama Jubilee". The week of July 16th 1955, "Alabama Jubilee" sold more copies than Fats Domino's "Ain't That A Shame" and Sammy Davis Jr.'s "That Old Black Magic”.


The Joseph A. Ferko String Band was marching in the annual New York Thanksgiving Day Parade and the grand marshal that year was Jackie Gleason. Upon seeing the elaborate costumes and hearing what he called "interesting music", he booked the band for two appearances on "The Jackie Gleason Show". The Ferko String Band also appears in "The Miracle on 34th Street" in two parts of this classic Christmas movie. Ferko was the first band to perform in the Republic of Cuba (1959), and has appeared on NBC's "Today Show" and ABC's "Good Morning America". 

In 1964, Joe Ferko, known to many as the dancing captain and a Philadelphia icon, passed away. Since then, seven individuals have had the honor to follow the Ferko legacy and legend as captains of The Ferko String Band. 


Today, the band is as strong as ever with its members ranging from 18 to 80 years of age, playing around the world and continuing the Ferko tradition of excellence.

Founder and Captain Joe Ferko