The Coney Island Mermaid Parade happened on June 17th, it was the 35th anniversary of the parade and the 90th anniversary of the Cyclone wooden rollercoaster. It was my first time attending this Summer tradition at Coney Island. Unfortunately, the weather was not my friend and made sure that I knew it. It poured so hard, that I’m sure some people in Queens were planning to build another ark. I was meeting Becca from Tea With B Blog and Lynn and Justin from MadHattersNYC, in Coney Island and they were already braving the monsoon. I was late to the being soaked party but I got my portion of the soak-ation. I didn’t have my good camera, unfortunately, that has to be repaired. But I did get some shots on my phone but it didn’t last the whole parade because I had the GPS on! Such an unprofessional blogger!! I know I’m slacking, forgive me.
What Is the Coney Island Mermaid Parade About Anyway?
it is a parade that happens yearly around the beginning of Summer, it incorporates mythology, and carnival themes in a distinctly New York way and ends on the Coney Island Boardwalk. I guess to return the mermaids to the sea, maybe? And for us to enjoy the park. From the parade’s web page it further explains the theme of the parade like this”
The MERMAID PARADE specifically was founded in 1983 with 3 goals: it brings mythology to life for local residents who live on streets named Mermaid and Neptune ; it creates self-esteem in a district that is often disregarded as “entertainment”; and it lets artistic New Yorkers find self-expression in public.
Unlike most parades, this one has no ethnic, religious, or commercial aims. It’s a major New York holiday invented by artists! An American version of the summer-solstice celebration, it takes pride of place with West African Water Festivals and Ancient Greek and Roman street theater. It’s features participants dressed in hand-made costumes based on themes and categories set by us. This creates an artistic framework on which artists can improvise, resulting in the flourishing of frivolity, dedication, pride, and personal vision that has become how New York celebrates summer.
Here Are My Reasons For Seeing the Coney Island Mermaid Parade
- The creativity of the costumes only rivals Halloween, in fact, Lynn and I commented on how some of the costumes could have been recycled (very ingeniously from Halloween because they were so topical). Also the play on popularity, like zombie mermaids, comic book mermaids, Clamilton (Clam+Hamilton) etc.
- If you ever wanted to let your freak flag fly, this is the event to do that. The parade didn’t have a demographic, an age range, a lifestyle, a sexual orientation, or a denomination. Everyone was there and represented without shame. And I need to add that it is one of the most body positive places to be, especially because or in spite of the near-complete nudity. All sizes and shapes, colors, capable and handi-capable.
- King Neptune and Queen Mermaid were Chris Stein and Deborah Harry from iconic group Blondie! And of course, I didn’t get a picture of that at all. But it was cool to see them lead off the parade. There is always next year to get better pictures, right?
Coney Island is easily accessible by multiple train lines, although it is a trip for most New Yorkers. Have you ever been to the Coney Island Mermaid Parade? Did you enjoy it? If not, do you have a parade that is similar in your town that you want to recommend? Tell me all about it in the comments below!
Until our next rendezvous…