Thousands headed to Surf Ave. in Coney Island yesterday for the 34th annual Mermaid parade where King Neptune and a Queen Mermaid lead vibrant dancers and creatively costumed participants down Surf Ave. then around and back down along the boardwalk on a picture perfect day of 81 and clear. This Transformer made sure he stayed clear of the surf though so to not rust his gears.
From the parades site; The Mermaid Parade, a completely original creation of Coney Island USA, it’s the nation’s largest art parade and one of New York City’s greatest summer events. It’s like the Halloween Parade in summer.
A celebration of ancient mysticism, mythology and rock & roll of the seaside, it showcases over 3,000 creative costumes from all over the five boroughs and beyond, commencing the summer with incredible artwork, spirit and pride in community. The parade highlights Coney Island Pageantry based on a century of many Coney parades, celebrates the artistic vision of the masses, and ensures that the summer season is a success by bringing hundreds of thousands of people to the amusement area in a single day.
The MERMAID PARADE began in 1983 with 3 goals in mind: To bring 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.
This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.