The Mermaid Parade, Coney Island, NYC
June 22, 2019
Happy (Belated) Summer!
I attended my very first Mermaid Parade, which is a hugely attended and publicized event every June at Coney Island, here in NYC. What is The Mermaid Parade? Their website, which can be viewed by clicking here, says it best..
“A completely original creation of Coney Island USA (the not for profit arts organization at 1208 Surf Avenue), the Mermaid Parade is the nation's largest art parade and one of New York City's greatest summer events.
A celebration of ancient mythology and honky-tonk rituals of the seaside, it showcases over 3,000 creative individuals from all over the five boroughs and beyond, opening the summer with incredible art, entrepreneurial spirit and community pride. 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 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 some shots from that day, which were also featured by MUSEE MAGAZINE (seen here).