Monday, June 23, 2008

Mermaid Parade in Coney Island, Brooklyn NY

Every summer, the first Saturday after the summer solstice, Coney Island, in Brooklyn, New York welcomes the summer with a Mermaid Parade along Surf Avenue. This year was the 25 annual year of the event.

From the Coney Island web site:

"The Mermaid Parade celebrates the sand, the sea, the salt air and the beginning of summer, as well as the history and mythology of Coney Island, Coney Island pride, and artistic self-expression. The Parade is characterized by participants dressed in hand-made costumes as Mermaids, Neptunes, various sea creatures, the occasional wandering lighthouse, Coney Island post card or amusement ride, as well as antique cars, marching bands, drill teams, and the odd yacht pulled on flatbed. "

As you can see below even the New York City Police are geared for the parade riding their Segway to do crowd control.


The participants of the parade range in age from babies to seniors, but the mermaids are predominately the young and the beautiful, and often very scantily dressed!

Mermaids and sea creatures of every shape and size are represented, and the audience, which numbers in the hundreds of thousands, is festive and appreciative.



Anyone can march in the parade, as long as they register in advance. It is a wild and raucous "free for all" art parade that will truly make you say: "Only in New York!"


It's fabulous, flamboyant, and anything goes!


People come from all over the world to participate in, and watch the parade.


The parade is followed by the Mermaid Parade Ball, a post parade gathering where costumed parade participants can get together with each other, and parade spectators, to listen to live music, purchase raffle tickets, and watch burlesque and sideshow acts. It's very Coney Island!



The parade begins in the afternoon and lasts around three hours, so many people spend the rest of the day walking along the boardwalk, or enjoying the beach and the Atlantic Ocean,


There is some concern over what will happen to the parade next year, as the area is expected to undergo a large new development, and many of the amusement rides will be closed, and Surf Avenue may have areas closed for construction.


Hopefully, this wonderfully fun Coney Island tradition will go on for many more years!


Tonight the winner of my 100 post give away will be randomly chosen, and I'll announce the winner on my blog tomorrow! There is still time to enter if you haven't already. Good Luck!

28 comments:

Dana said...

Now that looks like a blast! Being from the Mid-west I have never heard of the Mermaid Parade, but I am pretty sure I would like it. Your pictures were very entertaining and certainly gave me the "feel" of the festivities you enjoyed!

Diane@A Picture is Worth.... said...

Looks like fun. I bet there is always something to do there! LOL
Your pics are great!

willow said...

Looks like you had a lot of fun, Pat. Great tradition.

Betsy said...

That looks like so much fun! :)

PAT said...

Looks like a fun event, Pat. Thanks, once again, for sharing your part of the world with us!

Pat

Lavinia Ladyslipper said...

What a fun idea. Look at all the creative costumes....I had never heard of this parade before. Coney Island stands for summertime fun, doesn't it...

I love the Lobster...what a hoot it looks like everyone's having...

And of course, you had me at the mention of "mermaids".

French said...

Just wanted to drop in and say hello! Seen your name over at Kathy's! And since we are both RN's figured what a great common ground to start on! Love the pics of the parade what fun it seems to be! Lisa (aka French;)

Joanne Kennedy said...

What a fun post. I had to smile because just last night I was telling my sister about your blog and that I hoped you one day would post about Coney Island. Then here you are.

I've never been there but have heard many stories about it from my mom. She used to go there when she was young and lived in NY.

It's always had a flair of romance to me as it reminded me of the olden days and of young lovers holding hands and walking along the boardwalk.

How fun! Just another reason for me to want to go back to NY. How sad if they take it away though.

Hugs,
Joanne

Lisa B. said...

OMG Pat that is wonderful!! I can't believe I've never heard of it. I want to be a mermaid!!!!

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Looks like fun and a little girl's dream event! I'll be back tomorrow for sure...

Beverly said...

Pat, this looks like great fun. I spotted the Nathan's - we always had one in Fort Lauderdale when I was a kid.

I love Segways. Wonder if I can have one of my own when I grow up?

Nihal said...

Pat carissima,
Parades...yeap, I know how colorful and joyful times there in the US, that I've experienced for a few times. Looks like all you had a lot of fun and happy hours, did you save me;)
By the way, you kindly ask me to link me on your page? Oh sure, no need to ask. As you know I'd love to be linked from my top fave NY:) Would be more delicious even from my chocolate thing:) *smile*

Be the bridge between our zones, Pat, I just cannot wait for tomorrow morning:)

Hope you get a wonderful start for a new week ahead of us.

Creatively yours,

PS I'll re-read this article because we are having some tech problems online, and cannot view clearly the pictures sadly...

Kathy said...

Hi pat, I'm back. I am enjoying New York as much as I enjoyed Ireland, it is making me have itchy feet, I know, I know I have only just stepped off the plane, but it's your fault haha. you make it look so exciting and I need a copy of the ocean waves for my next long haul flight, so soothing. have a lovely week, hugs, Kathy.

Sal said...

What a fabulous,colourful parade!! Sal;-)

nanatrish said...

Loving the Mermaids! Coney Island always sounds so fun and now I've seen that it is. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Looks like fun. Would love to go
Pat H.

lisa said...

it's even more fun when you walk in it!! i had a blast - despite the sunburn :-)

Pat said...

Thanks for posting a comment, Pat H!It's always nice to hear form non bloggers too!

Thanks everyone -- Coney Island has changed so many times since it's inception but it always seems to be a place for a good time and some magic!

Cori G. said...

That is halarious! I don't think I spelled that right.
We have the Doo Dah Parade that is held every year in Pasadena It's very similar. So Funny to watch!

CucinaCaraMia said...

How Cool! How long has the Mermaid Parade been going on? I do remember those Nathan Hot Dogs, and of course the roller coaster at Coney Island. Nice to see the crazy New Yorkers are still having a good old time!!

Strider said...

Looks like some of the celebrations in New Orlenes. Thanks for sharing.

M.Kate said...

Hi Pat, wow, never heard of mermaid parade, how cool. Of course I want to go there and see it, i'll dress as one if i have to.
tks for all these wonderful post my friend, its so much fun to come here :)

Tks for your nice comments on my blog too, you certainly make my day..it's not fun unless we have wonderful friends :) hugs always

steviewren said...

I saw a show about this parade on the Travel Channel last year. It looks like a hoot. Bet ya had a ball!

Tracy said...

A mermaide parade...how fun is that! That be great fun to join in! Looking forward to you gift announcement! Happy Day ((HUGS))

Junie Moon said...

I've been reading about this parade for years and sometime in future I'd love to attend. Mermaids are my favorite thing of all. I use to introduce myself at project kick-off meetings at HP by saying, "I'm June, proposal manager for this project. I am also "Chief Mermaid of All the Seas." It was a nice ice-breaker for the large teams I managed so they'd know I actually have a sense of humor in addition to being their task-master.

Rue said...

Hi Pat :)

I want to be a mermaid!! But tell Mr. Lobster to stay away. He's a leetle scary LOL

hugs,
rue

Rosie's Whimsy said...

If I just mention in passing the words "Coney Island", my husband would go running for the door to the nearest vendor for Coney Island Hotdogs!!! They are not like what he remembers as a kid but he is crazy about them none the less!!

((hugs)) Rosie

Gina said...

What fun Pat!! Your photos are wonderful..so colourful! My favourite is the green octopus (?) in the last pic! :) Gx