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.
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!