The 25th Annual Mermaid Parade, the largest art parade in the US, takes place this Saturday, June 23rd at Coney Island in Brooklyn. This year Adam Savage of MythBusters has been crowned King Neptune and he will be on hand to help bust the myth that Coney Island is shutting down. Andy Wharhol protégé, actress Patti D’Arbanville, is this year’s Queen Mermaid.
Founded in 1983 by Coney Island USA, the not-for-profit arts organization that also produces the Coney island Circus Sideshow, the Mermaid Parade pays homage to Coney Island’s forgotten Mardi Gras which lasted from 1903 to 1954, and draws from a host of other sources resulting in a wonderful and wacky event that is unique to Coney Island.
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.
Following the parade is The 2007 Mermaid Parade Ball which will take place at the The Child’s Restaurant Building.
photo credit: Gene Han