What could be a better way to celebrate the beginning of summer than the annual Coney Island Mermaid Parade? For the last 33 years, the parade has ushered in the summer spirit on the Saturday closest to June 21st, the official start of the season.
To get a sense of the fête, imagine thousands of happy people lining Surf Avenue to watch revelers strut in wildly imaginative (dare I say, over-the-top) costumes, amidst a bevy of painted floats and antique cars. Sounds fun right?
Nearby, the famous boardwalk, a smorgasbord of delicious junk food (deep-fried Oreos, funnel cakes and Nathan’s hot dogs are some of my favorites), and a concourse of amusement park rides, round out the festivities. It’s a great way to pass the day and if you plan on being in New York next June, don’t miss it.
A few tips:
- If you’re coming from Manhattan, take the subway, don’t bother with a taxi (too expensive) or a car (parking is a nightmare). The F, D, N, and Q lines are a straight shot to Stillwell Avenue. Leave yourself at least 45 minutes to an hour for the trip.
- The parade starts at 1pm, but get there a lot earlier if you want to snag decent real-estate along the route. People don’t kid around. Families were having full on tailgate parties without their cars. Many brought coolers, food, chairs and police tape to rope off their areas.
- There’s no shade, be sure to wear sunscreen and a hat or else you’ll get fried.
- If you don’t like being jostled by crowds you might want to skip this altogether. The streets are packed and near the boardwalk it’s slow going.
- Depending on your sensitivities, be advised, there’s a lot of flesh on display in case that’s an issue for you or your children.
Here are some highlights from this year’s celebration…
On of the many antique cars that rolled down Surf Avenue
One of the many Ariel look-a-likes at the parade.
Fans arrived early to snag a spot on Surf Avenue along the parade’s route, setting down chairs, coolers and blankets.
I thought this was a cute concept: The woman on the left was the fished hooked by the fisherwoman on the right.
No self-respecting parade would be complete without someone selling beads and necklaces to the crowd
There were a lot of boobs on display.
I have no words.
I loved that kids of all ages got into the action.
How is it that some babies can sleep through anything?
Some of the costumes were extraordinary in their detail and craftsmanship
There was some interesting eyewear.
Pirates were popular
And there were a variety of costumes that seemed off point but were entertaining nonetheless.
A Transformer? It was so hot that the tar from the street was melting. I can’t imagine what it must have been like for this guy.
A viking with dolphin boobs and a leprechaun carrying a leprechaun?
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