About a week ago Coney Island hosted it’s most famous annual event: The Mermaid Parade!
It was a colorful ensemble of great costumes, fun wigs and provocative statements.
The Mermaid Parade is always held the weekend before the gay pride parade and around the summer solstice. It celebrates the freedom of artistic expression and has become quite the forerunner for Brooklyn’s art scene. This year the parade went into its 33rd round– I bet a lot of things have changed since its beginning in the 80ies.
I went here two years ago but was a bit overwhelmed by the crowds and not being able to see much since the good standing spots are usually taken far in advance. That was on a sunny day so this year I was really excited when I saw the forecast to show rain. Rain meant that still a good amount of people flocked out but this year we were actually able to get a great spot almost right next to the Cyclone. Something that absolutely almost never happens! Not dealing with the aggressive crowds meant more peace to us and I was happy to witness some crazy Mermaids and Mermans this time without being elbowed out of the way.
Despite a few drizzles here and there, halfway through the show the rain stopped and we were able to enjoy the parade without holding an umbrella. Striking themes this year were certainly the lobster costume and glittery fins. While two years ago I had not seemed impressed with the costumes overall, this year was an improvement. Of course you still had completely weird themes but mostly people were pretty original and tried bringing the art back into play. A bit of a bummer was that the floats and groups were so far apart from each other, but I guess they were stopped in regular intervals to let pedestrians cross.
I saw a pretty cool swarm of fish, which was a group of 4 friends all dressed in the same costume. They ran around together but without the group the costume probably would have only looked half as impressive. A lot of families were part of the ensemble as well, so I got to take a few good pictures of anxious looking Mini-Mermaids and also a hula-hooping pirate.
One of my friends got bored halfway through the event. I guess this is what I felt like in 2013. The more you watch it, the better it gets, actually. The best part about the parade is that it returns via the Boardwalk, so if you missed something you can just walk down there and then watch the end. I also appreciated it only being a few hours long as opposed to the 6-hour-long parades in the City. It makes a difference to be standing around for 3 hours only than half a day.
The best costume ended up being a golden Mermaid, who we befriended shortly after the event when getting our 2-for-1 margaritas at Margaritaville. We found out a few days later that she was the selected winner and had won the first spot. This made us very happy, since she had told us how much work she had put into her costume.
[For more pictures, go to Photograph My World]