She Showed Seashells by the Seashore..Oh Baby

20 Jun

     Thousands of mermaids flipped their fins to the cheering crowd for the 29th annual wild and whacky Coney Island Mermaid Parade. Rachel and I made our way to historic Coney Island, Brooklyn, where the beginning of summer is announced with a tribute to mermaids and all sea creatures. The Mermaid Parade is one of the top 10 favorite parades of the city and by far one of the most creative display of costumes New Yorkers are famous for. Rachel was having a field day taking some great pictures of all the great costumes.

                  King Neptune Adam Richman and Queen Mermaid Cat Greenleaf

As a tribute to the original Coney Island Mardi Gras Parade that lasted from 1903 to 1954, the Mermaid Parade has one of the most festive  moods this side of the Mississippi with scantily dressed mermaids with strategically placed seashells. Although they didn’t get beads for their display of creativity (ahem), many mermaids did get graded by the judges of the parade at the reviewing stand on Surf Ave. and 11th St.

                         

                       

     A huge inflated sea creature announced the start of the parade soon followed by local celebrities awarded the coveted roles of Queen Mermaid and King Neptune. This year Cat Greenleaf of Talk Stoop gladly took Queen Mermaid honors while King Neptune Adam Richman of Man vs. Food surely thought about downing a dozen Nathan’s famous hot dogs  as they rode by the parade route on Surf Ave. The Jambalaya Brass Band helped set the tone with upbeat New Orleans music.

                        

                        

Then the fun started with a wild procession of costumes honoring all sea creatures big and small. Some of the more notable groups were the Fins of Fury with a crowd pleasing dance to a mix of martial arts related soundtracks and the Hungry March Band playing  funky music. Although the festive atmosphere is for everyone to enjoy, protesters had the chance to organize and march and bring awareness to recent developments going on in Coney Island. While last year’s parade had many marchers protest BP and the Gulf disaster, this year’s protest was more local.  One group’s band played Mr. Big Stuff in protest of the plans to demolish century old buildings along Stillwell Ave.

         Many of the 500,000 viewers were pleased with all the creativity New Yorkers displayed. Where else will you find 7 ft. seahorses with swimming pink fish circling them. Historical figures Lady Godiva and Marie Antoinette were found making the rounds to their adoring fans. Last year’s award-winning Sexcamaids danced their way down Surf Ave. to the delight of the crowd.

                        

                        

The family that rocks together stays together and that sentiment was clearly found in the KISS family. They rocked the parade.

                        

After all the mermaids flipped their fins, an awards ceremony was held at the Sea Lion Amphitheatre nearby while other marchers took a dip in ocean to cool off after a fun day in the sun.

Let the Summer Begin!!!!

http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-624172

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