A Whale Of A Fun Time at The Mermaid Parade in Coney Island

17 Jun

Lots of Whale Watching

     Billed as the largest art parade in the nation, the 36th annual Mermaid Parade kicked off at 1pm on Surf Ave. and 21st St. in Coney Island, Brooklyn.  Every culture has their own way of bringing in a new season and the NY way of bringing in summer can only be at one place, the Mermaid Parade where thousands of marchers from all over the country put on their best interpretation of sea creatures. On one of the warmest days of the year so far in NYC, close to 800,000 flocked their way to the parade route to catch a glimpse of some the most creative and artistic displays NY offers.  As usual, Mermaid Parade founder, Dick Zigun leads the parade beating his drum and leading a brass band right past the reviewing stand by MCU Ballpark where the minor league Cyclones play baseball. There is a large group of very eager judges waiting for bribes so they can cast a favorable vote to many of the hundreds of participants. Each year has a Queen Mermaid and King Neptune to be honored as the celebrity guests of the parade and this year a beautiful couple with great artistic influence graced the parade route. Rock star Amanda Palmer and multi-talented Neil Gaiman with their beautiful daughter waved to the crowd to get the parade started in what would be an amazing display of creativity.


Founder Dick Zigun Getting Ready


Queen Mermaid Amanda Palmer and King Neptune Neil Gaiman


Heading to the Beach


     A parade of classic cars got things rolling. The Camaro is always are crowd favorite. Waves and waves of sea creatures came marching in to the delight of the crowd. The parade also honors it’s predecessor, The Coney Island Mardi Gras Parade, which was quite popular in the early 1900s. Marchers pay tribute to that era by dressing up or hardly for the burlesque and Vaudeville tribute. It’s always great to see groups get together for a special event like this. One of the groups to get the crowd worked up were the Big Apple Babes with a nice dance routine. They were awesome. Right behind them came the thunderous drum beat of the all-female drum band Fogo Azul. The crowd went nuts when they did their show. A well choreographed group were The Tail Shakers and that they did.  They were a fun group.


Marni With A Message


Two Classy Mermaids Always Dress For The Occassion


Mermaid Arrives to Steal Some Breathes Away

    There’s always a group that changes their theme each year but they always leave a lasting impression. This year the Salmon Witch Trayls knocked it out the park with their awesome dance routine that left the crowd wanting more. NYers have always been rebellious by nature. When the MTA announced that the L train service to Manhattan would be suspended for 15 months beginning in April 2019 lots of people freaked out. So it’s only natural an L Train Brass Band would unite and sing a protest song at the parade.  Only in NY. A perennial favorite and this years best float had the be the Rockaway Mermaid Brigade. They brought out a huge whale with a singer on top while the group danced and had a great time below. They were awesome and set the bar high for years to come…even though many of them were waiting for the parade to end so they can go to a bar. Great job Rockaway. This was one of the best parades of the year so far and should definitely be on your bucket list. Have a great summer of fun everyone.



2 Responses to “A Whale Of A Fun Time at The Mermaid Parade in Coney Island”

  1. robert butler June 18, 2018 at 9:10 am #

    the whale was made by geoff rawling. he is part of the rockaway mermaid brigade, which has its own art parade in the fall. September 22, Poseidon’s Parade. poseidonsparade.com

    • nycparadelife June 18, 2018 at 9:56 am #

      I’ve been covering the Mermaid Parade for the last 5 years and that is one the best floats presented. I hope your group won an award for that.

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