The One With the Mermaids

On the summer solstice each year, Coney Island transforms itself from a crazy, depraved, whimsical amusement park into a crazy, depraved, whimsical amusement park crawling with scantily-clad party-goers. That’s right, dear readers. It’s time for the Mermaid Parade!

The Mermaid Parade winds its way along Coney Island’s main drag (pun intended) and spills onto the boardwalk. It’s been going on for 30 years and has grown to more than 1,500 participants. Officially, it’s billed as an art parade, “a celebration of ancient mythology and honky-tonk rituals of the seaside…opening the summer with incredible art, entrepreneurial spirit and community pride.” Unofficially, the Mermaid Parade is a romping good time where people get sunburns in places where people shouldn’t get sunburns.

Without further ado, here are some photos from years past. Heads-up: apparently mermaids spend a lot of their mer-cash on pasties and fishnets.

Mermaid Parade

 

Mermaid Parade

 

 

Mermaid Parade

 

 

Mermaid Parade

 

Mermaid Parade

 

Mermaid Parade

 

Mermaid Parade

 

Mermaid Parade

 

 

Mermaid Parade

 

Mermaid Parade

 

 

Mermaid Parade

 

Mermaid Parade

 

Mermaid Parade

 

How will you be spending the summer solstice? 

Have a great weekend, everyone! 

 

 

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27 comments

  1. Loved your line about folks spending their mercash on pasties and fishnets. VERY funny. Great photos. I don’t have any big plans. A big thing to do here is go to Ingapirca–the largest Inca ruin in Ecuador, for the solstice. Have a wonderful weekend, my friend. And special greetings to Reggie!

    Hugs from Ecuador,
    Kathy

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    1. Oh, yes! I remember that post you did about the Ingapirca. Very cool!

      I guess you’re approaching the winter solstice! Do you get a cold winter season, or are the seasons more wet / dry?

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  2. Love the body painting on fourth one :) Looks like a fun event.

    Incidentally, I’ve just read on the entertainment news that Andrej Pejic is going to be cast as a mermaid in Sofia Coppola’s new film. He may well set a new standard ;-)

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  3. Wow! I had NO idea this was a thing. A friend of mine in Minnesota has a trilogy with Random House’s YA division all about mermaids in Lake Superior. I’m sending this post to her ASAP.

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  4. I was born and brought up in Brooklyn and spent many happy times in Coney Island. Never knew about the Mermaid Parade; however, missed it probably because I moved out to Hicksville LI before the annual Parade began. I I had known, perhaps I would have gone to witness the festivities!

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  5. You’re so right, and your terrific pictures are proof that that parade is a lot of fun — and so are the mermaids! Meow! (Don’t tell Reggie I said that, okay?) Unfortunately, this year I screwed up and I’m ushering a matinee performance of an Off-Broadway play tomorrow, so I’ll miss it.

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      1. The play was excellent — “Our New Girl” a psychological thriller written by Nancy Harris. It’s being staged at Atlantic Theater Company’s Stage 2, a 99 seat black box theater. The intimacy of the theater ratcheted up the intensity of the play. Two people suffered so much anxiety watching it they didn’t return following intermission. I highly recommend it.

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  6. “…where people get sunburns in places where people shouldn’t get sunburns…” Um, yes, indeed. What an apt description! I imagine there are quite a few vouyers who show up to witness this event.

    Funny timing, though… I’m reading Alice Hoffman’s THE MUSEUM OF EXTRAORDINARY THINGS, and the setting is near Coney Island, and you guessed it … mermaid-type themes. I am loving this book! Have you read it? (And are you enjoying The Orchardist? One of my all-time favorite books).

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    1. I’ve been meaning to add Alice Hoffman’s book to my TBR list. I’ll definitely do that now with your recommendation. (You always write the best reviews! )

      I’m really enjoying The Orchardist. I had to put it aside for a few days because I have a new editing project but I’ll get back to it ASAP.

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  7. This is crazy! My solstice was definitely spent in a much quieter way (probably watching a sunset or sunrise or…maybe just writing) but these photos are pretty impressive. I especially love the one of the synchronized dancing!!! (and apologies for spelling… I can’t seem to remember how to spell solstice or synchronized this morning…)

    Like

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