Video of the day: Coney Island Mermaid Parade


For all of the years that I lived in New York City, I am ashamed to say that I never actually made it out to Brooklyn’s Coney Island to witness (or participate in) the annual Mermaid Parade. As it was, I found myself traveling just about every summer while living in the city, and being that this is a summer event, the stars just weren’t aligned correctly. But a film-making friend of mine, Philip Knowlton, not only managed to make it out this year to the Mermaid Parade, but he also but together a pretty cool video featuring the event.

Have you ever been to the Mermaid Parade? Did you love it or hate it?

Gadling Take FIVE: Week of June 12–June 19

Happy summer. It’s official. The Mermaid Parade is happening in Coney Island today, and Catherine has the scoop on the solstice in Alaska. Hopefully, you’ve snagged a travel bargain. Tomorrow, for starters, take Dad to a National Park for Father’s Day–or take yourself.

  • Annie’s reminiscence of Old San Juan might trigger your own memories of a place you went as a teen.
  • For tips on how to make your life more like travel, Jeremy has advice worth heeding-even if traveling is your middle name.
  • In case Orlando only gives you images of amusement parks, read Tom’s post on what else to do in Orlando. There may not be time for the Magic Kingdom. Next time I go, I want that scenic boat trip in Winter Park.
  • If the world about the news seems too darned depressing, check out Kraig’s post on Art in All of Us. Yes, indeed there are wondrous, uplifting happenings as well.
  • For anyone heading to Morocco, do read Tynan’s latest Life Nomadic missive on the Moroccan hustle. Reading about his experiences trying not to be taken reminded me of the Moroccan segments of Brook Silva-Braga’s documentary, “One Day in Africa.” Being prepared for the everyone is trying to make a deal experience is a wise move. Tynan covers the issue to a T.

The Mermaid Parade at Coney Island

There are certain events that are purely connected to the place where they are held. The Mermaid Parade at Coney Island in Brooklyn is one of them. Tomorrow, June 20 starting at 2 p.m. is the big event. Since 1983, people have been dressing up in over the top creative costumes– mermaid related or not, to join in on one of the largest art parades in the United States. There are floats, bands and generally a whole lot of join-in-the-fun sea-themed hoopla.

People who come to the parade as spectators could just as well join in; it’s that kind of event. The idea is to be creative in a celebration of the artistic and summer. The parade is held the first Saturday after the summer solstice. In effect, hooray for summer, the mermaids are here. Come dressed as a creature of the sea or a mermaid and join in.

Don’t know what to wear? Here’s an idea. Get a baseball hat and glue natural sponges on it. Or go as a coral “wreath” by getting coral from a pet store and hot glue gun it to a wreath form that goes around your head like a crown.

According to the Mermaid Parade Web site, the parade is family friendly, kids are even in the parade. This year the parade route has changed slightly. For details, click here. The viewing stand is still in the same location.

Coney Island Mermaid Parade, June 23

Founded in 1983, the Mermaid Parade is an annual event that only New Yorkers could stage. Simultaneously honoring Coney Island’s historic Mardi Gras (that lasted from 1903 to 1954), while celebrating the sand, sea, salt air, and the beginning of summer, all kinds of participants dress in hand-made costumes as Mermaids, Neptunes, sea creatures, lighthouses, Coney Island post cards, amusement rides, antique cars, yachts, and more. Apparently, the primary reason for the fun is the goofy costumes — or lack thereof.

Don’t get too tired from all the parade excitement, because the parade is followed by the Mermaid Parade Ball, featuring live music, sideshow acts, and burlesque shows.

This year’s Memaid Parade is scheduled for June 23. It might be enough of a reason to head to NYC during the summer. If you need some nudging, check out NPR’s coverage of the 2004 event, in which 250,000 people attended.