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New York Daily Photo: Mermaid Parade 2007
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Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Mermaid Parade 2007

This has become my favorite parade - it's on the boardwalk, at the beach (yet reachable by subway), in NYC, beautiful mermaids, blue everywhere, Astroland with the Cyclone and Wonderwheel as backdrop, manageable in size, imaginative creative costumes and a spirited atmosphere. Add a sunny day with blue skies and what's not to like? Surprising how many have still not heard of the Mermaid Parade in Coney Island, celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2007. Click here and here for my postings of the 2006 parade. Founded in 1983 by Coney Island USA, the not-for-profit arts organization that also produces the Coney Island Circus Sideshow, the Mermaid Parade pays homage to Coney Island's forgotten Mardi Gras which lasted from 1903 to 1954. The Mermaid Parade celebrates the sand, the sea, the salt air and the beginning of summer, as well as the history and mythology of Coney Island, Coney Island pride, and artistic self-expression. The Parade is characterized by participants dressed in hand-made costumes as Mermaids, Neptunes, various sea creatures, the occasional wandering lighthouse, Coney Island post card or amusement ride, as well as antique cars, marching bands, drill teams, and the odd yacht pulled on flatbed. Each year, a different celebrity King Neptune and Queen Mermaid rule over the proceedings, riding in the Parade and assisting in the opening of the Ocean for the summer swimming season by marching down the Beach from the Boardwalk, cutting through Ribbons representing the seasons, and tossing fruit into the Atlantic to appease the Sea Gods. In the past, David Byrne, Queen Latifah, Ron Kuby, Curtis Sliwa, Moby, and David Johansen have presided over the assembled masses. Click here for their official website. Even though I set aside the day to see the event, I still missed many of the events: floats and autos on Surf Avenue, the costume judging and the Mermaid Parade Ball. Tomorrow I will post a collection of the best photos of the hundreds I took ...


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