Mardi Gras in Brooklyn? You betcha. Like Greenwich Village’s Halloween Parade, or Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Coney Island’s Mermaid Parade in Brooklyn is one of NYC’s quintessential events.
It’s hot. It’s corny. It’s sexy. It’s funky.
When It Is: 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 23, 2012.
What’s the Mermaid Parade About?It’s about fun! And the sea! And off-the-chart, DIY, funky costumes!
According to its founders, the Mermaid Parade, “pays homage to Coney Island's forgotten Mardi Gras” which was celebrated for over fifty years from 1903 to 1954.
Officially, 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,” not to mention individualism and non-corporate, artistic self-expression.
Seven Things to Look for at the Mermaid ParadeNever seen the Mermaid Parade before? Here's what to look for:
- “King Neptune and Queen Mermaid,” of course! (In 2011, the honors were bestowed Brooklyn native Adam Richman from the Travel Channel's Man V. Food and Cat Greenleaf from the New York Emmy Award-winning television show, Talk Stoop with Cat Greenleaf.)
- Mermaids, Neptunes & sea creatures, or perhaps a wandering lighthouse
- An auto parade of very old, very beautiful antique cars
- Funky marching bands & drill teams
- Zany floats
- A friendly helium balloon above the route
- Shade! You won't find it, so bring your own in the form of hats or umbrellas, or at least sunscreen. It can get hot!
Where to See the Mermaid Parade
The Parade starts at West 21st Street and Surf Avenue.
2 p.m.: The Mermaid Parade steps off at West 21st and Surf and marches down Surf toward West 12th Street. The Judge’s Review Stand is at West 12th Street. It then turns up turn up West 10th Street (near the Cyclone Roller Coaster and Luna Park) and marches along the Boardwalk to the dismissal point at Stillwell Avenue.
5:30 p.m.: The Mermaid parade concludes with a Ribbon Cutting Pageant on the beach south of West 10th Street.
7 p.m. - 11:30 p.m.: Join the annual Mermaid Parade Ball, the official after- party of The Mermaid Parade at the New York Aquarium's Oceanic Deck and Aqua Theater, 608 Surf Ave. at West 8th Street. Get Tickets to Mermaid Parade Ball online or in person .Find out about special seats, volunteer opportunities, and VIP events.