Mermaid Parade Photos

The Mermaid Parade is an artistic extravaganza of everything related to the sea, celebrating the beginning of the summer beach season and the wonders of the ocean. Thousands of people dress themselves as mermaids, mermen, marine creatures, sailors, pirates, and everything else from the watery deep.  The Mermaid Parade is open to everyone, and the participants come from every age and background.

Select from a range of limited edition large format metal prints in sizes up to 45x68" for a show stopping display, or open edition archival paper prints up to 20x30" for an affordable yet dramatic accent suited to smaller spaces. Recommended sizes are noted under each image, with custom sizes available upon request for certain images.

If you'd like to make a purchase, email sales@chrispetsos.com .
Please refer to the image number and name displayed under the photos.

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The first Mermaid Parade took place in 1983, originally conceived by Dick Zigun, a well known local guy sometimes called the "Mayor Of Coney Island". He wanted to revive the spirit of the forgotten Coney Island Mardi Gras Parades that were held every year from 1903 to 1954.

During those decades, Coney Island was the foremost amusement and recreation area for New Yorkers. They flocked by the millions to the beaches, seafood restaurants, and oceanside attractions of Coney Island. Just a subway ride from the overheated city, the working class could enjoy a day of affordable seaside fun.

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Photos of the Coney Island Mermaid Parade
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The Mermaid Parade hearkens back to that era, with a Mardi Gras atmosphere where everyone is welcome. Each year the popularity of the event has grown. Recent years have seen hundreds of thousands of spectators, delighting in the creativity of thousands of everyday New Yorkers who participate with outlandish homemade costumes that adopt every aquatic theme you can iimagine.

You'll see jellyfish, giant turtles, coral,  seaweed, shipwrecks, lighthouses, pirates, sirens, tatooed natives, sea nymphs, and every type of mermaid from the traditional to the bizarre. One of my favorites this year was a group representing the aquatic dystopia of Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. Just when you think you've seen everything possible, someone will come along to surprise you with a costume you never imagined.

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Because the Mermaid Parade is a celebration of the beginning of the summer season, it's typically held on the Saturday closest to June 21st, the Summer Solstice.

Each year a Queen Mermaid and King Neptune is selected to officiate over the Mermaid Parade, usually some local personality. They ride at the beginning of the procession, and perform a symbolic opening of the ocean for summer swimming. It's all done in a spirit of fun that incorporates the history and mythology of Coney Island. The reigning Queen Mermaid and King Neptune cut through ribbons symbolizing the Seasons, and then throw offerings of fruit into sea as appeasements to the Ocean Gods.

The whole affair takes place against the festive Coney Island backdrop of ocean, beach, bustling boardwalk, music, food and drinks.

The Mermaid Parade has commenced on Surf Avenue at 21st Street in recent years. From there, it rolls to West 10th Street before turning south towards the boardwalk. At that point, the cars and motorized floats pull aside, and the marchers continue along the boardwalk to Stillwell Avenue where the parade ends.

This year I had a great position, right along the parade route as it turned onto the boardwalk. I was able to capture some incredible shots of all the wonderful, creative costumes, and of course the joyful, smiling faces.


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Please refer to the image number and name displayed under the photos.


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