This weekend, my friends and I went to Coney Island’s annual Mermaid Parade. The parade has probably been around longer than I even know (since 1983 according to Google), but I have been mesmerized by it after learning it existed a few years ago. I have always been drawn to anything mermaid-related ever since I was a little girl and I had decided it was time to plan a day to attend the Mermaid Parade that happened right in my own city.
Getting to the parade itself wasn’t fun. Driving into Brooklyn on a Saturday already calls for hours of traffic jams and the maze of parking. With the fast-approaching heat of the summer, the car ride and waiting game of parking wasn’t fun. After about 2 hours, we were finally walking on the Coney Island Boardwalk which is large in itself. We walked under the scorching sun until we began passing people in outfits resembling the mystical sea creatures. As we approached live island-like music in a crowd, we made our way to the front and saw that there was a path in the middle cleared by the NYPD. It was a runway and creative mermaids and mermen strutted their stuff. The crowd was a judge-free group who cheered on unique participants like those captured below by talented photographers.
The feel of the Mermaid Parade was captivating, but since most of our time was taken up by traffic and parking, we missed most of the festivities. We didn’t see many floats, dancing nor marches; there were, however, many people still on the board walk in their costumes engaging with others, taking pictures, dancing and having a good time. I saw costumes made with plastic bottles and materials to signify the growing plastic in our oceans; this was probably the only political message I saw. Others were dressed for fun as deadly sirens, jellyfish, mermaid-zombie hybrids, stingrays, crabs, fish, seahorses, pirates, sea captains and Ariel herself.
Although the weather and circumstances we were in made the parade difficult, it was an experience that everyone should endeavor in at least once. The talent in crafting those costumes are beyond amazing and the confidence released by participants is intoxicating. The uplifting vibes of the whole parade reminded us that this was Brooklyn culture in one spot- at an amusement park where men and women alike join together to celebrate their creativity and love for the ocean and summer! It almost feels like a secret community in the bustling business city that is New York City. Don’t worry that you missed it this year; grab your best friends and plan your trip to the 2020 Mermaid Parade next year to embrace the approach of summer! 🌅