The Coney Island Mermaid Parade is an art parade held annually in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York. The event, the largest art parade in the United States, is held each year in June and celebrates the arrival of the summer season. Created and produced by the non-profit arts organization Coney Island USA, the 40th annual parade was held on June 18, 2022.
|Coney Island Mermaid Parade|
|Venue||Coney Island Boardwalk|
|Location(s)||Coney Island, New York|
|Most recent||June 18, 2022|
|Website||Coney Island Mermaid Parade|
The Mermaid Parade traditionally takes place on the Saturday closest to the summer solstice, June 21, regardless of weather. Its intent is to celebrate self-expression, boost pride in Coney Island, and give New York artists a place to display their artwork. There are no ethnic, religious, or commercial aims.
The parade pays homage to the Coney Island Mardi Gras parades of the early 20th century. During this era, Coney Island was the primary amusement park destination for those in the New York metropolitan area. Like the annual Village Halloween Parade, the Mermaid Parade evokes the artistic spirit of Mardi Gras.
The event typically attracts about 3,000 participants and hundreds of thousands of spectators from all five boroughs of New York City. After the last participant passes the reviewing stand, parade founder Dick Zigun leads the procession to the beach for a ceremony representing the opening of the ocean for the summer swimming season.
The tradition began in 1983, when the first event of this kind was conceptualized and organized by Dick Zigun, the founder of the non-profit arts organization Coney Island USA, who is sometimes dubbed the "Mayor of Coney Island.
The parade of June 22, 2013 was almost canceled due to a lack of money and resources following the recovery from Hurricane Sandy. It was rescued through a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised $117,000, more than the $100,000 goal.
The 2020 parade was replaced by a virtual event (The Tail-a-Thon) due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The parade was delayed in 2021 to September 12 (marking the last weekend that lifeguards would be on duty at Coney Island) in order to improve the chances that it could be held, but on August 18 it was announced that the parade would be cancelled out of an abundance of caution due to a resurgence of COVID-19 in the region.
The Mermaid Parade is known for marine costumes and occasional nudity. There are sections in the parade for vehicles of all kinds, for floats, for groups, and for individuals. The organizers of the parade claim to encourage bribery, so that participants have a better chance to win the various costume contests, which are also part of the day's entertainment.
|Annual||Year||King Neptune||Queen Mermaid|
|1st||1983||Al Mottola||Alison Gordy|
|2nd||1984||Joe Franklin||Jeanne Becker|
|3rd||1985||Dan Lurie||Sandra Frankel|
|5th||1987||Henry Stern||Barbara Walz|
|6th||1988||Michael Wilson||Phoebe Legere|
|7th||1989||David Smalls||Ilana Iguana|
|8th||1990||Mr. Fashion||Wendy Wild|
|9th||1991||El Vez||Lynda Barry|
|10th||1992||Richard Eagan||Daisy Eagan|
|12th||1994||Jose Gutierrez||Rosemary Di Pietra|
|13th||1995||Spyro Poulos||Shut-Up Shelly|
|14th||1996||Fred Kahl||Kiva Kahl|
|15th||1997||Ron Kuby||Jennifer Miller|
|16th||1998||David Byrne||The World Famous *BOB*|
|17th||1999||Curtis Sliwa||Queen Latifah|
|18th||2000||Rabbi Abraham Abraham||Katya Kahl|
|19th||2001||Hector Camacho Jr.||Kembra Pfahler|
|20th||2002||Marty Markowitz||Toni Senecal|
|21st||2003||Bill Evans||Kate Duyn|
|23rd||2005||David Johansen||Karmen Guy|
|24th||2006||Abel Ferrara||Bambi the Mermaid|
|25th||2007||Adam Savage||Patti D'Arbanville|
|26th||2008||Reverend Billy Talen||Savitri Durkee|
|27th||2009||Harvey Keitel||Daphne Kastner|
|28th||2010||Lou Reed||Laurie Anderson|
|29th||2011||Adam Richman||Cat Greenleaf|
|30th||2012||Jackie "The Joke Man" Martling||Annabella Sciorra|
|31st||2013||Judah Friedlander||Carole Radziwill|
|32nd||2014||Dante de Blasio||Chiara de Blasio|
|33rd||2015||Mat Fraser||Julie Atlas Muz|
|34th||2016||Carlo A. Scissura||Hailey Clauson|
|35th||2017||Chris Stein||Deborah Harry|
|36th||2018||Neil Gaiman||Amanda Palmer|
|37th||2019||Arlo Guthrie||Nora Guthrie|
|38th||2020||Cancelled due to COVID-19|
|39th||2021||Cancelled again due to COVID-19|
|40th||2022||Dave Chokshi||Justin Vivian Bond|
2022 Parade (2020 and 2021 canceled due to COVID 19)
See also Edit
- "Coney Island USA Presents: The 40th Annual Mermaid Parade". Coney Island USA. Archived from the original on 28 December 2021. Retrieved 27 December 2021.
- Weaver, Shaye. "What to know about this year's Mermaid Parade". am New York. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
- "Nautical weddings and more secrets of the Mermaid Parade". am New York. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
- "Coney Island USA and the Coney Island Brewery Present: The 40th Annual Mermaid Parade | Coney Island USA". www.coneyisland.com. Retrieved 2022-06-20.
- "Coney Island USA & Coney Island Brewery Present: The 36th Annual Mermaid Parade with co-presenter Kitchen 21 | Coney Island USA". www.coneyisland.com. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
- "Nautical weddings and more secrets of the Mermaid Parade". am New York. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
- "6 Fast Facts On The 34th Annual Mermaid Parade". 2016-06-13. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
- "Coney Island USA Presents: The 40th Annual Mermaid Parade | Coney Island USA". 2021-12-28. Archived from the original on 2021-12-28. Retrieved 2021-12-28.
- "Biography of Dick Zigun". Coney Island USA.
Unofficial Mayor of Coney Island
- Mooney, Jake (September 26, 2008). "What It Means to Be 'Mayor' of the Block". NY Times.
- Plitt, Amy (May 30, 2013). "Kickstarter success stories: Mermaid Parade, Gemini & Scorpio get funding". Time Out New York.
- Coney Island USA. "Save the Coney Island Mermaid from Extinction!". Kick Starter.
- Yakas, Ben (2021-08-18). "2021 Coney Island Mermaid Parade Canceled Because Of COVID Concerns". Gothamist. Retrieved 2021-08-18.
- it is legal in New York State for women to be topless in public
- "Photos: 2010 Mermaid Parade (NSFW)". Time Out New York. June 21, 2010.
- "Mermaid Parade Royalty". ConeyIsland.com. Retrieved 2023-08-15.