Summer Fun Alert! Coney Island Mermaid Parade: Saturday, June 19

Coney Island Mermaid Parade posters of Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson as mermaids

Over the years the Coney Island Mermaid Parade has become one of our favorite New York City street parties. Launched in 1983 by the not-for-profit arts organization Coney Island USA–partly as an homage to the long-defunct Coney Island Mardi Gras, which was a HUGE deal in the first half of the 20th century; partly as an excuse the get dressed up in crazy costumes and have a blast–the Mermaid Parade in Coney Island has grown into a harbinger of summer, a true NYC institution, a wild and raucous celebration of the season, the beach, the ocean, and, most important, of artistic self-expression and summertime fun. 

Mermaid Parade in Coney Island spectators wearing mermaid costumes with elaborate head pieces

There will undoubtedly be more than a few surprises at the Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2010 (there always are), but you can be certain the day will feature amazing creativity, elaborate floats, total silliness, loud music, near-nakedness (these are mermaids, after all), vintage automobiles, burlesque-y sideshow-freaks-for-a-day, marching bands and dancers galore, lots of BP bashing and oil-spill outrage, and, this year's King Neptune and Queen Mermaid, the legendary artists and musicians Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson! 

Coney Island Mermaids in white and gold tube tops and skirts dance like Egyptians


The Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2010 Details 

The Mermaid Parade in Coney Island begins at 2:00, rolling from 21st Street and Surf Avenue (the street parallel to the beach), over to the 10th Street, where the revelers turn right and head to the boardwalk. The weather is supposed to be in the high-80s and sunny (bring hats/sunblock!), and the crowds of marchers and spectators should be huge. The Mermaid Parade Ball–the official after-party–will be held right there at the New York City Aquarium, with tickets starting at $20, while they last. For lots more information about everything, please visit the Coney Island website

Coney Island Mermaid Parade picture of a marchers in a lobster costume with spectators and rides in the background

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