Mermaid Parade @ Coney Island - June 23, 2012
Photos/Words: Jennifer Harmon
Coney Island is the best spot to engage in people-watching. It's even more intriguing on the busiest day of the year - the annual Mermaid Parade.
I arrived at Surf Avenue around noon on Saturday and quickly joined the crowd of beachgoers flock towards the boardwalk.
What a sight to behold! Families, large and small, with little kids and babies, were there to enjoy the sunshine and spectacle of Coney Island. Clusters of friends in bikinis and neon-sunglasses patrolled the streets and boardwalk for the perfect spot to watch the parade. I had enough time to roam the entire area, observing the children with their cotton candy as blue painted ladies with shell bras floated by. There was lots of skin on display along with electric-colored wigs! I spotted the cutest older couple in bathing suits and fishnet near the Nathan's hot dog stand. They were sipping some beverages with friends and allowed just about anyone to snap their photo. They saw me with my camera and happily posed for me.
At 2 PM, I ended up near 10th street in front of Paul's Daughter. I could stand under the shade and savor my beverage before meeting my friends to witness the parade. We had a spectacular view of the procession and stood next to an interesting couple who were tourists visiting from London. The husband pointed out some of his "favorite ladies" in the parade and let's just say many of them had on pasties, tassels and other strategic bedazzled areas of the body.
We saw pirate zombies and scantily clad mermaid ladies in all shapes and sizes. There were shells, face paint, wild hair, and lots of glitter. We clapped, we laughed, we hollered out to all of our favorite floats and parade walkers. The lineup went on for over two hours with dancing and mini marching bands. A lot of the female contestants were in retro attire while others used the experience to express their own personal style with beads and silk and full body paintwork. Check out the photos and see how everyone expressed their own creativity. I think next year I should be in this parade with my boyfriend and some friends. Think I can make it happen?