Set the date! June 16, 2018 at 1pm
Now celebrating its 36th anniversary, the Mermaid Parade has earned its salt as New York’s official start of the summer season, with no destination better for the kick-off than the one and only Coney.
Brooklyn’s longest-running art parade mixes a healthy dose of do-it-yourself creativity with old-fashioned civic pride. Named for the lovely New Yorkers who come to Coney Island baring golden skin in unique, scantily attired costumes, the Mermaid Parade is actually a tribute to the seaside resort’s long forgotten Mardi Gras (1903-1954). Today, it’s also the country’s largest art parade.
Besides the amusing floats, conversation-worthy antique cars and assortment of marching bands, the real draw of the Mermaid Parade is the amazing self-expression of each individual New Yorker and his or her unbelievable panache. After all, it’s not everyday that one dashes out the door in sequins and pasties, full-on body paint and glitter, or something that looks like it was made out of detritus from a shipwreck.
Although the parade doesn’t officially begin until 1PM, revelers typically head out in the morning for the best viewing spots. The route, which follows the same path each year, begins at West Twenty-first Street and Surf Avenue and heads east along West Tenth Street to the Boardwalk where it disbands.
Look for participants donning the usual assortment of motley costumes as sea creatures, mermaids, mermen, and Coney freaks. The Mermaid Ball follows at 6PM with live music, burlesque, synchronized swimming, magic, a sea lion show, and the cast of the Coney Island Circus Sideshow. Bring sunscreen and a wide-eyed sense of wonder.
Surf Ave from W. 5 to W.19 St to Boardwalk
All events and times are subject to change.