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About The Mermaid Parade:
The Mermaid Parade is the largest art parade in the nation. A celebration of ancient mythology and honky-tonk rituals of the seaside, it showcases over 1,500 creative individuals from all over the five boroughs and beyond, opening the summer with incredible art, entrepreneurial spirit and community pride. The parade highlights Coney Island Pageantry based on a century of many Coney parades, celebrates the artistic vision of the masses, and ensures that the summer season is a success by bringing hundreds of thousands of people to the amusement area in a single day.
The MERMAID PARADE specifically was founded in 1983 with 3 goals: it brings mythology to life for local residents who live on streets named Mermaid and Neptune ; it creates self-esteem in a district that is often disregarded as “entertainment”; and it lets artistic New Yorkers find self-expression in public.
Unlike most parades, this one has no ethnic, religious, or commercial aims. It’s a major New York holiday invented by artists! An American version of the summer-solstice celebration, it takes pride of place with West African Water Festivals and Ancient Greek and Roman street theater. It’s features participants dressed in hand-made costumes based on themes and categories set by us. This creates an artistic framework on which artists can improvise, resulting in the flourishing of frivolity, dedication, pride, and personal vision that has become how New York celebrates summer.
The 2014 parade (32nd annual) will still highlight our ability to mix high and low culture on the beach, as we partner with several Bensonhurst-based muscle car clubs, the Hungry March Band, and our celebrity King and Queen (not yet identified, but past royalty have included Laurie Anderson, Moby, Jackie “the Joke Man”, and others). It will include floats by participants as well as our sponsors and community partners (including the Alliance for Coney Island, New York Aquarium, Deno’s Wonder Wheel, and Luna Park).
This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
Click here to View Mermaid Parade Route in a larger map, which includes descriptions of the symbols.
* The Parade will start at West 21st Street and Surf Avenue
* The Parade will roll east to West 10th Street
* At West 10th Street the Parade will turn south towards the boardwalk
* Cars and Motorized Floats continue down Surf Ave. passing W. 10th Street and exit the parade.
* At the Boardwalk, the marchers and push-pull floats will turn west and head towards West 17th St.
* At Steeplechase Plaza, the Parade will disband.
PUSH PULL FLOATS AND MARCHERS will register at Surf Avenue and West 21st Street.
MOTORIZED FLOATS AND ANTIQUE CARS will register at Surf Ave. Side at West 19th and West 20th street.
Because West 21st Street is much narrower than our old staging area (West 10th Street), you will NOT be able to PULL YOUR TRUCK OR VEHICLE to unload materials for assembling your push-pull cart or costume. But, DON’T WORRY- you will be able to assemble your cart in a secure location with vehicle access on Surf Avenue between West 21st and West 22nd Street. You may then push you cart onto West 21st Street.