Coney Island Mermaid Parade: A guide to NYC's seaside spectacle

Get your costumes ready: Find out about the Coney Island Mermaid Parade, which marches down Surf Avenue each year.

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Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

The Coney Island Mermaid Parade is one of NYC’s freakiest, most iconic events. Each year, thousands of spectators flock to Surf Avenue, Coney Island’s main drag, to watch King Neptune and Queen Mermaid—this year, comedian and former 30 Rock star Judah Friedlander and author Carol Radziwell (The Widow's Guide to Sex and Dating)—lead a procession of beglittered marchers in costumes through the neighborhood. Coney Island USA founder Dick Zigun began holding the parades in 1983, and it’s been a neighborhood mainstay ever since. Hurricane Sandy nearly knocked the parade down, but thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign, Coney Island USA received enough dough to keep the parade going in 2013.


RECOMMENDED: Coney Island and Luna Park guide


When is the Mermaid Parade?


The 2013 Coney Island Mermaid Parade happens June 22 at 1pm; it begins at Surf Ave and W 21st St, traveling along Surf Ave and the Boardwalk before ending at Steeplechase Plaza. (A more detailed map is embedded below.) For the best chance of getting a good spot, show up by 11am—or, if you’re willing to shell out $150, you can become a Coney Island USA member and snag a spot in the covered Judge’s Stands (on Surf Ave between W 19th and 20th Sts).

Want to participate? You’ve still got time: There are various registration levels—for families, “artsy marchers,” antique cars and more—and different fees apply for each one. All the details are available at Coney Island USA’s website—and be sure to stop by one of our favorite costume stores beforehand to get all the supplies you’ll need for a glitzy, glittery outfit.


Coney Island Mermaid Parade events 2013

Coney Island Mermaid Parade

  • Critics choice
  • Free
  1. Location TBA
  2. Sat Jun 22
More info

Mermaid Riverboat Ball

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice
  1. Coney Island USA 1208 Surf Ave, at 12th St
  2. Sat Jun 22
More info

The Drunken Mermaid Gala

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice
  1. Gowanus Ballroom 55 9th St , between Smith St and Second Ave , 11215
  2. Sat Jun 22 - Sun Jun 23
More info

Coney Island Mermaid Parade map


View Mermaid Parade Route in a larger map

Where to eat and drink near the Mermaid Parade

Nathan’s Famous

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice
  1. 1310 Surf Ave, (at Stillwell Ave), 11224
More info
  1. 1215 Surf Ave, (between Stillwell Ave and W 12th St)
More info

Ruby’s Old Tyme Bar

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice
  1. Boardwalk, (between Stillwell Ave and W 12th St), 11224
More info

Totonno’s

  • Critics choice
  1. 1524 Neptune Ave, (between 15th and 16th Sts), 11224-27
More info
See all bars & restaurants near the Coney Island Mermaid Parade

Things to do near the Mermaid Parade

  1. Surf Ave, (between Ocean Pkwy and W 37th St)
More info

Coney Island Cyclone

  • Price band: 1/4
  1. 834 Surf Ave, (at 8th St)
More info
  1. Surf Ave, (at 8th St)
More info

Luna Park

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice
  1. 1000 Surf Ave, (at W 10th St), 11224
More info
  1. 1025 Boardwalk, (at W 12th St)
More info

MCU Park

  • Critics choice
  1. 1904 Surf Ave, (between 17th and 19th Sts)
More info

Sideshows by the Seashore

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice
  1. 1208 Surf Ave, (at 12th St), 11224
More info

Coney Island Museum

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice
  1. 1208 Surf Ave, (at 12th St)
More info

Coney Island Mermaid Parade photos

Get inspiration for your own Coney Island Mermaid Parade costumes by browsing through our photos from the 2012 event.

  • Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

  • Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

  • Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

  • Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

  • Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

  • Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

  • Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

  • Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

  • Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

  • Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

  • Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

  • Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

  • Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

  • Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

  • Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

  • Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

  • Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

  • Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

  • Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

  • Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

  • Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

  • Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

  • Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

  • Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

  • Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

  • Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

  • Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

  • Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

  • Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

  • Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

  • Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

  • Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

  • Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

  • Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi



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