Everything you need to know about the Coney Island Mermaid Parade this weekend

Written by
Jennifer Picht
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/drpavloff

Shake your tail fins! Thanks to Coney Island’s mesmerizing Mermaid Parade—a whimsical, 35-year-old tradition reveling in the spirited and artistic nature of the beloved beach town— we’re convinced merpeople exist. Once you ogle the detailed nautical costumes worn by the procession’s 3,000 participants on Saturday 17, you’ll see that these seafaring creatures are no fish out of water.

RECOMMENDED: Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2017 guide

The event is a rare occurrence at which folks of all ages can fly their freak flag high and express their creativity while romping, Hula Hooping and soaking up the sun along Surf Avenue. The mythological procession makes the under-the-sea vibe part of our world through motorized and push-pull floats designed by local artists, residents and small businesses in the area. Coney Island Brewing Company plans to one-up its epic pirate ship, and you’ll see Aaron Kay (a.k.a. “The Yippie Pie Man”) towing a 15-foot helium float in the shape of a marijuana joint.

We’re most excited to witness this year’s Queen Mermaid and King Neptune, as the anointed are none other than Debbie Harry and Chris Stein of rock band Blondie. (Pause for squeals.) Residents and visitors generally huddle around popular boardwalk joints such as Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs and Grimaldi’s to see how many Little Mermaid Ariel look-alikes they can spot.

Get ready to usher in the summer solstice in the most outlandish way possible, but prepare yourself: Bubbles will be blown, pearl beads will be thrown and quite a bit of skin will be shown.

FYI: According to Coney Island’s website, pre-registration to participate in the parade has ended. However, you can still sign up day-of (cash only) from 10am–1pm on 21st Street between Surf Avenue and the Boardwalk.

The Coney Island Mermaid Parade is at 1pm this Saturday, June 17. The route begins at Surf Avenue and W 21st Street.

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