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Photograph: Filip Wolak

Coney Island Mermaid Parade in NYC: What you need to know

Written by
Kristen Zwicker

The Mermaid Parade is back, baby.

Now in its 36th year, Coney Island's annual seaside bacchanal features more than 3,000 near-naked revelers dressed as mermaids, mermen and other sea creatures parading down the main drag at one of the best beaches in NYC. Each year, the procession is led by the noble Queen Mermaid and King Neptune (this year it's singer-songwriter Amanda Palmer and her husband, fantasy fiction icon Neil Gaiman), who are surrounded by thousands of jovial spectators. It's a great chance to revel in the fabulous kitsch of one of the most iconic Brooklyn attractions. Read on to find out everything you need to know about the event, then slap on some sunscreen and glitter and check out one of the best NYC events in June.

When and where is the Mermaid Parade?

The Coney Island Mermaid Parade takes place Saturday, June 16, 2018 at 1pm. The parade begins at Surf Avenue and W 21st Street and travels along Surf Avenue and the Boardwalk to Steeplechase Plaza. Show up by 11am for a good view, or pony up $200 to become a Coney Island USA member and nab spot in the covered Judge’s Stands.

Will there be any street closures from the parade?

You bet. The following street closures will be in effect Saturday from 10am to 6pm:

-West 10th Street between Surf Avenue and Boardwalk
-West 21st Street between Surf Avenue and Boardwalk
-West 22nd Street between Surf Avenue and Boardwalk
-West 23rd Street between Surf Avenue and Boardwalk
-Boardwalk between West 10th Street and West 15th Street
-Stillwell Avenue between Surf Avenue and Dead End
-Surf Avenue between West 24th Street and West 10th Street 

How can I participate in the Coney Island Mermaid Parade?

Online registration is closed, but you can register in person from 10am to 1pm on Surf Ave between 21st St and 22nd St. Different fees apply for the various levels, including families, “artsy marchers,” antique cars and marching bands, but all fees are cash only, so bring some clams.

What if it rains?

The parade goes on rain or shine.

Is there an afterparty?

Yep. The 21 and over set can head to Kitchen 21's rooftop for the Mermaid Parade Ball, which features live music and burlesque performances. Tickets are $25 and the party goes from 5–11pm.

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