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Coney Island, Mermaid Parade, Brooklyn
Photograph: Courtesy Coney Island USA

Here are the winners of the first-ever Coney Island mask contest

See these whimsical twists on an important social distancing practice.

By
Howard Halle
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As of now, it's unclear whether the annual Coney Island Mermaid Parade (a Brooklyn institution) will be happening anytime soon. Originally scheduled for June 20, the 38th edition of the exuberantly semi-nude celebration of all things sideshow and nautically–nonsensical has been pushed back to an undetermined date, though organizers vow it will take place this year. Coney Island's own April kick-off was also delayed and rescheduled for a return in some form during NYC's Phase 4 reopening; considering we're not even through Phase 1 yet, let alone Phase 2, that could take some time.

But fret not fans of fanciful fun in the sun: Coney Island, USA, the organization behind the parade, just announced the winners of its first ever “Put on a Funny Face Mask Contest” contest, which issued a call on Facebook for unusual mask designs to honor the people who made PPE during the height of the Covid-19 crisis. Awards called "Maskies" were bestowed for categories such as "Best Overall Mask," "Best Coney Island-Themed Mask," and "Best Formal Mask," which were given out in a ceremony over Zoom. Among those featured were former Queen/Mermaid Laurie Anderson and Coney celebs (you can watch the full proceedings on YouTube).

Hopefully, there will be no need for another such contest in the future, but in meantime, and without further ado, here are some of the winning entries (and more).

Melissa Lawson (Best Mask)

Coney Island, Mermaid Parade, Brooklyn
Photograph: Courtesy Coney Island USA

Ruben Santana (Best Coney Island Mask)

Coney Island, Mermaid Parade, Brooklyn
Photograph: Courtesy Coney Island USA

Suzie Sims-Fletcher (People’s Choice award)

Coney Island, Mermaid Parade, Brooklyn
Photograph: Courtesy Coney Island USA

Jenny Du Puis (Best Formal Mask)

Coney Island, Mermaid Parade, Brooklyn
Photograph: Courtesy Coney Island USA

Vanessa Sterbenz (Mask Makers’ Choice, First Place)

Coney Island, Mermaid Parade, Brooklyn
Photograph: Courtesy Coney Island USA

Jennifer Erin Taves (Mask Makers’ Choice, Third Place)

Coney Island, Mermaid Parade, Brooklyn
Photograph: Courtesy Coney Island USA

Anthony Whitaker (whose mask makes reference to his experience as a 9-11 first responder)

Coney Island, Mermaid Parade, Brooklyn
Photograph: Courtesy Coney Island USA

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