the mermaid parade was saturday – and despite wet conditions, thousands came out to support the greatest + largest arts parade in the country.  dick zigun – founder + unofficial mayor – kicked off the event proudly banging his coney island drum

doing this for 26 years

doing this for 26 years

most costumes payed respect to under water life.  squid, fish, titans + even ariel were all in attendance.  there were also quite a few seemingly random marchers – those just interested in participating and lacking the gift of creativity in costume.

devoted photographer

devoted photographer

in addition to pirates and sea related ensembles, there was a fair bit of circus/freak themed get-ups. i especially enjoyed the zoltar costume – kindling eeriness from the movie, big.

zoltar in back

zoltar in back

zigun began the parade in the early 80’s to pay homage to the mardi gras of coney island’s past (1903-1954). he wanted to respect this tradition with a mix of the village halloween parade for a true nyc arts experience.  floats toss metallic beads and recent pop-up local, ringling bros. handed out red plastic noses to promote nearby boom-a-ring circus

bag of nose

bag of honkers

other local darling, the ny aquarium, rode in with a giant fish balloon – ten points for naming what type of oceanic creature this is based off of:

creepers

creepers

the parade began along surf avenue, focusing mostly on the large floats and antique cars – dancers also marched along this path, but they had access to the boardwalk and beach.  because of this, surf ave really highlighted the fire breathing cars like this oldie with teacup yorkie

hoochie mama

hoochie-mama

with weather as it was – i can’t even imagine the crowds that may have arrived had the sun shined all day.

saturday june 20th 2009

saturday june 20th 2009

what was clear, was that the onlookers were grouchy with their umbrellas + marchers were happy as can be – afterall, merpeople live underwater

feathered underwater ?

subaqueous feathers?

clearly not just a coney island, but a new york staple – the mermaid parade was successful, artsy, beautiful, exhilarating and just plain fun.  can’t wait for next year!

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