Wet and wild at the Mermaid Parade 2009

The Coney Island Mermaid Parade is always a great celebration, welcoming the summer to New York City in a way that only Coney Island can – crazy and fun.  Revelers of all ages gather to either march or just watch the show, and what a show it is.  This year the weather forecast called for rain which posed an interesting question – would the mermaids still show up even if it were as wet on land as under the sea?  The answer was an overwhelming yes.  The participants were there, as were the spectators.  And the rain actually wrapped up shortly before the actual parade started so the umbrellas disappeared and the fun truly came out.

The parasols were much more useful for looking pretty than keeping the rain away
Hula hoops are always fun!

It helps to know people who know people in life.  In my case I happen to have a friend in the family that runs the Mermaid Parade (and the side show in Coney Island).  That means that I get to walk inside the barricades on the parade route some of the time and work as a volunteer, in addition to taking photos and otherwise enjoying the day.  I even managed to sell a few t-shirts to the fans in the crowd, fulfilling my volunteer duties with great success.

More of the parasols
Fish eyes!

Depending on how you’re counting, it has been reported that the Mermaid Parade is the 2nd largest parade event in New York City.  I’m not really sure which metric they are using there, but it is quite a spectacle.

King of the parade, Harvey Keitel
Sea horses lining up for a race on the parade route

The Mermaid Parade is definitely one of the more enjoyable ways to welcome summer to New York City, even when summer arrives a bit cold and damp as it did this year.  But the hundreds of participants and thousands of spectators lining the parade route didn’t seem to mind the weather at all.  In fact, it is quite possible that the rain brought out the crazy side of some in the crowd a bit more than usual.  Good times!

More photos from this year’s Coney Island Mermaid Parade can be found here.  Photos from last year’s festivities are located here and here, too.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.