New York is home to several iconic parades, but none promise quite as much nudity as the Coney Island Mermaid Parade. Mermaid costumes are skimpy enough, but a lot of spectators and participants take their nautical costumes to the extreme in the grand tradition of Coney Island spectacle. You’ll see some sea shell bras, as well as scallop pasties, strategically placed kelp, tin foil speedos, shirtless octopi, schools of sparkly fish, Neptunes with tridents, etc…this is the Kentucky Derby of people watching events at Coney Island. (And straight girls and gay men, don’t worry–there will be plenty of barely clothed men as well as nearly nude ladies).
The parade itself will be presided over by this year’s King Neptune and Queen Mermaid, Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson. And don’t expect giant balloons of cartoon characters, it’s more of the “decorate the back of a pick up” or “I’m gonna pull this wagon” type of parade. In addition to the parade, you can enjoy the traditional Coney Island activities of eating food you’ll regret, going on rickety roller coasters, drinking overpriced beer and staring at large people in tiny swim suits. Add riding on the subway in your homemade jellyfish or coconut bra, and you’ve got yourself a truly magical Saturday.
Photo from superchart.com
Coney Island Mermaid Parade
Parade route starts at West 21st Street and Surf Avenue, turns down West 10th Street toward the boardwalk, then ends at Stillwell Avenue.
Saturday, June 19