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The Coney Island Mermaid Parade…Yes Please!

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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

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

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Kiley E - Ragamuffin Researcher

Kiley E - Ragamuffin Researcher

After years of denial, Kiley has finally admitted to baring a striking resemblance to Velma from Scooby Doo. Instead of traveling in a van hunting ghosts, she prefers wandering on foot in search of tacos, cheap beer, and fake birds. Growing up in Portland, Kiley enjoyed the balance of urban and green spaces. Then she spent her four years at Ithaca College, and found herself craving more sprawling asphalt in her life. So she moved to Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where most of the buildings look like they're about to collapse. Kiley's favorite activities include: getting lost, crafting, sewing, biking, and geeking out at museums. Her love of taxidermy probably makes her a terrible vegetarian, but she doesn't care.