Mermaid Parade to bring fun and fantasy to Coney seaside

Get ready to lay anchor.

Coney Island’s Mermaid Parade marches along for its 34th annual year on Saturday, June 18, when, for one day, regular street traffic in the seaside neighborhood will disappear to make way for the finned, scaly, peg-legged and claw-armed masquerades of artistically inspired residents and visitors.

The wonderland of cars and characters will begin the march on West 21st Street and Surf Avenue and make its way to West 10th Street. Motorized floats and vehicles will continue onwards on Surf Avenue and exit the parade, while marchers and push-floats will turn towards the Coney Island Boardwalk and head back towards West 17th Street, where the parade will conclude at Steeplechase Plaza.

As the parade has done for its previous 33 years, it will feature a King Neptune and a Queen Mermaid, an award which has been gone to locals and public figures, including Mythbuster’s Adam Savage (2007), Queen Latifah (1999), and Dante and Chiara de Blasio (2014), son and daughter of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and his wife, Chirlane McCray.

The parade, started in 1983 by Coney Island USA founder Dick Zigun, is described by Coney Island USA as an artist-inspired event made with the goal of fostering artists’ self-expression, bringing mythology to life for Coney Island locals, and creating self-esteem in a district “often disregarded as ‘entertainment.’”

The 2016 Mermaid Parade now prohibits motorcycles and prevents paradegoers from riding on top of buses without handrails. For buses with handrails, no more than five individuals will be allowed on top of buses, except with special permission from parade managers.

Participants can register in advance at Day-of registration for the parade will begin at 10 a.m. and the parade is expected to begin at 1 p.m.

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