|Coney Island Mermaid Parade|
|Venue||Coney Island Boardwalk|
|Location(s)||Coney Island, New York|
|Most recent||June 22, 2019|
|Website||Coney Island Mermaid Parade|
The Coney Island Mermaid Parade, held annually in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York, is the largest art parade in the United States. The parade is held each year in June and celebrates the arrival of the summer season. Created and produced by the non-profit arts organization Coney Island USA, the 37th annual parade was held on June 22, 2019.
The Mermaid Parade traditionally takes place on the Saturday closest to the Summer solstice, June 21, regardless of weather. Its intent is to celebrate self-expression, boost pride in the Coney Island district, and give New York artists a place to display their artwork. There are no ethnic, religious, or commercial aims.
The parade pays homage to the Coney Island Mardi Gras parades of the early 20th century. During this era, Coney Island was the primary amusement park destination for those in the New York area. Like the annual Village Halloween Parade, the Mermaid Parade evokes the artistic spirit of Mardi Gras.
The event typically attracts about 3,000 participants and hundreds of thousands of spectators from all five boroughs of New York. Some spectators travel to Coney Island's beach to escape the heat that often occurs during the beginning of summer. The mermaid parade is the largest art parade in the United States.
The tradition began in 1983, when the first event of this kind was conceptualized and organized by Dick Zigun, who is sometimes dubbed the "Mayor of Coney Island", and who was the founder of the non-profit arts organization Coney Island USA.
The parade of June 22, 2013 was almost canceled due to a lack of money and resources following the recovery from Hurricane Sandy. It was rescued through a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised $117,000, more than the $100,000 goal.
The Mermaid Parade is known for marine costumes, occasional partial nudity, as well as more family oriented fare. There are sections in the parade for vehicles of all kinds, for floats, for groups, and for individuals. The organizers of the parade claim to encourage bribery, so that participants have a better chance to win the various costume contests, which are also part of the day's entertainment.
Each year the Mermaid Parade features a King Neptune and Queen Mermaid.
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Unofficial Mayor of Coney Island
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- it is legal in New York State for women to be topless in public
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