Family-Friendly Freak Show: Coney Island Mermaid Parade (Photos)

mermaid parade 2012, coney island, the little mermaid, summer fun, nyc parades
Fun in the sun!

Growing up in New York City means your childhood will be a little bit different than what most kids in America experience. It means that from a young age you will probably know what a drag queen is, if not know one personally. It means that you will be used to the space where grime and glitter collide. It means that you will probably see a boob covered in a pasty before age 10. In short, it means that your childhood will be really very rad.

I took my daughter to The Mermaid Parade at Coney Island for the first time this Saturday, and it was my first time, too. We had a total blast eating clams on the boardwalk, meeting strangers who covered us in silver sparkles (thank you, ladies!) and checking out all the crazy and beautiful characters who dressed in totally incredible costumes. Take a look!

  • The Little Mermaid 1 of 25
    The Little Mermaid
    A little girl we rode the subway to Coney with. She told me she didn't get any candy last year because she wasn't in costume, but she was planning to fix that this year!
    Photo credit: Carolyn Castiglia
  • Sparkle Tail 2 of 25
    Sparkle Tail
    The fancy mermaid sightings began as soon as we got off the train. I took this photo of my daughter and her mermaid pal before we even left the subway station.
    Photo credit: Carolyn Castiglia
  • Grandma and Grandpa Mermaid 3 of 25
    Grandma and Grandpa Mermaid
    These aren't my daughter's actual grandparents, but a very cool King and Queen of the Sea nonetheless! Check out his coral hat.
    Photo credit: Carolyn Castiglia
  • Blue 4 of 25
    Nicki Minajmaid?
    Photo credit: Sharese Ann Frederick/Flickr
  • Pink 5 of 25
    There were a lot of "geisha" mermaids with lovely paper umbrellas to shield them from the sun. I mean, if you're gonna put that much makeup on, why let it melt off...
    Photo credit: PaulSteinJC/Flickr
  • Neptune and his Lady 6 of 25
    Neptune and his Lady
    Love this guy!
    Photo credit: Paul Lowry/Flickr
  • Mexican Mermaid 7 of 25
    Mexican Mermaid
    Dia de los Mermaids!
    Photo credit: PaulSteinJC/Flickr
  • A Real-Life Ariel! 8 of 25
    A Real-Life Ariel!
    The red hair.......
    Photo credit: PaulSteinJC/Flickr
  • Motley Crew 9 of 25
    Motley Crew
    Gorgeous in green!
    Photo credit: PaulSteinJC/Flickr
  • Hot Rod! 10 of 25
    Hot Rod!
    The actual parade down Surf Ave. begins with an array of classic cars, like this one.
    Photo credit: ataferner/Flickr
  • Peanut Butter and Jellyfish 11 of 25
    Peanut Butter and Jellyfish
    Get it???
    Photo credit: Paul Lowry/Flickr
  • Benaiga Hijita! 12 of 25
    Benaiga Hijita!
    Having a blast!
    Photo credit: Paul Lowry/Flickr
  • Ariel Meets Ursula? 13 of 25
    Ariel Meets Ursula?
    He sure is pretty, whatever he is!
    Photo credit: sarabeephoto/Flickr
  • King Crab 14 of 25
    King Crab
    This is just amazing.
    Photo credit: sarabeephoto/Flickr
  • Zombie Mermaid! 15 of 25
    Zombie Mermaid!
    I mean, of course she's a zombie. You can't have a parade these days without one! Get ready for the merpocalypse!
    Photo credit: sarabeephoto/Flickr
  • Merdog 16 of 25
    Check out more cute animals at Babble Pets.
    Photo credit: sarabeephoto/Flickr
  • Pride Mermaid Clown Seahorse? 17 of 25
    Pride Mermaid Clown Seahorse?
    Sometimes you just have to cheer them on anyway...
    Photo credit: Sharese Ann Frederick/Flickr
  • Two-Headed Freak 18 of 25
    Two-Headed Freak
    Yes, there's an actual freak show at Coney Island. My daughter loved this guy.
    Photo credit: Paul Lowry/Flickr
  • Merkids 19 of 25
    Photo credit: Paul Lowry/Flickr
  • Swings 20 of 25
    The sky was so clear and the temperature was perfect for a day at the beach!
    Photo credit: Sharese Ann Frederick/Flickr
  • Wonder Wheel 21 of 25
    Wonder Wheel
    No Coney retrospective is complete without a shot of this guy!
    Photo credit: Paul Lowry/Flickr
  • PirateMaid 22 of 25
    Photo credit: asterix611/Flickr
  • Overview from the Boardwalk 23 of 25
    Overview from the Boardwalk
    I don't know how the photographer got this shot! Great.
    Photo credit: Alangreig/Flickr
  • Flamingos 24 of 25
    We took the train home with this couple, who were very clearly in love. Their heads were on the floor, though.
    Photo credit: moriza/Flickr
  • The End 25 of 25
    The End
    A great time was had by all!
    Photo credit: Carolyn Castiglia


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