Dante and Chiara de Blasio to Serve as King Neptune, Queen Mermaid of Mermaid Parade at Coney Island, 6/21
Coney Island USA's 32nd Annual Mermaid Parade will begin at 1 pm on Saturday, June 21, 2014. The parade starts at the corner of West 21st Street and Surf Avenue, and proceeds east on Surf Avenue to West 10th Street, where it turns south to the Boardwalk, and then north back to Steeplechase Plaza, where it concludes.
The Mermaid Parade is a unique and artistic celebration of ancient mythology and the honky-tonk seaside ritual that attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors to the amusement district. The parade features marching bands, drill teams, floats, antique cars and some 1,500 participants dressed in hand-made costume of mermaids, sea creatures, amusement rides and Neptunes. It is the largest art parade in the nation and the largest event of the year in Coney Island.
Dante and Chiara de Blasio will serve as King Neptune and Queen Mermaid, the highest position of honor in the parade. According to tradition, King Neptune and Queen Mermaid will be wheeled through the parade in an antique wicker Boardwalk Rolling Chair that dates back to 1923.
"We are extraordinarily honored to have the participation of New York City's first family in the parade," said Coney Island USA founder Dick Zigun, who is known as the Mayor of Coney Island. "King Neptune and Queen Mermaid represent the young adults of New York City who are the next generation of visitors to Coney Island and Coney Island USA."
Immediately after the parade, at approximately 5 pm, Dick Zigun leads the King and Queen procession through the MCU Parking Lot, to the beach for the opening of the Ocean, for the summer swimming season. From 6 pm - 12 am, the 12th annual Mermaid Parade Ball, the official after-party of The Mermaid Parade, will take place at MCU Park, home of the Brooklyn Cyclones, 1904 Surf Avenue, Brooklyn.
Parade Registration, Advance Ball Tickets and additional information for the Parade and Ball, are available at: www.coneyisland.com.
The parade was founded to achieve three goals: bring mythology to life for local residents who live on streets named Mermaid and Neptune; create self-esteem in a district that is often disregarded; and let artistic New Yorkers find self-expression in public. Previous King Neptunes and Queen Mermaids have included Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson, David Byrne, Queen Latifah, Judah Friedlander, Carole Radziwill, Harvey Keitel and Dapne Keitel.
Photo by Kenny Lombardi