Thousands lined up along Surf Avenue to watch Coney Island's 30th annual Mermaid Parade Saturday, where floats and colorful marchers dressed in their best sea creature and mermaid outfits. NY1's Natasha Ghoneim filed the following report.
From Mayan to Polynesian, Ancient Egyptian and '50s America, the 30th annual Mermaid Parade was a trip around the world. Of course, the Coney Island original whose motto should be "express yourself" was its typical celebration of exhibitionism.
"It's fun moving around, having people take your picture," said one person at the parade. "It boosts your confidence a lot."
"It's like heaven down here," said another. "It's like angels coming up from the sea."
For the first time this year, helium balloons made an appearance at the nation's largest art parade. 4,500 marchers strutted and danced their way along Surf Ave. This Tiki bar-inspired car was two-and-a-half years in the making and came all the way from Ohio.
"I wanted an art car of my own," said the woman who designed the car. "I glued all the bamboo on the car and it just kind of went from there."
A bit of bad luck landed a woman in a lighthouse costume in the parade. The woman said she ended up in the costume because she lost a bet.
For some, the roving fashion show where there was often more skin than clothing offered inspiration.
"It's just the excitement of seeing what so many people put the time in to do," said one parade-goer. "Just the costumes. I'm thinking about my costume next year."