The city's first children led the way as the 32nd annual Mermaid Parade stepped off Saturday in Coney Island. NY1's Erin Clarke filed the following report.
Every year the Mermaid Parade gets bigger and bigger.
"You can never get a good seat, always in the back row and everything, so we decided to get out here early, relax and enjoy the day," said one attendee.
This year, the 32nd annual parade followed suit with the city's first children, Dante and Chiara de Blasio, serving as King Neptune and Queen Mermaid, followed by their parents close behind.
"They capture the imagination of the citizen and young people of New York during the campaign. They are cool," another spectator said.
Thousands converged on Coney Island, lining Surf Avenue to get a glimpse of those walking the parade in their spectacular costumes.
"They make us feel like they're celebrities and we love, we love it. It makes our day," said a third spectator.
Mermaids of course, pirates, and sea creatures of all kinds were just some on display.
"We are scurvy Captain Quentin and the Sea Creatures Quixotic," said one participant.
"Why not dress up like a mermaid? We can't really be mermaids, unfortunately, so we can at least pretend for a day," another participant said.
The creativity and freedom expressed by those marching is always something contagious.
The Mermaid Parade—an homage to Coney Island's own Mardi Gras of the past—invites even spectators to join in the fun.
"I feel like it's a chance for people to really express themselves. We were walking on the train like this and it was like a super experience for me because I've never done anything like that before," said one parade-goer.
With the beautiful weather, the parade made for an overall experience that those here say is the perfect way to start off the summer season.