Join the Fun: Everything You Need to Know About the 2024 Mermaid Parade

Thousands of mermaid lovers and art enthusiasts are set to descend upon Brooklyn for the much-anticipated Coney Island Mermaid Parade.

Marking its 42nd annual celebration, this year’s parade will take place on Saturday, June 22, at 1 p.m. Known as the nation’s largest art parade, the Mermaid Parade promises a spectacle of creativity and community spirit.

The parade, which began in 1983, draws visitors from across the country to Coney Island’s shore. Inspired by the Coney Island Mardi Gras parades of old, the Mermaid Parade has evolved into a vibrant celebration.

The event was created by Coney Island USA’s former artistic director, Dick Zigun, and is produced by Coney Island USA, a non-profit arts organization located in the heart of Coney Island’s amusement district.

Paying tribute to Coney Island’s century-long history of ingenuity, revelry, and pageantry, the parade celebrates the artistic vision of the masses. It features crowned King Neptune and Queen Mermaid, fantastical sea creatures, mer-folk, marching bands, dancing groups, baby strollers, and mechanized floats.

The parade is a showcase of creativity, drawing participants and spectators from all five boroughs and beyond.

By the late 1980s, the Mermaid Parade had become a must-see event, heralding the official opening of summer in New York City. The parade not only provides an economic boost to local businesses but also ensures a successful summer season by attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors to the amusement area.

Join the Fun: Everything You Need to Know About the 2024 Mermaid Parade

The parade starts at 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 22, regardless of the weather. It kicks off on West 21st Street and Surf Avenue, heading east to West 10th Street. From there, marchers and push-pull floats will proceed to the boardwalk and continue their journey to Steeplechase Plaza, under the Parachute Jump, where the event will disband.

Around 5 p.m., following the parade, there will be a procession from the judges’ stand at 19th Street and Surf Avenue, through the Maimonides Park Parking lot, to the beach.

Marchers can join this procession from the end of the parade route under the Parachute Jump. On the beach, the official beach ceremony will take place, marking the opening of the ocean for the summer swimming season.

Watching the parade is free, with many excellent viewing spots available. The boardwalk offers a great vantage point for seeing marchers and push-pull floats, while Surf Avenue provides views of antique cars and motorized floats.

Be aware that Surf Avenue crowds can be as dense as those in Times Square on New Year’s Eve, so positioning yourself on the north side (the non-beach side) of Surf Avenue can make it easier to access the subway or cross the street amidst the throng.

For those needing ADA-accessible viewing, the designated area is at the NYPD Command Center on the north side of the street, between 10th and 12th streets, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Parking can be a challenge on parade day, as many streets will be closed starting at 10 a.m. and won’t reopen to traffic until after 6 p.m.

Parade-goers might consider parking at the New York Aquarium, Maimonides Park, or private lots between Surf and Neptune Avenues and West 8th and West 17th streets. To access these parking lots, you should plan to arrive before the streets close at 10 a.m. However, mass transit is strongly recommended for convenience.

For those eager to participate in the parade, there is still time to register. Individuals or groups can sign up to march, with a registration fee of $35 per adult and $20 for children.

Check-in and registration for floats, antique cars, and marchers will take place in the parking lot on Surf Avenue, between 21st and 22nd streets, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the day of the parade.

For more information, visit Coney Island’s official website.

The Coney Island Mermaid Parade is not just an event; it’s an experience that celebrates creativity, community, and the vibrant spirit of summer in New York City.

Whether you’re a participant or a spectator, the 2024 Mermaid Parade promises to be an unforgettable celebration.

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