As we march towards the official start of summer, we pass many fun and exciting events. Some are one off events that take place are due to the weather and general vibe of our city this time of year. Others are staples in the calendar, and we look forward to them every year. This weekend, two of those events take place – Father’s Day and the Mermaid Parade!
What do these two events have in common? Well, they’ve both been taking place for nearly a century! According to History.com, the nation’s first Father’s Day was celebrated on June 19, 1910, in the state of Washington. However, it was not until 1972—58 years after President Woodrow Wilson made Mother’s Day official—that the day honoring fathers became a nationwide holiday in the United States.
The Mermaid Parade dates back to 1923 when King Neptune and Queen Mermaid were first wheeled through the parade in an antique wicker Boardwalk Rolling Chair. The 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 costumes of mermaids, sea creatures, amusement rides and Neptune. It is the largest art parade in the nation and the largest event of the year in Coney Island.
“We are very excited to have Mx Justin Vivian Bond and Dr. Dave Chokshi lead the parade, as this year’s Queen Mermaid and King Neptune” Coney Island USA Artistic Director Adam Rinn said. We’re thrilled to be bringing an in-person parade back after a two year absence. We know that the participants have all this pent up creative energy that they’ve been storing up. We’re all looking forward to seeing the best costumes, floats, and marchers in the parade’s history. And, we are thrilled to have our good friends at the Coney Island Brewery as our co-presenter.”
The 40th Annual Mermaid Parade takes place on Saturday June 18th! The parade kicks off at 1pm (rain or shine) on West 21st and Surf Avenue and proceeds on Surf Avenue to West 10th, then heads south to the Boardwalk and then west back to its ending point at Steeplechase Plaza on the Boardwalk. For more information, visit https://www.coneyisland.com/programs/mermaidparade
Bring Dad to get an early start to his day! That leaves Sunday open for an epic BBQ!