Mermaid Parade floats down Surf Avenue for 30th year

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Photo gallery

Beach babes: Auburn and Jessica Layman traveled to Coney from Williamsburg to strut their stuff.
Fishy family: The Anderejacks came from Kensington to partake in the parade with thousands of others.
Up the coast: Katheleen Miller came all the way from Maryland to show off her marine splendor.
Queens of the sea: Jennifer Taves and Adriana Rolon journeyed from Queens to wave their fins in Coney.
Skins: Parade founder Dick Zigun drummed up fun on Surf Avenue.
Deep blue ribbon: These briny beauties rode on the Pabst Blue Ribbon float.
Royal retinue: This year’s King Neptune, Judah Friedlander, and Queen Mermaid, Carole Radziwill, wave to the crowd from their place of honor.
Wild crowd: The parade audience numbered in the hundreds of thousands.

Mermaids can’t drown!

More than 800,000 visitors flooded Coney Island on June 22 to see the Mermaid Parade triumphantly resurface following its near-death experience in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

Hundreds of marine-themed floats, half-naked revelers, and cavorting dance crews rolled down Surf Avenue and along the Boardwalk for the 30th year — all thanks to more than 2,300 donors who raised the $100,000 necessary to resuscitate the event after last year’s super storm.

The costumed cavalcade was left treading water after the October storm surge swamped founder Dick Zigun’s headquarters at the corner of Surf Avenue and W. 12th Street, destroying his famed freak theater and forcing him to sink hundreds of thousands of dollars into repairs. Little was left over to pay for permits, insurance, and security for the swimsuit-clad spectacle. Zigun knew it was sink or swim for his beloved fishy fanfare, and turned to the crowdsourcing website Kickstarter for a lifeline.

“That’s the way the people of Brooklyn, the wackos of New York City, people who care about alternative culture across America, that is how they contribute to things,” Zigun said.

The campaign raised $40,000 in just six days, and reached its goal four days in advance of the June 3 deadline — meaning the wave of debauchery could wash over Surf Avenue once again. Zigun appointed “30 Rock” favorite Judah Friedlander and “Real Housewives of New York” star Carole Radziwill as 2013’s “King Neptune” and “Queen Mermaid” in appreciation for their assistance in keeping the partially clothed procession afloat.

The self-proclaimed “Mayor of Coney Island” was in buoyant spirits after the event, reporting that his the scantily clad pageant went swimmingly — and calling it the largest and least problematic in memory.

“This was the best parade we’ve ever put on in three decades — no accidents, no arrests, just everybody smiling,” Zigun said.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him
Updated 10:12 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

diehipster from harpooning Harpers says:
I couldn't make it this year since I was out of town but the one unfortunate thing about this event is that it gives 'pioneering hipsters' a chance to come into an area they are not wanted - below the DIEHIPSTER LINE. It makes them believe that the craziness of the parade is a year-round, zany thing around here in still-pure Brooklyn; not realizing that the other 364 days - excluding Halloween - we are not wearing costumes (like North Brooklyn) and are just a normal mix of real worldly culture not trying to be cool or attention-seeking.

I can imagine this conversation the day of the parade on the F train: "Hey Colby....Yes Zane?.... Look, we just passed Neptune Avenue, what a funny name! [[[ double nasal snicker and giggle ]]].

My friend told me they even had a PBR float for the parade!! A f*ckin PBR Float?? See what happens when I let my guard down?

Next year for the parade, I'm gonna start one of those Kickstarter campaigns to rent one of those little airplanes that fly around beaches with a banner that says " GET THE —— OUT OF HERE YOU FILTHY MOTHER EFFIN HIPSTERS"

I'm serious.
June 26, 2013, 7:44 am
T-Bone from DoBro says:
Tough talk there, big guy.
June 26, 2013, 8:34 am
Immersive Culture from Williamsburg says:
Actually the Mermaid Parade is an old hipster event. It was founded by a Yale Theater MFA and bills itself as "America's largest ART parade" (emphasis added). The Mermaid Parade has long been a pilgrimage for freakazoids from Williamsburg and the LES, such as IFAM (Institute for Aesthetic Modulation) which habitually takes rewards home from the parade.

Mermaid Parade founder Dick Zigun: and-circus-sideshow/cast/dick-zigun

IFAM at the Mermaid Parade
June 26, 2013, 10:32 am
Coney says:
It was the parades 31st year, not 3oth. First parade was 1983. Last year was the 3oth Anniversary.
June 26, 2013, 12:39 pm
Coney says:
diehipster is lost. Coney is full of hipsters daily and they've been in the parade for decades. PBR was in the parade last year. And Brooklyn has been hipster central since the 90's. Go back to sleep.
June 26, 2013, 12:42 pm
Coney says:
diehipster is lost. Coney is full of hipsters daily and they've been in the parade for decades. PBR was in the parade last year. And Brooklyn has been hipster central since the 90's. Go back to sleep.
June 26, 2013, 12:42 pm
diehipster from Actually from Brooklyn says:
Coney -

You KNOW you are making all that up. I frequent Coney a lot and in all seasons. Hipsters are barely noticeable compared to the regular crowd. Brooklyn has been hipster central since the 90's? By central you mean they make up most of the Brooklyn demographic? Then and now??? Are you crazy? South Brooklyn is hipster free. Most of Brooklyn is hipster free.

Coney you are just an angry hipster who is mad at me. Go ahead tell me more about Brooklyn.
June 26, 2013, 4:34 pm
diehipster from Actually from Brooklyn says:
Immersive -

All the art culture you mention was tolerable then. Not much of it and wasn't in everybodys face all year long - all over the city - all over the media, etc. The parade, and that over-all day in Coney was a lot smaller and more real.

Fast forward to the last 5 or so years and you have every try-hard Ethan and Zooey and Josh and Caleb from Culdesacia clogging the place up.
June 26, 2013, 4:43 pm
Coney says:
Not a hipster, born n bred Coney 46 years ago, Brightwater Towers. You're obviously not, if you think Coney hasn't been hipsterfied for years now... or you're in denial!
June 26, 2013, 5:20 pm
diehipster from Actually from Brooklyn says:
You're delusional. But most likely lying. Hipsterfied????? Ok, let me not keep this going. Have fun hanging with all those hipsters.
June 26, 2013, 5:26 pm
Coney says:
They don't bother anyone and don't commit crime, so whatever. You're lost, hipsters have been at the parade for decades now, they go to the burlesque shows and all of Coney Island USA's events. They wouldn't last, without the hipster demographic.
June 26, 2013, 6:22 pm
Immersive Culture from Williamsburg says:
Yes diehipster, but our brood has spawned since those days. For it was G-d's will that we should seed these shores. And today our beards are equal to none but those of Zion. For we, in Immersion, are in fact the Lost Tribe of Babylon. Not even the hipsters understand this fully. But those mysteries of the temples of the Immersionati have already been revealed to the rabbinate of Division Avenue. And though they are not pleased with the bangles and exposed bellies of our women, they have conceded these to our long exile in the East. And they are pleased with with our beards, and convinced of demotic scrolls that we profer. Hipsterius ad Immersus kai Bohemoi !!!
June 26, 2013, 8:35 pm
Mark from Windsor Terrace says:

Really bro? The Mermaid Parade has basically been a hipster parade since day 1. The only difference is that at the beginning more of them came out from the LES to Coney Island.

The first time I went was in the early 90's (when "Ruby's" was pretty much an alchohics bar) and it was full of hipsters and weirdo artist types then.
June 26, 2013, 9:08 pm
bkdude65 from bk says:
Coney, its filled with hipsters, yes - In the summer. Then they hop on the train and go home!
June 26, 2013, 10:23 pm
bkdude65 from bk says:
isn't that basically what you are saying, diephipster?
June 26, 2013, 10:29 pm
diehipster from Actually from Brooklyn says:
After the parade (I lied about being out of town, I have no money to travel) I went back to my mom's basement and masturbated for hours. I used all those hipsters (I do a mental flash card thing) as whack material. Then I started to find random objects to shove up my anus. OMG like yah! Then my mom went out to pick up random homeless men for sex and I started wearing her dirty panties. She has this really bad vaginal infection and the puss dries on the front of her giant panties. I tell ya, a little saliva makes it as good as new! This is how we do in REAL BROOKLYN people! So go back to being hipsters and I'll go back to raiding my mother's hamper. Don't even get me started on her toe fungus. Oh god, I'm gonna come again on my lunch.
June 29, 2013, 8:30 pm
JoJo from Sunnyside says:
Coney is totally hipster (and has been for decades) for ONE DAY A YEAR. Maybe two, if you count the following weekend that attracts some poseur, stragglers "paying their dues" for their hipster street cred. The rest of the year is virtually hipster-free, except for a small bunch of the hipsters on bikes brigade. They are too tired to be much of a problem though. Ride there, get wet, be horrified at people eating Nathan's, carry bike onto train back to North Brooklyn. Over all Coney is still Coney despite the ever encroaching hipsters. Thank God.
June 30, 2013, 1:50 pm

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