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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2017 Boardwalk Style

seahorse costume
coney island mermaid 2017
mermaid parade 2017 costumes
Summer is here in Brooklyn when the Coney Island Mermaid Parade hits the boardwalk. The creative mermaid costumes, sexy sea outfits, and marine creatures parade in this grass roots 35-year tradition. It originated within the artist and circus folk community.

The costumes range from simple bikinis, seashells, and netting to elaborately constructed wearable floats. There is a lot of skin, but the parade is family friendly. While colors and sparkle are the norms, there are a few Gothic fashion lovers in the mix. Mystical creatures of all sorts are mixed in, like unicorns and satyrs. There are a lot of pop culture hybrids, like "Clamilton The Musical", Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland mermaid group costumes.

handmaids tale costumeThis year, I saw a lot more protest outfits. There were the "Handmermaids of Gilead" in tribute to The Handmaid's Tale to raise awareness of feminist issues. There were several environmental protest looks, ranging from saving the oceans, the EPA and other organizations. A Trump impersonator getting caught in a net was a visual punchline. Performance groups sang and danced protest messages along the parade that were supportive of the Women's March.

mariana leung costume
My look incorporated a Diane Von Furstenberg blue wave wrap dress mixed with tentacles and paired with a mermaid crown I made. I walked and photographed the parade. What I love most about walking along the Surf Avenue route and boardwalk is the ecstatic expressions on everyone's face. Everyone is so happy to dress up as a fantasy creature or see others dressed as one. The crowd is incredibly diverse. People of all genders, ethnic, shape, orientation, and physical abilities are well represented and supported. I was pleasantly surprised to see minimal corporate sponsorship, so the parade really felt it was put on by creatives for creatives.

The Coney Island Mermaid Parade is an event you need to experience at least once in your lifetime. I highly recommend you dress the part to fully experience the fun. If you do, get ready for me to catch you in my lens!
Photos by Mariana Leung

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