Mermaid Parade in Coney Island draws thousands

Throngs in thongs

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Photo gallery

Sea witch: This magical creature cast a spell over nearby paraders.
Neon-der the sea: These two mermaids must have been inspired by bright colors of coral-dwellers.
Peacocking: This shell-clad mermaid stood out in a sea of festively dressed folks.
Hued in blue: Dante and Chiara DeBlasio — the parade’s King Neptune and Queen Mermaid — went deep with their cosutmes, dousing themselves in body paint for the occasion.
Captain and first mate: A puffy-shirted Mayor DeBlasio channels his inner pirate while first lady Chirlane McCray went the mermaid route.
Frenzy: Hundreds of thousands of people filled Surf Avenue and the Boardwalk to watch the parade.
Tadpole: It wasn’t all riotous debauchery at the parade — many families brought their little funs for some fun in the sun.
Don’t burst my bubble: Revellers found creative ways to maintain a little modesty at Sodom By the Sea’s flagship festival.
Oh captain!: Jessica Scott came from San Francisco for the parade.

This festival of flippers was no flop.

The Coney Island Mermaid Parade rolled through Sodom by the Sea on June 21, bringing with it hundreds of thousands of revellers and enough pasties and prosthetic fins to choke a blue whale.

“From my point of view, it was the best parade we’ve thrown in 32 years,” said Dick Zigun, founder and artistic director of Coney Island USA and the Mermaid Parade.

This year’s march included a special mayoral entourage — Bill DeBlasio and wife Chirlane McCray sashayed down the Boardwalk as a pirate and mermaid, and their kids Dante and Chiara donned their foamy regalia as King Neptune and Queen Mermaid.

“The mayor was very cool,” Zigun said. “I don’t think we embarrassed him too much.”

The added security accompanying the city’s first family even made the pageant of freaks run a little smoother, Zigun said.

The People’s Playground’s biggest celebration appears to be getting its sea legs back. After Hurricane Sandy wrecked Coney Island USA’s headquarters, the Boardwalk boosters scrambled to raise $100,000 for the 2013 parade.

This year the cavalcade of carnies at Coney Island USA broke even on the exhibition, Zigun said. He expects smoother seas ahead and doesn’t see any 11th-hour fund-raisers on the horizon, he said.

Reach reporter Max Jaeger at or by calling (718) 260-8303. Follow him on Twitter @MJaeger88.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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