June 20, 2016 / Brooklyn news / Photo Galleries / Brooklyn Is Awesome

Shock-rocker pops question to burlesque queen at Mermaid Parade

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Down on one flipper: Chuck Varga, who made costumes for and performed in the art-rock band Gwar, presents a two-foot engagement ring he made to Brooklyn burlesque icon Bambi the Mermaid during the Mermaid Parade on June 18.
She said yes: The happy couple.
Riding the wave: The election year brought out more political mermaids.
Sunbern: And it brought out more than a few Bernie Sanders- and Donald Trump-themed costumes.
Million-dollar costume: We don’t know if this guy loves or hates the bag tax.
Sea weed: These two managed to get Bib No. 420.
Model citizens: Hey it’s King Neptune Carlo Scissura and Queen Mermaid Hailey Clauson!
They mer-made it: Parade founder Dick Zigun proclaims the beaches open.

It’s a match made in Sodom by the Sea!

A burlesque luminary and a founding member of shock-rock outfit Gwar announced their engagement at Coney Island’s 34th Mermaid Parade. Beau Chuck Varga — an art director and costume-maker who portrayed Sexecutioner in the macabre metal act — popped the question to Burlesque at the Beach founder Bambi during the Mermaid Parade on Saturday, and she said yes. They met marching last year, but theirs is a love story as timeless as the parade itself, Varga said — boy meets girl, girl helps boy don mermaid costume, boy helps girl out of costume after the parade.

“I shucked her oyster,” he said. “We met at a dress rehearsal. She wanted to do my fingernails. During that conversation, we just started to nibble on each other, and I saw her heart and she saw mine. I saw her at this after-party too, and I took her home with me. I told her I was abducting her.”

And there was no better place for a proposal, said Bambi, who has attended the parade for 23 years and was crowned Queen in 2006.

“It was like a dream come true — the parade is my favorite day of the year, and it means a lot to us,” she said. “To have all of our friends and family around us was really epic. It was the most beautiful thing that’s ever happened to me.”

Varga sculpted an elaborate costume and fashioned a two-foot engagement ring for his larger-than-life proposal. The pair plan to get married next year, and are hinting that parade founder and licensed wedding officiant Dick Zigun will perform the sacred rite.

“It may be the mayor of Coney Island who marries us,” Varga said. “We’re considering him, and he has made the offer.”

And that ain’t the half of it! Check out our slideshow for even more parade action.

Reach deputy editor Max Jaeger at or by calling (718) 260–8303. Follow him on Twitter @JustTheMax.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Gordon from Bay Ridge says:
Wig will destroy ocean. Manic panic it.
June 20, 2016, 8:12 am

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