Absinthe made their hearts grow fonder!
Hundreds celebrated the 35th Anniversary of the beloved Mermaid Parade and the 100th Anniversary of the landmarked Coney Island USA building on Surf Avenue on March 25, but don’t ask anyone there to tell you exactly what happened — they got too stuck in to the hallucinogenic hooch to recall, according to the ring master.
“A lot of us didn’t know that absinthe is now a legal alcohol and we were drinking that and that makes my memory a little bit foggy,” said Coney Island’s unofficial Mayor Dick Zigun, who also invented the parade.
What Zigun can recollect through the green haze is that more than 200 people showed up to his annual Spring Gala, and the festivities included burlesque dancers, magicians, and mini-Mermaid Parade that marched through the building.
Others vaguely recall that a bunch of former Miss Coney Islands showed up, and that sideshow performer Mat Fraser — who also stars in the FX network show “American Horror Story” — recreated iconic 1930s freak-show act “Sealo the Seal Boy,” which featured a man who had hands but no arms.
“It was such a physical oddity at the time, Mat recreated his act based on transcripts, which was pretty cool,” said Manhattanite David Loewy, who is also a board member of Coney Island USA.
The gala raised a whopping $35,000 for Coney Island USA, which will go towards staging all of its beach-side spectacles, including the Mermaid Parade, which will be on June 17 this year.