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  • Writer's pictureKaren Seiger

Mermaid Parade: Opening The Ocean For Summer 2015

It’s an all beach week here at Markets of New York City! I’m thrilled to share this full press release from Coney Island USA about the singularly amazing Mermaid Parade! Here are some photos I took of last year’s parade!

Mat Fraser and Julie Atlas Muz to Serve as King Neptune, Queen Mermaid in 2015 ——–

Coney Island USA’s 33rd Annual Mermaid Parade will begin at 1pm on Saturday, June 20, 2015. The parade starts at the corner of West 21st Street and Surf Avenue, and proceeds east on Surf Avenue to West 10th Street, where it turns south to the Boardwalk, and then north back to Steeplechase Plaza, where it concludes.

The Mermaid Parade is a unique and artistic celebration of ancient mythology and the honky-tonk seaside ritual that attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors to the amusement district. The parade features marching bands, drill teams, floats, antique cars and some 3,000 participants dressed in hand-made costume of mermaids, sea creatures, amusement rides and Neptunes. It is the largest art parade in the nation and the largest event of the year in Coney Island.

Mat Fraser (FX Channel’s American Horror Story: Freak Show) and Julie Atlas Muz (Whitney Biennial Artist, Actress, Burlesque Performer) will serve as King Neptune and Queen Mermaid, the highest position of honor in the parade. According to tradition, King Neptune and Queen Mermaid will be wheeled through the parade in an antique wicker Boardwalk Rolling Chair that dates back to 1923.

“This year the parade is proud to promote home grown royalty who have moved beyond Coney acclaim to national arts prominence: King Neptune Mat Fraser, a star of AMERICAN HORROR STORY Freak Show and Queen Mermaid Julie Atlas Muz, one of the top burlesque stars in the USA.”, said Coney Island USA founder Dick Zigun, who is known as the Mayor of Coney Island.

Immediately after the parade, at approximately 4 pm, Dick Zigun leads the King and Queen procession from the reviewing stand on West 20th Street through the MCU Park Parking Lot, to the beach for the opening of the Ocean, for the summer swimming season.

Parade Registration and additional information are available at:

The assembly sites and route are as follows: PEOPLE AND PUSH/PULL FLOATS, ANTIQUE AUTOS and MOTORIZED FLOATS assemble at West 21st Street and Surf Avenue. * The Parade will start at West 21st Street and Surf Avenue * The Parade will roll east to West 10th Street * At West 10th Street the Parade will turn south towards the boardwalk * Cars and Motorized Floats continue down Surf Ave. passing W. 10th Street and exit the parade. * At the Boardwalk, the marchers and push-pull floats will turn west and head towards West 17th St. * At Steeplechase Plaza, the Parade will disband.

The Mermaid Parade was founded in 1983 by Coney Island USA, the not-for-profit arts organization that also produces the Coney Island Circus Sideshow.

The parade was founded to achieve three goals: bring mythology to life for local residents who live on streets named Mermaid and Neptune; create self-esteem in a district that is often disregarded; and let artistic New Yorkers find self-expression in public. Previous King Neptunes and Queen Mermaids have included Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson, David Byrne, Queen Latifah, Moby, Annabella Sciorra, Judah Friedlander, Carole Radziwill, Harvey Keitel and Daphne Keitel.

ABOUT: Coney Island USA is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit arts organization based in the amusement park area of the Coney Island neighborhood of Brooklyn New York at 1208 Surf Ave. In existence since 1980, Coney Island USA has developed and produces a number of different programs including some of New York City’s best loved summer programming, such as the Mermaid Parade and the Coney Island Circus Sideshow. Coney Island USA also operates the Coney Island Museum and produces Ask the Experts, Burlesque at the Beach, Funhouse Philosophers, the Coney Island Tattoo and Hot Rod Festival, Congress of Curious Peoples and the Coney Island Sideshow School. Coney Island USA also produces the Coney Island Film Society and the Coney Island Film Festival in association with

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