An unforgettable Mermaid Parade

Mermaid heaven: Thousands — including Rhinestone Follies sirens (from left) Ginger Brown, Beelze Babe, and Hacer Honeysuckle — flocked to the 30th annual Mermaid Parade in Coney Island on June 23.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

The 30th annual Mermaid Parade was Dick Zigun’s favorite freak fest in recent memory — because he can’t remember the last one.

Coney Island’s unofficial mayor said he was “dosed” by a fan at last year’s parade, causing him to blackout and miss most of the fun when his spiked drink took effect.

Yet he says he remembers every minute of this year’s boozy mardi gras-style festival because he abstained from alcohol and had dedicated volunteers taste test all of his snacks to make sure that they weren’t poisonous.

“As a result I was the only sober person there,” joked Zigun, the parade’s founder and man behind Sideshows by the Seashore, which organizes and helps pay for $100,000 event, which is free to all revelers. “I got a good look at the Frankenstein monster I created.”

Approximately 1 million people attended Saturday’s parade, which kicked off on Surf Avenue at W. 21st Street, snaked its way through the historic amusement district, and ended with a wacky seaside ceremony that enfused voodoo culture with sand-encrusted Coney Island cornball flavor.

The scantily-clad parade goers, dressed as mermaids, nymphs, and mermen, marched past a reviewing stand where comedian Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling and former “Sopranos” star Annabella Sciorra officiated as King Neptune and Queen Mermaid.

Reach reporter Daniel Bush at dbush@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-8310. Follow him at twitter.com/dan_bush.

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