PHOTOS: Mermaid Parade swims back to Coney Island

Coney Island hosted its 41st annual Mermaid Parade on June 17, with thousands of sea-faring sirens taking to the streets to celebrate the event.

The parade, which began at 1 p.m. at West 21st and Surf Avenue saw dozens of large floats, retro vehicles and of course immaculately costumed merfolk traipse down the street. 

The event wrapped up around 4 p.m. with a grand finale celebration taking place on the beach to mark the official start of Coney Island’s summer swimming season.

“The Mermaid Parade is always a celebration of the creativity of the people of New York,” said Coney Island USA’s Artistic Director, Adam Rinn.

Musicians, dancers and other performers also joined in on the fun, entertaining the flocks of observers who lined the parade’s route.

This year, the ceremonial role of ‘Queen Mermaid’ was filled by Laurie Cumbo, the Commissioner of Cultural Affairs for the City of New York, while the ‘King Neptune’ honor went to Kool Keith, the famed rapper and producer from the Bronx.

“Who better to serve as Queen of the parade than someone who’s brought, supported, and funded art all across the five boroughs? Laurie Cumbo, the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner, filled her Brooklyn district with art as a City Councilmember and strives in her new role to fill the entire city with art,” Rinn said. “Having Kool Keith as the King of the Mermaid Parade is a dream come true, and our way of celebrating the 50th anniversary of Hip Hop, born just north of Coney Island in the Bronx. Kool Keith is one of most prolific and unique performers in Hip Hop, and we’re thrilled that he’ll be part of the parade this year.”

The parade, which has been a Coney Island mainstay since 1983, resumed in 2022 after a two year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event is also the largest art parade in the nation, with hundreds of thousands of spectators and participants attending over the years.

To learn more about this year’s Mermaid Parade or to take a trip down memory lane, visit the official Coney Island Mermaid Parade site here.