2008 Mermaid Parade on Coney Island – Part 4
This is the fourth and last of my posts on the Mermaid Parade.
I don’t know what I really expected from the parade. More importantly, I don’t know what I got from the parade. Lots of skin, to be honest. There were some politics in there. Some showmanship. A bit of cleverness, but not enough. I guess I expected pretty much what I got: a parade that just reveled in being a parade with marchers that were a bit exhibitionistic and a little bit laid back.
For what it’s worth, I tell you one thing it lacked big time: excitement. I’ve gone to lots of parades and a good parade has a lot of music and a lot of crowd participation. Some of the marchers, especially those at the beginning, tried to rouse the crowd. But maybe it was too hot. Probably it was too silent. The times it worked? When there was a lot of music. The times it didn’t work? When the marchers were in their own little world and didn’t project to the crowd.
Back to the coverage…Stilt-walking woman with a Carmen Miranda hat and blue painted skin. Okay, that seems to sum up Coney Island for me.
Here’s another picture of the crowd, just to show that this is a pretty popular parade.
The next picture is at the end of a frenzy of picture taking. Almost every picture I took had another photographer in it. But I did catch a picture of the guillotine at the end of it. The part that was the big attraction: dancing Marie Antoinettes in high hair and short dresses. Maybe eight of them in total. What does it have to do with mermaids? They called it “Marine Antoinette”.
Okay, I have very little excuse for the next picture except I like it.
Perhaps the best costume of the day: Popeye. He got a few call outs from the crowd. Well, he is a sailor man so I guess he’s a fine addition to the Mermaid Parade.
You can’t read much on Famous Ankles without running into pictures of beauty queens and the like. Well, here’s Miss Use of Recycled Materials. Well done! Of course, you sure ain’t the normal “Miss” anything I post on, but I’m content with that.
It took me a moment to understand what the next group was doing. Okay, beyond the showgirl aspect. Their headgear is a salute to Coney Island rides. Nicely done. I just wish I had caught the one on the far right a moment earlier (she had the Cyclone on her head).
They were trying for whimsy (I guess). They were trying for funny (I suppose). They were trying for cleverness (I would hope). A cowgirl/mermaid and a viking? Come on folks. You didn’t hit any of them.
Here’s a float. It symbolizes…I haven’t any idea.
This is what a lull in the parade looked like. There was a crossing area right where the crowd is (where people could go from one side of the parade to the other to get, for example, from the beach to the food area). Those people are just encroaching on the parade route to get a picture.
Maybe the idea of a theme is too deep for this parade. The people below sure don’t seem wedded to the idea of depth and relevance.
I think the next group is just trying hard to make me wonder who they are supposed to be. Sea monster and can of tuna?
I’ve seen this group do stuff before. They take old Metro cards and glue them together for costumes and the like. Why? Heck if I know. But then, I don’t know what Aztecs and the Mermaid Parade have in common, either.
This young lady is loaded up with SPF 2000 or so. And a parasol.
I guess the “sea monster and the beauty” is something of a cultural constant, and here they are again.
I started feeling the heat so I left with maybe 30 minutes left in the parade. Hey, I was really wiped out. And then it took forever to get to the subway. That’s because the parade was still going on and I was inside the square that the parade was making going up to the Boardwalk, down it, then to the street and then back to the beginning point. The crowd on the street was huge. I’m really glad I stayed on the Boardwalk.
So, that’s the end of the parade for me. I left really tuckered out and a day later hadn’t gotten back to snuff. I’m not sure if I’d recommend the parade to others. Like I said at the beginning, I did edit out a lot of pictures to keep this safe for work. But it wasn’t salacious. Maybe it was trying, but it didn’t even reach that.
For what it’s worth: next year bring a lot more music and make the marchers be a little more than people walking down the Boardwalk. Oh, and keep the hula hoopers. You can never have too many of them.