You’ll never feel like a fish out of water dressed up as a mermaid. Just ask the thousands of humans-turned-mermaids that appear each year for the annual Coney Island Mermaid Parade. A landmark event each summer since 1983, this outrageous ocean-themed event draws in thousands of participants who are all dressed up as mermaids, mermen, sea creatures or other wild and wacky water-inspired things. Hundreds of thousands of folks line the streets of this nostalgic amusement destination to pay homage to these sexy sea sirens, underwater goddesses and their accompanying aquatic wildlife.
Capturing the spirit and artistry of other big parades like Mardi Gras, but on a smaller scale, this New York area celebration of the summer solstice is a quite a sight to behold. While marketed as a family event, you will see plenty of mermaid costumes with very little or nothing worn on the top (in New York state, it is legal for women to go topless). But there are also plenty of little aspiring Ariels marching right along – anything goes here! Just be aware of the inherent and welcomed weirdness!
You’ll see rainbow costumes in an iridescent rainbow array of colors, every neon hue you can possibly image under the sea as well as shimmering silvers and glittering golds. Many of the mermaid costumes are intricately handmade; you can tell the wearer has put some thought and time into the flip of her tail and the sheen of her scales. From shimmering metallic fabrics to frothy tulle and even “scales” made of soda can pop-tabs, the parade atendees are known to get very creative with their ocean-inspired outfits.
But don’t fret if you haven’t a crafty bone in your body, there are plenty of fabulous mermaid costumes that come preassembled and ready to wear. Pick out a mermaid costume that makes you feel like a siren of the sea, open the package and enjoy the instant transformation. Just add body paint to these women’s costumes, a long cascading wig and ocean-inspired accessories such as shells, seaweed and such and you’ll be ready to make waves!