“I must be a mermaid. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.” – Anais Nin
A sea of Mermaids, Mermen and Sea Creatures filled Coney Island Saturday for the 34th annual Mermaid Parade.
The Parade celebrates the sand, the sea, the salt air and the beginning of summer, as well as the history and myths of Coney Island. In hand-made costumes, everyone promenades, sashays and struts riotously down Surf Avenue. It’s an all inclusive affair with participants from infants to octogenarians. It’s part-fantasy, part-escapism, but all real – celebrating the imagination and combining all the eccentricities and joys of artistic self-expression !
The Parade is the largest art parade in the nation and I love it and never miss it if I am in NYC.
This year, The International Photography Awards received 17836 of submissions from over 153 countries, and is pleased to declare that Terri Gold was awarded Honorable Mention in Event – Traditions and Cultures for the winning entry The Mermaid Parade in Coney Island.
The mermaid is an archetypal image that represents a woman who is at ease in the great waters of life, the waters of emotion and sexuality. Traditions and celebrations add rhythm and texture to our lives and provide a genuine feeling of community. I have been photographing the Mermaid Parade for 20 years and it never disappoints. The Parade celebrates the sand, the sea, the beginning of summer and the myths of Coney Island.
The International Photography Awards conducts an annual competition for photographers on a global scale, creating one of the most ambitious and comprehensive competitions in the photography world today. A board of esteemed professionals in the field juries the competition: curators, photo editors, gallery owners, art directors, and other luminaries from the international photography community.
“Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up” – Pablo Picasso
I guess that’s why I love the Mermaid Parade…growing up has not gotten in the way of wonder here…
Not even Hurricane Sandy could stop Mermaid Parade ! After a fundraising effort, thousands of people came out to take part in the first post-superstorm Mermaid Parade along Surf Ave. in Coney Island. It’s part-fantasy, part-escapism, but all real. The festival is a wild celebration of the imagination, combining all the eccentricities and all the joys of artistic self-expression
The Mermaid Parade celebrates the sand, the sea, the salt air and the beginning of summer, as well as the history and myths of Coney Island. In hand-made costumes as Mermaids, Neptunes and various sea creatures, everyone promenades, sashays and struts riotously down Surf Avenue . It’s part-fantasy, part-escapism, but all real. The festival is a celebration of the imagination, combining all the oddities and all the joys of artistic self-expression.
I have shot this festival on and off for 20 years and it is always fabulous !
Saturday was the fabulous Coney Island Mermaid Parade. This year the parade also had a message. As one sign put it: “Fuck You BP, Save the Mermaids.” “Performance artist (Tigger) Ferguson told the Daily News, “Today is a celebration of sea life trying to survive in the gulf. The Mermaid Parade is a celebration of marine life, mythical and real.”
Still, the parade was as colorful and festive as ever. Lou Reed and wife Laurie Anderson served as the parade’s King and Queen, and everyone including the large group of inventive photographers had a great time. Along with the amazing mermaids and mermen and their creative costumes , the array of photographic gear is always inspirational. Every unique flash contraption, medium and large format film cameras and polaroid cameras and more are on display.
Coney Island is filled with new rides and the Circus and music on the boardwalk every night. I am definitely going back for a sunset visit to photograph more of the scene.
Coney Island is going through a transition period. Some of the old haunts are being replaced but the character of Coney Island is strong and will continue to shine through. If you get a chance and want to celebrate the beginning of summer in style visit the Mermaid Parade this weekend.
As the summer solstice approaches, along with the gift of longer days and more light, comes The Mermaid Parade. The wonderful Coney Island Mermaid Parade occurs the first Saturday after the summer solstice. Hundreds of mermaids, Neptune’s, mer-men and thousands of spectators and photographers descend upon Coney Island to celebrate the beginning of summer and the official opening of the Atlantic Ocean. Part Mardi Gras, part art festival; the Parade is a New York tradition. I have been photographing the Parade for 15 years whenever I am free-this year I am shooting a wedding that day so I am posting images from previous years and I encourage anyone who wants to begin the summer with spirit to join the festivities. For more information : http://www.coneyisland.com/mermaid.shtml
Nevada Wier is an award-winning travel and fine-art photographer specializing in the remote corners of the globe and the cultures that inhabit them. Enjoy her musings, creative tips, and practical suggestions. Excelsior!