Reuters

Pictures from the annual Coney Island parade.

Coney Island has always had a flair for the old-fashioned, with its wooden roller coaster and parachute jump. The Mermaid Parade is no exception.

The event - dubbed "Brooklyn’s answer to Mardi Gras" by the New York Daily News - turned 30 this year. Parade-goers were just as salacious as ever, decked out in hand-made costumes (some of which consisted mostly of body paint) of mermaids and various other sea creatures. Floats of lighthouses and amusement rides (seriously! One of the FAQ questions on the parade's official website asks "I'm building a float that's a 1:1 model of the Parachute Jump.  Will I have clearance to march it on the street?") also abound.

Each year, a celebrity king and queen rule over the proceedings "cutting through Ribbons representing the seasons, and tossing fruit into the Atlantic to appease the Sea Gods," according to the parade website. Judges hand out prizes for the best outfits, and they are not above reproach. Again, according to the site:

Our Judges are paradigms of fine jurisprudence, and as such actively discourage all bribes. Having said that, in year's past there have been isolated incidences of bribery. And coincidentally it seems many of those proffering the best bribes seems to often go home with the top awards. And it is also a coincidence that many of those awards appear to be a bit greasy -- this clearly being a function of the culinary delights of Coney rather than some kind of metaphorical greasy palm.

Below, pictures of the parade by Reuters photographer Eric Thayer.







Postcard is our daily look at compelling photos from cities around the world. Have an idea for a future Postcard? Email aerickson@theatlantic.com.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. photo: A lone tourist in Barcelona, one of several global cities that have seen a massive crash in Airbnb bookings.
    Coronavirus

    Can Airbnb Survive Coronavirus?

    The short-term rental market is reeling from the coronavirus-driven tourism collapse. Can the industry’s dominant player stage a comeback after lockdowns lift?

  2. A pedestrian wearing a protective face mask walks past a boarded up building in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Tuesday, March 24, 2020. Governors from coast to coast Friday told Americans not to leave home except for dire circumstances and ordered nonessential business to shut their doors.
    Equity

    The Geography of Coronavirus

    What do we know so far about the types of places that are more susceptible to the spread of Covid-19? In the U.S., density is just the beginning of the story.

  3. Equity

    The Problem With a Coronavirus Rent Strike

    Because of coronavirus, millions of tenants won’t be able to write rent checks. But calls for a rent holiday often ignore the longer-term economic effects.

  4. Illustration: two roommates share a couch with a Covid-19 virus.
    Coronavirus

    For Roommates Under Coronavirus Lockdown, There Are a Lot of New Rules

    Renters in apartments and houses share more than just germs with their roommates: Life under coronavirus lockdown means negotiating new social rules.

  5. Equity

    We'll Need To Reopen Our Cities. But Not Without Making Changes First.

    We must prepare for a protracted battle with coronavirus. But there are changes we can make now to prepare locked-down cities for what’s next.

×