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Photos From the 2008 Mermaid Parade: Drag, Burlesque, and Little Girls’ Parties

June 23rd, 2008 by Jeff Simmermon

The Coney Island Mermaid Parade is the sweet and freaky collision of drag, burlesque, special effects and little girls’ birthday parties. It’s a cavalcade of glitter, grease-paint and family-friendly toplessness, a celebration of summer and fun and art sweeter and trippier than Spongebob Squarepants singing for a Flaming Lips session at a gay pride parade.

The loudspeaker in the parade staging area said it best:

If you are the parent of a small child, you should know that there may be exposed body parts that could damage your children. If anyone walks by with those body parts exposed, please make sure to cover your children’s eyes.

Words can’t say what the pictures can — here’s a collection of photos David and I took at the 2008 Mermaid Parade this Saturday:

Zombie Faced Lady


Super Starfish, Hula Girl

More after the jump:

Marilyn 2

This is “Yesenia, Queen of Queens.” He is not actually in costume … I saw him on the beach at Jacob Riis park last August, dressed in almost exactly the same outfit, parrot in his hair. While I was taking his picture, someone yelled out “Oh my god, that parrot pooped in your beard again!”


This image just made my heart soar when I saw it in real life … such a tiny girl, thrilled to be at a parade with her dad, the giant neon squid. She’s gong to remember this for the rest of her life, and so am I:

Squid Man

We’ve pulled together a whole bunch more images in a Flickr gallery, which you can see by clicking here, or anywhere on the grid of thumbnails below. Some of these images may be NSFW, depending on who your boss is. It’s pretty obvious that they shouldn’t be, though.

If you have links to your own galleries/images/writeups from the parade, please feel free to drop’em in the comments section or email us at andiamnotlyingATgmailDOTcom.

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