Sunday, June 19, 2011

Mermaid Day Parade 2011: Photos and Recap

Whoa Mermaids! What a day! It was long and crazy but it was one of the best Mermaid Days ever!
Photo Credit: Sean Hennessy

© 2011 Jane Kratochvil

I started my day EARLY. I actually got myself up, did my makeup and trekked into Manhattan to try and get on the CBS Early Show. Mermaids, Mermen and Sea Creatures were invited to be seen and promote the Coney Island Mermaid Day Parade. I arrived at 59th Street and 5th Ave around 8 am and was nervous to get out of the cab since I didn't see any mermaids right away. However after I made the cab driver creep around the block slowly I spotted a small school of mermaids and happy hopped out of the cab to join them. What a lovely group of ladies! I met mermaids who were also from Queens including a burlesque mermaid named Lula Rouge D'Amour. Ooh la la! They were so friendly introducing themselves and taking some pictures to capture the moment. We patiently waited and were finally escorted to stand behind the host and guests during a cooking segment. I positioned myself well and got on national TV. Woo-hoo! Check that off my bucket list. Then we listened to the actor who plays Spiderman on Broadway sing a nice song and then it was back to Queens to round up the rest of my mermaids who were not as keen to get up at the crack of dawn with me. Actually it would not really have been worth it. Its not like they interviewed us or anything.

After I looked at a few of the pictures of me from the Early show I decided to add some color to my skin because my costume was really blending into my skin tone and not popping. As soon as I returned to my apartment I started painting my skin pink. Quite a process since I only had small makeup sponges and I kept having to mix up more pink with my face paints. When my other mermaids started to arrive I was quite a sight in my bathrobe with pink skin. Then the glitter and gems exploded into action in my living room! My best friend Erin and I have been going to Mermaid Day since about 2005 so we are veterans. We were very excited to have with us two first timers, Melissa and Natalie. When you bring someone new to the parade, often they are worried about wearing too little clothing. We always assure them they will feel over dressed when they arrive in Coney Island and see some of the other very naked mermaids.

After a minor directional mistake that led us into Manhattan, we were on our way past the Verrazano Bridge to Coney Island! Since Mermaid Day is the busiest day of the year at Coney Island it can be very crazy and require more time to get everywhere. However try as we might each year we can't get out of the house before noon. We need more time to prep our beautiful selves! We did thankfully make it to registration before they closed and just as the King and Queen of the parade passed by us. This years Neptune King was the host of Man V. Food, Brooklyn native Adam Richman. The Queen Mermaid was hostess Cat Greenleaf of Talk Stoop with Cat Greenleaf.

It wasn't long after we found our line up spot in the Adult Artsy Marchers section that we were on our way! The streets were lined with hundreds of parade spectators. It's always a true mix of NYC from Coney Island locals to Japanese tourists. The weather was amazing so the turn out was huge. We marched, danced and waved all the way down Surf Avenue stopping for hundreds of pictures along the way. We passed through judging with relatively little fanfare, but I guess when there are 400+ entries in the judging, you simply must keep things moving or we'd be there till it got dark! Erin and I were announced as the Arrgh-ristocrats since that is the best I could come up with the day before the parade.
We were followed by Kostume Kult who put on quite a spectacle for the judges when they birthed or spawned babies in front of the judges stand while blasting Born This Way by Lady Gaga. Hope they win honorable mention for Gross out performance.

We saw some great photographers that we have met in years past. One of our particular favorites is Marisha Camp. She is a New York photographer that took great moody dark photos of us in 2009. She does party and event photography as well as portraits. Check out her gorgeous work. You will be captivated by her style and her subjects. Here is her photo of Erin and I.

Here are the photos that my terrific friends took with my camera. So glad they could help me out since I usually end up being too busy to take good ones.
I gathered as many business cards from photographers so I could include their links on my blog but if I missed you please email me at I could really use some good close ups of my makeup and hair.

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