2010 Coney Island Mermaid Parade

by Parade Guy on June 18, 2010

This year, the Coney Island Mermaid Parade was another rousing success.  Over six hundred units entered the parade including antique vehicles, muscle cars, musical and dancing groups, families, and a wide assortment of interesting people.  The interesting people included a new management team that had been formerly associated with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.  I got to meet Santa Claus, an amazingly nice guy who looks just like you think he would.  Based on how we worked together, I am guessing that when the elves fall behind, Santa rolls up his sleeves and gets on the assembly line to help out.  He was definitely a hand’s on kind of volunteer.

I really enjoyed my role managing the Reviewing Stand.  I had a little bit of a challenge explaining the need for what is essentially a Stage Manager role in a non-televised parade.  This is a juried parade, which means that every entrant has the possibility to win prize money for best theme and best costume.  It also means that traditionally, the majority of the entrants try and bribe the judges to win their favor and vote.  This year, as in the past, bribes came in many forms including alcohol, food, and, of course, skin.  My job is to make sure that everyone gets their fair shot in front of the judges.

This parade also had to deal with the Mayor’s edict to shorten its length.  This was done by shrinking the route along the Coney Island Boardwalk.  The non-vehicular entrants ended their route earlier on the Boardwalk.  As this parade is not exactly strictly structured, the impact to the disband area was minimal as entrants simple blended in with the spectators, typically for more pictures to be taken.

I was kind of busy and didn’t get an opportunity to take a lot of pictures, but if you use any internet search engine with the term “2010 Coney Island Mermaid Parade” you will find thousands of images.  I do suggest that you do this on a non-work related computer and without anyone under the age of eighteen around.  Why parents bring little kids to this particular parade is still beyond me, unless it is for anatomy lessons.

This is one of my favorite parades because the weather is perfect, the crowds stand five to ten deep, and usually, creativity is a high point.

 See ya’ on the route!

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