New York Daily Photo Analytics

Monday, June 22, 2009


I have attended the annual Coney Island Mermaid Parade in 2006 and 2007, however I have missed the start of summer ritual. This is easy to miss, given all the festivities and lack of itemized agenda. The Mermaid Parade, this year on Saturday June 20, is a celebration ushering the summer season.
The ribbon cutting ceremony is an unannounced event occurring after the parade's completion. I always assumed it took place first. Wandering in the parade's aftermath along 10th street (abutting the Cyclone) I fortuitously bumped into the small procession headed to the beach led by Harvey Keitel playing King Neptune (seen in the center of the photo) and Queen Mermaid, bearers of fruit, a small entourage of followers, photographers and security. Excited by my good fortune, I quickly joined the party.
Four ribbons, each symbolizing a season, are setup and cut in sequence - Autumn, Winter, Spring and Summer. The final cutting of the Summer ribbon starts the season. Baskets of fruit are thrown into the ocean to appease the gods. A mechanical thermometer was placed in the ocean showing a rise in temperature of 110 degrees. The hearty members in the crowd entered the ocean - particularly daunting this year - Saturday's weather was uncooperative, cool and raining on and off all day. The previous two years were bright and sunny. From a photographer's perspective, however, cloudy days actually provide better lighting conditions - harsh shadows are greatly reduced and colors really pop.
But the Parade and festivities for this event march on rain or shine - the summer solstice or Mermaids are not daunted by a little rain :)

NOTE: Tomorrow I will feature the parade itself with a full gallery of photos with video.


Katie cat said...

Cool! So you were there on Saturday for this year's parade? I went and was cold the entire time! It is still worth it to see the interesting costumes and the cheer.

Katie cat said...
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Michelle Johnson said...

How cool you got to see a celebrity dressed for the occasion. Harvey seems to be enjoying himself as do the others. Sometimes we just luck into being in the right place at the right time. Have a great night.

Josef Pinlac said...

This is exactly the type of insider info that I love about this blog. Next year you can be sure I will be on the lookout for the ribbon ceremony. Thank you for sharing and for the past few years of entertaining.