Coney Island has long been home to the off-beat, the unusual and occasionally, the tawdry. Just down the list after sideshows, the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Championship, and the home turf of The Warriors, you'll find that Coney Island is home to the annual Mermaid Parade.
The Mermaid Parade, to quote Wikipedia, "is a lively and welcoming ocean-themed event open to everyone." From what I can gather though, that doesn't quite seem to do the event justice. Participation is open to anyone and each year there are celebrity grand marshalls as well as a Mermaid Ball that takes place at the New York Aquarium. The first parade took place in 1983 as both an homage to the old Coney Island Mardi Gras Parades, as well as a signal of the beginning of the summer season. Participants often number in the thousands and attendance has totaled over 100,000 in the past. The parade is also famous for it's scantily clad merfolk.
Thanks to Pat Fondiller, bon vivant and President of the Smuttynose NYC Chapter, we'll be entering Smuttynose's first ever parade float in this year's event. Pat himself will be dressed as King Neptune, while Dixie von Trixie, mermodel from the Star Island Single label, will reprise her role as mermodel du jour. They'll be rolling around in our custom decorated Smuttynose truck. Dixie says this has been a dream of hers for many years and we're thrilled to make it come true.
The parade isn't the only event though. We'll be hosting a pre-parade, Mermaid Awareness Pub Crawl on Friday June 17 around Brooklyn. Pat and Dixie will be leading thirsty, seal-clad hordes around to some of the finest grog shops in Brooklyn. Here's the schedule:
5:30 Dinner at The Farm On Adderley
7:00-8:45 Happy Hour at Sycamore Bar and Flowershop
9:00 The Double Windsor
10:00 Mission Dolores
Saturday June 18 is the Parade itself, followed by the ticket-only Mermaid Ball. After a few waltzes, Mayor McSmutt, Dixie von Trixie and company will be heading back to Park Slope, Brooklyn for more flippered hi-jinx. Festivities will begin at The Gate and then continue on to Freddy's Bar, South, The Black Horse Pub, 200 5th, Bierkraft (right in Peter Egelston's old stomping grounds), and High Dive.
We hope you'll join us and sup a few pints of Star Island Single, the unofficial beer of the Coney Island Mermaid Parade.