Thousands attend Mermaid Parade at Coney IslandLife , United States - 23 June 2012
The 30th annual Mermaid Parade took place in Coney Island on Saturday, June 23, 2012. The Parade celebrates the beginning of summer and according to the parade's official website, is the country's largest art parade.
The Mermaid Parade began in 1983 and was founded by Coney Island USA, a non-profit organization focused on the arts. The parade is designed to commemorate Coney Island's Mardi Gras, which took place between 1903 and 1954.
The parade typically attracts hundreds of thousands of spectators. Parade participants typically wear extravagant, colored costumes while others choose not to wear anything. Every year, the parade includes a King Neptune and a Queen Mermaid, who are often celebrities. This year's queen and king were Annabella Sciorra and Jackie "The Joke Man" Martling.
The event also includes the Mermaid Parade Ball, which includes live music, cocktails, and a burlesque show, as well as a costume contest.
For more information about the Mermaid Parade, read this article.