Okay so honestly speaking, I have legit never heard of this for the 20 years of my life that I have been living in NYC. This was my first time going and it was quite an experience. Before I even get there, I see crowds of people dressed up as mermaids riding on the subway. There was a hunourmous crowd when I did get there and I saw mermaids EVERYWHERE >_< Even the dogs were dressed as mermaids with their adorable pink tutus LOLZ
It took me a while to find my friends and our one goal for the day was: don't get crushed by the crowd. Sounds easy but during the first 10 mins on the parade line, we were nearly smushed to death trying to cross the street. The police need to do a better job directing traffic -smh- The parade itself was insane, with "mermaids" from all 5 boroughs representing, even some out of state-ers. There is no better example of NYC's creativity than this parade. There were traditional representations of mermaids, zombie mermaids mutated from the meltdown in Japan, schools of fish (yeah.. so someone was dressed as a school of clown fish), hoards of white jellyfish, hula dancers (???), and even alien mutants. Some of the costumes were extremely extravagant with layers of colorful frills while others were minimalist in style (too little cloth in my opinion). There were even marching bands! It's no wonder Coney Island's mermaid parade attracts so many people each year.