Photos, Video by Len Rapoport, Correspondents Andy Peeke and Amy Bursor
Born In Coney
I was born and grew up in Coney Island and remember the Coney parades each year when I was a young boy. My father used to bring home a large box of loose confetti and my brothers and I used to help mom and dad pack brown paper bags with the confetti that dad would sell at the parade. This was way back in the late 1940’s.
I have even published a website that describes some of my Coney memories and has lots of vintage photos and video, check it out at: shatskinsknish.com, I think you will like it and you can even learn how to make the Shatzkin’s Knish there too.
A 33 Year Tradition
That tradition was brought back to life 33 years ago and the Mermaid Parade was born. So it was with great delight and anticipation that me and my correspondents Andy Peeke and Amy Bursor planned to cover the event this year.
Looking at all the information on their website we were a bit concerned about shooting this parade with the enormous crowd expected, but we decided to take our best shot.
We got there early so we could get some behind the scenes interviews with the artistic participants in the parade. As you will see they are a brazen and creative group of people who created their own costumes and themes for the parade.
Fun For Everyone
In our video you will see scantily clad mermaid’s and mermen’s and even children marching, dancing and just having a lot of fun as they marched down Surf Avenue, past Nathan’s Famous and back onto the boardwalk for a return to the original staging area.
As you will see the weather was a bit spotty and early in the day we dealt with some rain. You will see our rain cover showing in some of the frames on our camera. It was a bit of a challenge but we muddled through the weather and had a blast covering this parade.
After covering so many parades in New York City, most cultural like the Persian Day Parade, Philippine Day Parade, Israeli Day Parade and even the Dance Parade to name a few, I must say this was the most fun of all. You can see that Amy and Andy were in the spirit of the parade and joined in to have some fun.
You can visit the Coney Island website for more background information on this parade, it will help you plan to attend the parade next year. Don’t let their website scare you as it did us.
We did find parking, the crowds were not as bad as the ones in Times Square on New Years Eve and we even got to get some grub at Nathan’s.
Of course Nathan’s was mobbed especially after the parade had ended and I asked one of the servers if this was the busiest day of the year for them and she reminded me that July 3rd, the day of the Hot Dog Eating Contest was. Can’t cover that event this year, but will be one I will look forward to covering next year.
Fun time for all of us and just being there brought back so many memories of my youth.
Watch Our Complete HD Parade Video
For HD Click Settings Bottom Right of Video