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Mermaids on Parade in Coney Island

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Who says no one's ever seen a mermaid? This Saturday, the mythical creatures of the sea will take to the streets in the annual Mermaid Parade and Festival at Coney Island.

Of course, the mermaids and mermen in question are really performance artists and general merrymakers, but the spirit of the great deep is still alive and well.

The event, the nation's largest art parade, celebrates the sand, the sea, the salt air, and, most importantly, the beginning of summer. It's also a chance to celebrate Coney Island, which has a mythology and history all its own.

A celebrity King Neptune and Queen Mermaid will reign over all the proceedings.

The program also includes antique cars, marching bands, and drill teams.

Participants don't always stick to the mermaid theme, however. The parade always features handmade costumes of various sea creatures as well as the occasional wandering lighthouse.

The parade will be held Saturday, June 24, at 2 p.m. Participants may register online or at 10 a.m. the day of the event

The parade will be followed, from 5-11 p.m., by the Mermaid Parade Ball, a gathering of costumed event-goers for live music, burlesque and sideshow acts, and a raffle. Tickets cost $10 for general admission and $50 for VIP admission; to purchase, visit http://www.mermaidparadeball.com/tickets.

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