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Mermaid Parade 2002

Tis a Fish Tale, Me Swabies…

Arrrr, maties…the seas were rough that day, and out of the surf came a-sauntering the likes of creatures never seen since last year’s exodus from the deep. The streets came alive with mermaids in pearls and sequins, wigs and glitter. At their sides, neptunes strode, bodies the color of seaweed and tropical lagoons. Their revelry was complete with horns, drums, trombones and slapping flippers on the tarmac. The aquatic ensembles twanged, sambaed, sashayed and stomped to ragtime jazz past reviewing stands and eager crowds. Awash in beads and baubles, the ‘maids and ‘tunes tossed their booty into the swarm of landlubbers lining the avenue. And, by jiminy, the masses loved ‘em, they did!

A jaunty copper joined in from time to time, dancing with a wee minnow of a maid, or twirling a baton, her hands as sure and quick as any majorette. The schools of merfamilies whirled by, guppies as glossy as the big fish. The country folk of the seas rumbled past on their hillbilly pickup, each maid as fresh and corn fed as any farm girl. Alien and undead fish spun past me, and shiver me timbers, it was like a hand passing over me grave. But in a lovely, enchanted way, for these maids were surely Ulysses’ sirens! Arrr, bury me in the deep, so I can watch the loverlee fishfolk frolic in the spray!

The judges of this ritual made winners of the most alluring Mermaid or the most foreboding Neptune. Their slabs of the seas, known to you greenhorns as floats, were judged for their strange beauty. One of the members of the best-motorized float, The Hillbilly Mermaids, tossed me a pearl of briny wisdom:

“Our big family--well just ta name a few Curl, Daisy Mermae, Myrtle, Father Neptune and me Freckle were so gosh dang happy--we had a hay day of Mermazing fun!!!” Freckle was a salty lass, aye! You can see a list of the winners of the day at - a staggering cluster of the best of the savage Atlantic!

see the mermaid Freckle and the rest
of the 2002 parade here!

So be keeping watch fer these creatures of the deep next year, bout this time in the season. When the seas run high and moon is pearl on the lip of the sky, the mercreatures come a-walking from the deep!

see the mermaids on parade in the photo gallery

Melissa Ulto © 2002

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Free Williamsburg© | 93 Berry Street | Brooklyn, NY 11211
[email protected] | July 2002 | Issue 28
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