Coney Island celebrates Sandy survival with Mermaid Parade

June 22, 2013 5:33:57 PM PDT
Storm-ravaged Coney Island is celebrating its survival with its annual wacky and weird Mermaid Parade.

Hundreds of thousands of people hit the famed Brooklyn boardwalk on Surf Avenue Saturday for the procession, billed as the world's largest art parade.

This year's version was a spectacle of outlandish floats, muscle cars, cross-dressing men and women in revealing costumes.

"There's nothing like this in the world, you see all the beautiful fishes they come out, they're really, really beautiful, they are," said spectator Don Deola.

This celebration of ancient mythology and honky-tonk rituals is now in its 31st year. It is the largest art parade in the country, which means the flare for the unusual is in over drive.

"Go big or go home. if you're going to swim with the sharks, don't' wear a Speedo," said parade-goer Jessica Rothman.

More than 1900 people, many of them who were at the parade on Saturday, went to, and donated roughly $117,000 - money that paid for, among other things security.

"It's hard to believe all that water was in our backyard, we never thought Coney Island would come back but it's coming back bigger and stronger," said Carol Webb.