By EnStarz Staff Writer, EnStarz | Jun 23, 2012 02:49 PM EDT
More than half a million people were expected to attend the 2012 Mermaid Parade in Brooklyn, New York Saturday, to celebrate the beginning of the summer season for the 30th consecutive year.
At the parade people (women and men alike) dress as mermaids, covered in body paint or wearing ocean-themed accessories.
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"The Mermaid Parade celebrates the sand, the sea, the salt air and the beginning of summer, as well as the history and mythology of Coney Island, Coney Island pride, and artistic self-expression. The Parade is characterized by participants dressed in hand-made costumes as Mermaids, Neptunes, various sea creatures, the occasional wandering lighthouse, Coney Island post card or amusement ride, as well as antique cars, marching bands, drill teams, and the odd yacht pulled on flatbed," its organizers say.
Each year, a different celebrity King Neptune and Queen Mermaid are selected. The parade's King and Queen this year are comedian Jackie Martling and actress Anabella Sciorra ("The Sopranos"). They were expected to assist in the opening of the Ocean for the summer swimming season by marching down the Beach from the Boardwalk, cutting through Ribbons representing the seasons, and tossing fruit into the Atlantic "to appease the Sea Gods," according to the website coneyisland.com.
Sciorra was excited to participate in the parade.
" Beyond excited for tomorrow! It's a dream come true!!! Queen in coney Island!!" Sciorra wrote on her Twitter.
In the past, David Byrne, Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson, Queen Latifah, Ron Kuby, Curtis Sliwa, Moby, David Johansen and Harvey Keitel have taken that role.
The parade kicked off at 2 p.m. from W 21st Street and Surf Avenue to the Boardwalk at W 15th St, Coney Island.
A party was scheduled after the sun goes down at the Mermaid Parade Ball at the New York Aquarium (602 Surf Ave at W 5th St; 7pm; $30, VIP $75).
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