A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from June 12, 2005
Mermaid Parade
Old Coney Island used to have many parades. The "Mermaid Parade" was started in 1983 in that same grand tradition.

This is not sponsored by Disney, so don't look for "the little mermaid," though.

The 2006 Mermaid Parade was on June 24.

Mermaid Parade
June 24, 2pm
After this parade of sea dwellers everyone heads to the shore to toss fruit into the Atlantic to appease the Sea Gods. If the Sea Gods remain unappeased they throw it back.
The boardwalk and Surf Ave in Coney Island

2005 Mermaid Parade scheduled for June 25th.

The Mermaid Parade is a completely original creation that is that nation's largest art parade and one of New York City's greatest summer events.

Founded in 1983 by Coney Island USA, the not-for-profit arts organization that also produces the Coney island Circus Sideshow, the Mermaid Parade pays homage to Coney Island's forgotten Mardi Gras which lasted from 1903 to 1954, and draws from a host of other sources resulting in a wonderful and wacky event that is unique to Coney Island.

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.

17 June 1983, New York Times, "Weekender Guide" by Eleanor Blau:
For half a century, Coney Island was the site of all manner of parades, including one featuring babies in strollers. They ended 25 or 30 years ago, according to Coney Island, U.S.A., an organization that wants to revive the tradition and revitalize the famous beach. And so, after a ribbon-cutting pageant Saturday at 11:30 A.M. on the beach near the Parachute Jump, a Mermaid Parade will begin at noon. The three-mile march will include the Philadelphia Mummers Band, a samba band, clowns, stilt dancers, antique cars, floats and a shark from the Aquarium. Trophies will be given for best mermaid and King Neptune costumes, best homemade float, best marching group and best special attraction. Contestants must register between 9 and 11 A.M. at the Eiffel Tower jump in Steeplechase Park, Surf Avenue at West 17th Street. Information: 226-1677.

21 June 1987, Newsday, "Mermaids Make Sure" by Bob Liff, pg. 19:
Led by bagpiping policemen wearing standard-issue sidearms on their kilts, Coney Island's annual Mermaid Parade marched a chaotic mile yesterday to celebrate, for the third time in the past month, the official opening of the resort's summer season.

The fifth annual Mermaid Parade, which started and ended under the rusting Parachute Jump on the vacant Steeplechase Park site, followed the Memorial Day weekend official opening of the rides and the following week's official opening for lifeguard service on the beach.

Posted by Barry Popik
Holidays/Events/Parades • (0) Comments • Sunday, June 12, 2005 • Permalink