The 36th annual Coney Island Mermaid Parade brought thousands to the streets and boardwalk of Coney Island, Brooklyn on Saturday (6/16). This year's celebration of summer, nautical mythology, creativity, and letting ones freak flag fly happened on a perfectly summery day, with Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman presiding over the affair as Mermaid Royalty.

Participants went all out on costumes, as usual: mermaid-wear ranged from the traditional bikini and scaled fins and tail to the bejeweled and beglittered. Others went political or pop-culturally inspired: Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Donald Trump, Black Panther, Stranger Things, Wonder Woman, David Bowie, Prince, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Edward Scissorhands all showed up as themes. Check out lots of pictures from The Mermaid Parade in the (NSFW) gallery above.

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photos by Amanda Hatfield