After two years of being unable to hold in-person editions because of Covid, the Coney Island Mermaid Parade returned for its 40th edition on Saturday (6/18). The afternoon's weather -- chilly, windy, and overcast -- didn't exactly portend the start of summer, but that didn't stop over 3,000 merpeople of all sorts from making their way down Surf Avenue and the boardwalk, and many more from coming out to watch, cheer them on, and join in the celebration of creativity, nautical mythology, fertility, and letting ones freak flag fly.

Mx Justin Vivian Bond (as Queen Mermaid) and former NYC health commissioner Dr. Dave A. Chokshi (as King Neptune) led the procession, and participants wore a wild assortment of elaborate costumes, featuring everything from fins, feathers, floral headpieces, and shells, to pasties, jewels, sequins, and glitter. Along with mermaids, mermen, and merpeople, all sorts of sea creatures were represented, and some marchers got political, with costumes championing abortion access and environmentalism.

Unofficial mayor of Coney Island and Mermaid Parade founder Dick Zigun was marching as usual, but this year he also had supporters on the sidelines -- one with a "We Miss Dick" sign -- due to his controversial departure from the Coney Island USA organization late last year. Zigun announced that he'd be marching on Twitter on Friday, writing, "CIUSA & I have reached an amicable settlement of our disputes. I will always love & support my neighborhood and the Non-Profit and Art Parade that I founded."

See lots of pictures from the whole day (some are NSFW) below.

For more, check out photos from the 2019 Mermaid Parade.

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