Thanks to the generosity of artist Deb Stern, who bought “Big Spender” memberships with Coney Island USA for several friends, we were once again entitled to a fun judgeship at the Mermaid Parade. From our front row seat in the tarp covered reviewing stand, we were able to take lots of photos and partake in the traditional bribing of the judges.
The rum came compliments of Topsy the Merman and Turvy the Mermaid. Cheers, everybody! Other bribes offered to the judges were beer, vodka, more beer, chocolate cake, beer, lubricants, play money, glow in the dark octopus toy, more beer, more vodka, lemonade, the Book of Mermon, rum balls, and finally more beer. The most unusual bribe was probably the wooden boat with no engines and in need of structural repair. It was offered by the Rude Mechanical Orchestra who said show up with a tugboat and it’s yours. Are there any other interesting bribes we haven’t heard about?
Actor Harvey Keitel, who grew up in Brighton Beach and went to Lincoln High School, came home to Coney Island as King Neptune! His lovely wife, the actress Daphna Kastner, was Queen Mermaid. It is the custom for the Mermaid Parade’s King and Queen to take their seats on the reviewing stand after touring the parade route in an antique rolling chair from the Coney Island Museum. Once upon a time these wicker chairs were used to transport visitors on the Boardwalk.
Bambi the Mermaid and her friend (pictured above) assisted with the receiving of the bribes. The picnic basket, reportedly one of the best bribes of the day, was from the Sexcamaids dancing troupe. When Dick opened the picnic basket, we beheld a beautifully designed menu. Then a Sexcamaid poured us cups of lemonade from an ice cold pitcher. Classy!
Good news from the Church of Lobster Day Shells courtesy of the Mermon marching group. My fellow judge was presented with the book. I was busy elsewhere taking photos when it happened, so I’m not sure if it was a bribe or proselytizing.
It was a Great Parade! A huge thank you to Everyone at CIUSA, and to King Neptune and Queen Mermaid, Emcees Kay Sera & Chris, Paraders, and to the Deity who made it stop raining soon after the parade reached the reviewing stand and for the duration of the parade! Here are some of my favorite pix from my 2009 Mermaid Parade set on flickr. I’m still processing and uploading the images. I took more than 100 photos! More to come…
Related posts on ATZ…
June 16, 2011: Last Chance to See Mermaid Parade Before It Turns 30!
January 2, 2010: Photo Album: Coney Island Boardwalk, New Year’s Day 2010