By Rob Abruzzese
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Hundreds of mermaids, pirates and other fanciful sea creatures took to Surf Avenue on Saturday for the 34th annual Mermaid Parade in Coney Island.
The parade, which reportedly drew crowds of roughly half a million people, is considered the biggest artistic parade in the country, with more than 3,000 registered participants.
The event, which started in 1983, features Brooklynites dressed in homemade costumes that are meant to celebrate ancient mythology and other seaside creatures. Participants march along Surf Avenue from West 21st Street and eventually end up near Steeplechase Plaza on the boardwalk. Included among the revelers are marching bands and classic cars.
The parade is headed up by King Neptune and the Mermaid Queen. This year's King Neptune was Carlo Scissura, president of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. The Mermaid Queen was Hailey Clauson, a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model.