Coney Island Mermaid Parade Features Pasties, People Named Hellvis

Esther Zuckerman
On Friday we talked to Talk Stoop-er Cat Greenleaf about her stint as Queen Mermaid of this year's Coney Island Mermaid Parade. Driven by curiosity and a desire to see people in bizarre costumes, we ventured to the far reaches of Brooklyn Saturday to see what Coney Island wrought.

Stationed alongside spectators on Surf Avenue, the Wonder Wheel in the background, we saw rows of marchers sporting blue and red feathered tails do a choreographed dance, a horse that took a crap on the parade route as a mermaid-disguised woman rode it, and a ton of boobs (most with pasties). There were also a few isolated twee costumes: one team of participants illustrated the book Life of Pi and another took inspiration from The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.

Esther Zuckerman
Is that Wes Anderson?

We had the pleasure of talking with a parade veteran who identified himself only as "Hellvis." Hellvis looks strikingly like Elvis except with tiny red horns barely sticking out of his buoyant black hair. We asked him a couple of questions:

What's your name?
Hellvis. [Note: We originally thought he said "Elvis," and were clarified on this point later.]

How long have you been coming to the parade for?
Basically since 2004.

Esther Zuckerman
I see you have a medal from 2004. Why do you have a medal from 2004?
This is the bronze Neptune Award from 2004.

Wow. What is the bronze Neptune Award?
It's like third place. These guys over here they judge all the costumes, and I was here in 2004 and they said, "We like him so we'll give him this," so they sent me this.

What were you wearing?
Pretty much kind of the same thing, but it was a jumpsuit.

So it was like third place in the costume contest?
It just kind of third place for being me because this is who I am.

Hellvis, everyone. For now, feast your eyes on some of the other sights the parade had to offer:

Esther Zuckerman
Jump on it.

Esther Zuckerman
Where we're going, we don't need roads.

Esther Zuckerman
We aren't really sure what these people were supposed to be.

Check back on Monday for a slideshow by one of our Voice photogs!


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