Simpler times: Mermaid Parade, Brooklyn, 2014 by Genial23 is licensed with CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Aug 19, 2021
Endless bummer: Mermaid Parade and West Indian Day Parade both canceled again
'Unfortunately, Covid-19 is not finished with us quite yet,' Mermaid Parade organizers say
The West Indian Day Parade and the Mermaid Parade, two landmark events that draw thousands to Brooklyn each year, have been cancelled for the second year in a row amid a precipitous rise of Coronavirus cases in the borough.
The organizers of the West Indian Day Parade, usually held on Labor Day Weekend, are instead advertising a slate of smaller in-person and online events from September 2 to 6, several of which will be held at the Brooklyn Museum.
“The road experience is coming to the Brooklyn Museum with premium drinks and lots of beautiful Mas wear,” the West Indian American Day Carnival Association wrote online. “All participants and guests are invited to come costume ready with their Monday wear.” The traditional in-person West Indian Day Parade will return in September of 2022, organizers say.
“As we transition through the Covid-19 pandemic, we are seeing a rebirth of NYC and our organizational purposes reflected in our week-long events for Carnival 2021,” Michelle Gibbs-Francis, chairperson of the organization, told News 12.
“We respect the choices,” said mayor Bill de Blasio. “Some organizations have said they want to have their events again, some want to do a modified version, some are postponing it to 2022.”
The Officers and Directors of Coney Island USA, who organize the Mermaid Parade, posted their announcement online as well, promising that, “The Mermaid Parade will return in 2022, better than ever!” When organizers set the September date they had “hoped that the Parade, the largest art parade in the nation and a point of civic pride for Coney Island, would represent a return to normalcy. Unfortunately, Covid-19 is not finished with us quite yet.”
Playwright Lynn Nottage and filmmaker Tony Gerber were slated to have served as this year’s Queen Mermaid and King Neptune.
All Hail our longest reigning Queen Mermaid @Lynnbrooklyn who has been waiting since June 2020 for her Coronation
Long Live @MermaidParade King Neptune @MarketRoadFilms & Queen Nottage@coneyislandusa https://t.co/4iwvlttYVK
— Dick Zigun (@DickZigun) August 19, 2021
The Mermaid Parade draws thousands to the Coney Island Boardwalk each year and the event has long been the centerpiece of the many events held there each summer. Organizers say that Brooklynites can support Coney Island by attending other, smaller, ticketed events, becoming a member, and getting vaccinated.
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