Friday, June 7, 2013

Coney Island Mermaid Parade Prep is underway!

I posted this on the Coney Island Mermaid Parade forums a few days ago and was asked for permission to repost it. I am adding it here and will be updating the build of my Mermaid Parade costume for 2013!

Original link:

Some Costume and Parade Tips  
I posted this as a reply to another question, but thought
folks might benefit from some of the info:

The question was 'where do I get supplies for my mermaid outfit?'
from someone marching for the first time...

Wow! Where to start? Depends on how elaborate you plan on getting.

Keep costs low by looking for supplies at discount shops and thrift stores...
Walmart (are they in Manhattan?) usually has an inexpensive fabric selection,
as well as basic art/craft supplies - paints, glitter, sequins...

Thrift stores often have inexpensive bridesmaids' dresses that can be cannibalized
for their nice fabric and

Pearl River Mart downtown has parasols and other fancy fun stuff that
can always be added to your outfit.
On sunny days, a paper parasol has saved many a mermaid from
fainting in the sun, and on rainy parade days, while delicate, they can protect you as well.

If you are stuffing anything, like a tail or tentacles, pool noodles
(closed cell foam pool toys) are excellent because they are lightweight
and shed water - remember, the Parade is rain or shine! - foam rubber is
hot and heavy by comparison, and if it gets wet, you will be hauling
around a big, wet sponge!

Other things to remember:

Make your outfit as lightweight as possible!!! 

You would be surprised at how heavy your outfit can get.
Pack a small bag with your ID, keys, fully charged cellphone, sunscreen,
maybe an emergency granola bar or two, bandaids for blisters,
and maybe stash a spare pair of flipflops.

Comfy Shoes!!! 

If you can't walk in them all day, you won't be able to make it
through the parade. Besides, no one is going to be looking at your feet.

Bring some bottled water!!! 

You NEED to stay hydrated! And it's not always easy to find
parade volunteers handing out water. I nearly landed in the hospital
last year from dehydration, and I am a parade veteran!

(a parasol is advised)

I've marched in more than a dozen parades and I have never had
to use the bathroom during the course of the end up sweating
everything out, it seems, but be sure that in case of an emergency,
you can get out of your costume quickly!
Pack a small pair of scissors (safely wrapped) if your costume is

Also: If you are making a human powered float, invest in GOOD wheels!
Big box stores like Home Depot have them and if you think
ten bucks a wheel is expensive, consider how much you would pay
not to drag a busted float around.

PVC pipe (no smaller than 1" diameter) makes for a great framework,
but don't make it bear too much weight.

Pink insulation foam is great for structures and can be painted with acrylics.

Search for 'Coney Island Mermaid Parade' for ideas!

Can't wait to see you there!  Cheesy