Dante and Chiara de Blasio Crowned ‘King Neptune’ and ‘Queen Mermaid’

A "sea creature" at the Coney Island Mermaid Parade. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

A “sea creature” at the Coney Island Mermaid Parade. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

He’s Mayor Bill de Blasio and she’s First Lady Chirlane McCray. And now the children will have their own flashy titles.

Dante de Blasio and Chiara de Blasio have been named “King Neptune” and “Queen Mermaid” at the 32nd annual Mermaid Parade in Coney Island, Brooklyn. The de Blasio kids will hold the highest honor in the flamboyant June parade, a “unique and artistic celebration of ancient mythology and the honky-tonk seaside ritual” in the words of the organizers.

“We are extraordinarily honored to have the participation of New York City’s first family in the parade,” said Dick Zigun, who is known as the mayor of Coney Island. “King Neptune and Queen Mermaid represent the young adults of New York City who are the next generation of visitors to Coney Island and Coney Island USA.”

The de Blasio children, like Ms. McCray, have been a significant part of Mr. de Blasio’s public life. Mr. de Blasio’s son starred in a game-changing campaign ad and his daughter revealed her struggles with substance abuse in a slickly-produced video last year.

View the full release below:

DANTE AND CHIARA DE BLASIO
TO SERVE AS KING NEPTUNE AND QUEEN MERMAID
IN CONEY ISLAND USA’S 2014 MERMAID PARADE

Coney Island, Brooklyn, NY, May 29, 2014 – Coney Island USA has announced that Dante and Chiara de Blasio will serve as King Neptune and Queen Mermaid in the 32nd Annual Mermaid Parade in Coney Island on Saturday, June 21, 2014.

As King Neptune and Queen Mermaid, Dante and Chiara de Blasio will hold the highest position of honor in the parade, a unique and artistic celebration of ancient mythology and the honky-tonk seaside ritual that attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors to the amusement district.

The Mermaid Parade features marching bands, drill teams, floats, antique cars and some 1,500 participants dressed in hand-made costume of mermaids, sea creatures, amusement rides and Neptunes. It is the largest art parade in the nation and the largest event of the year in Coney Island. According to tradition, King Neptune and Queen Mermaid will be wheeled in the parade in an antique wicker Boardwalk Rolling Chair that dates back to 1923.

“We are extraordinarily honored to have the participation of New York City’s first family in the parade,” said Coney Island USA founder Dick Zigun, who is known as the Mayor of Coney Island. “King Neptune and Queen Mermaid represent the young adults of New York City who are the next generation of visitors to Coney Island and Coney Island USA.”

Previous King Neptunes and Queen Mermaids have included Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson, David Byrne, Queen Latifah, Judah Friedlander, Carole Radziwill, Harvey Keitel and Dapne Keitel.

The Mermaid Parade was founded in 1983 by Coney Island USA, the not-for-profit arts organization that also produces the Coney Island Circus Sideshow. The Mermaid Parade pays homage to Coney Island’s forgotten Mardi Gras, which lasted from 1903 to 1954, and draws from a host of other sources resulting in a wonderful and wacky event that is unique to Coney Island.

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Mermaid Parade, Page Two

The parade was established to achieve three goals: bring mythology to life for local residents who live on streets named Mermaid and Neptune; create self-esteem in a district that is often disregarded; and let artistic New Yorkers find self-expression in public.

ABOUT: Coney Island USA is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit arts organization based in the amusement park area of the Coney Island neighborhood of Brooklyn New York at 1208 Surf Ave. In existence since 1980, Coney Island USA has developed and produces a number of different programs including some of New York City’s best loved summer programming, such as the Mermaid Parade and the Coney Island Circus Sideshow. Coney Island USA also operates the Coney Island Museum and produces Ask the Experts, Burlesque at the Beach, the Coney Island Tattoo and Motorcycle Festival, Congress of Curious Peoples, Creepshow at the Freakshow, The Mermaid Ball and the Coney Island Sideshow School. Coney Island USA also produces the Coney Island Film Society and the Coney Island Film Festival in association with indiefilmpage.com.