Listen, there's never too long of a stretch in New York without a good, old-fashioned spectacle, but on June 23rd & 24th, the city will be dealt a double-whammy of feathers, glitter, music and mayhem in the forms of the 2012 Gay Pride Parade and the Coney Island Mermaid Parade. There's still time to work out a plan to do both, but now's the time to get to Ricky's if you happen to be lacking in the requisite body paint.
2012 Coney Island Mermaid Parade
When: Saturday, June 23, 2 p.m.
Where: The parade starts at West 21st Street & Surf Avenue, then rolls along to West 10th, and down to the Boardwalk.
Why You Should Be There: It's a classic celebration of New York's persistently wild & weird edge, started in the early 1980s to revive an old Coney Island Mardi Gras tradition that fell by the wayside. They're also known as the largest "public art" parade in the nation, which may or may not include all of the impressive body paint donned by all the mermaids and mermen-for-a-days.
2012 NYC Gay Pride Parade
When: Sunday, June 24, 12 p.m.
Where: The march begins at 36th Street & 5th Ave, and winds it's way down to Christopher & Greenwich Streets.
Why You Should Be There: Well, talk about spectacle: no mermaid parade can match the strength of the almighty Pride March in terms of colorful characters. The real reason, though, is the way it makes the city come alive in terms of love and community. The largest Gay Pride event on the planet, this march, whether you're joining or watching, will make you excited to be apart of this city like no other civic event will.