The Coney Island Mermaid Parade marched down Surf Avenue yesterday, but this year the parade took on a different tone. As one sign put it: "Fuck You BP, Save the Mermaids." There was an element of protest at yesterday's parade, as some marchers and performers attempted to remind the audience that real marine life is in danger in the Gulf of Mexico. " Performance artist James (Tigger) Ferguson told the Daily News, "Today is a celebration of sea life trying to survive in the gulf. The Mermaid Parade is a celebration of marine life, mythical and real."

Still, the parade was as colorful and crazy as ever yesterday. Lou Reed and wife Laurie Anderson served as the parade's King and Queen, and it was filled with colorful and elaborate costumes and floats. One parade-goer told NY1, "The ambiance—everybody just wants to show off themselves, the costumes, they're in a good mood. It's very pretty and colorful." Coney Island business owners were happy for the parade and the good weather, saying last year's rain ruined profits.

Yesterday also marked opening day for the Brooklyn Cyclones, and the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus had a performance that night. If you have any photos of the parade, tag them "gothamist" on Flickr, or email them to

UPDATE: More photos in rows four and five!