Thousands of strange and sexy sea creatures turned Coney Island into a joyous half-naked party yesterday afternoon for the 34th annual Mermaid Parade. The weather was spectacular, the crowds large and enthusiastic, the day-drinking prodigious, the energy and creativity on display as extraordinary as ever.

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(Scott Lynch / Gothamist)

While there has long been a strong and welcome Gay Pride element to the day's proceedings, this year saw far more symbols of support and love than usual, mostly with rainbows integrated into the costumes of the marchers and displayed among the hordes of spectators that packed Surf Avenue and the boardwalk.

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(Scott Lynch / Gothamist)

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(Scott Lynch / Gothamist)

Also more visible—and palpably vigilant—than ever before was the NYPD, who were out in full force but for the most part letting everyone do their mermaid thing.