The Mermaid Parade at Coney Island is America's largest art parade and one of New York City's greatest summer events.  Founded in 1983, the parade pays homage to Coney Island's forgotten Mardi Gras, which lasted from 1903 to 1954, and draws from a host of other sources to create a wacky and wonderful event that is unique to this Brooklyn beach.  The parade, which took place on Saturday June 18, is characterized by participants dressed in handmade sea creature costumes, and includes marching bands, drill teams, floats, and antique cars.

Here's a look at this year's event: