Spending Sunday in the park with mermaids in the East Village

Organizers Christopher Hardwick (standing, center, silver hair) and Abbby Gehman ( seated in front of Hardwick) surrounded by mermaids, merme and costume lovers. (Photo by Bob Krasner)


What do you do when one of your favorite events – the Mermaid Parade – is cancelled due to COVID-19? If you are MC/Actor/Performer Christopher Hardwick and Abby Gehman, owner of the bar “Lucky” on Avenue B, you get your friends together on the corner of 10th Street and Avenue B for a “Renegade Mermaid Parade.”

Actually, Hardwick tells us, they had the blessing of the Mermaid Parade folks to call it that, so it was more of an authorized renegade event (and who doesn’t love a good oxymoron?).

A couple dozen fabulous examples of creativity and visual wit paraded around mostly for the benefit of each other, as it was not a widely publicized event.

Samara was also a prize winner. She was personally responsible for creating her mask and the boat that rode on a sea of purple. (Photo by Bob Krasner)
Craig the Fish Head swam away with first prize. (Photo by Bob Krasner)
Ain Lotz, competig in an outfit of her own design. (Photo by Bob Krasner)

“We just wanted to be in costume and bring life and positivity to Avenue B,” explained Hardwick.

Passersby who happened upon the scene got to see the fashion show/costume contest, as participants competed runway style for a prize package containing a feather boa and gift certificates for restaurants and bars on Avenue B.

When the show was over and the prizes were disbursed, Gehman generously bought the crew drinks at “Dream Baby”, putting the icing on the cake for a very happy group.

Lawyer Jerry Goldman is serenaded by the group on the occasion of his birthday. (Photo by Bob Krasner)
Christopher Hardwick, the sole judge of the runway contest, casts a critical eye.
(Photo by Bob Krasner)
(Photo by Bob Krasner)
Luna, who created her revolving headpiece, walks the runway. (Photo by Bob Krasner)
Photographer Victoria Golos walks the runway (Photo by Bob Krasner)