Dress up as your favorite sea creature and march in the fourth annual Merry Merfolk Parade Saturday, Sept. 24, in Greenport. This eclectic parade traditionally kicks off the first day of the East End Maritime Festival.
The parade is open to everyone and participants are encouraged to become their favorite aquatic alter egos. Any sea-related character is welcome, including mermaids, oysters, fish, fishermen and pirates.
The parade starts at 11 a.m. on Broad Street near Sts. Anargyroi Taxiarchis and Gerasimos Greek Orthodox church. It will then traverse Greenport Village, culminating in a costume award ceremony at the Mitchell Park skating rink. Awards will be given for best whimsical sea creature and best real sea creature, among others. Suffolk County Legislator Al Krupski will be among the judges.
“We’re a sea community, we’re surrounded by water,” said Greenport BID liaison Caroline Waloski, owner of Siren’s Song Gallery. “So our maritime history is very important to us.”
While fun and whimsical, the parade also draws attention to the region’s marine ecosystem by benefiting Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Suffolk Marine Program. Donations through participating sponsors, as well as a portion of the sales of all memorabilia, will go to CCE’s Marine Program.
After the parade and award ceremony, the public will be invited to participate in one of CCE’s Marine Workshops to help with the restoration of important marine and coastal habitat.
Participation in the parade is free, but advance registration is required. Visit eventbrite.com to sign up.