Creatures of the sea, old and young, clothed or otherwise, conquer the Brooklyn neighborhood every year for a day to celebrate art, culture and pride in their hometown at perhaps the nation's largest art parade.  The Coney Island Mermaid Parade is a tribute to its predecessor, but it's a spectacle in itself – not every weekend you can find Merpeople in New York on asphalt.
The following must be known before Saturday's 37th Annual Seeds Theme Bash:
There are many things: a festival of artists, a mythology lesson, an explanation of pride.
Dick Zigun, an artyer based on Coney Island, invented a name for the art scene in the area in 1
"One day a year, I would take over the entire neighborhood and hold a crazy art parade," he told CNN.
So he invited artists to wear and march, dance and float handmade nautical costumes to be proud of their corner of New York City. What began as a local event eventually attracted a worldwide following.
Why? Dress up as mermaids?
This is where mythology begins. When Zigun moved to Coney Island in the 1970s, many of his crumbling buildings were crowned with nautical stone figures, including mermaids, porpoises, and Neptune clinging to his trident. There are even streets called Neptune and Mermaid.
When Zigun announced that mermaids would go ashore, people were reluctant. However, the sirens of the sea are an integral part of the history of Coney Island and a major draw for parade visitors.
So there is a parade. What else happens?
Nobody would disguise themselves if it was not at stake. The best dressed participants take part in a beach competition following the parade. But be warned: Zigun says a "beautiful mermaid will not bring you the mermaid parade", so Ariel imitators will not be rewarded.
A mermaid and King Neptune are also crowned each year. This year's Royals are Arlo and Nora Guthrie, who grew up on Mermaid Avenue with their legendary singer-songwriter-sire Woody Guthrie.
Before the opening of Saturday's parade, Coney Island will honor the deceased Guthrie by renaming the street they lived in, "Woody Guthrie Way."
Stars such as Queen Latifah, Debbie Harry, Lou Reed and David Byrne have ruled the parade throughout their history.
Does it happen at the same time each year?
Yup. The mermaids march on the same weekend as the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, and the official start of the summer in the northern hemisphere.
Zigun originally asked the city to hold the Mermaid Parade on July 4th, but officials told him the day was already too busy. So he decided on the beginning of the summer, the season in which Coney Island gained its fame.
He said he had celebrated the Parade after the International Summer Solstice, and at the end of the route he and a priest of various faiths – this year it is a Lakota Native American shaman – asked the neighborhood water spirits for good summer weather, booming business and safety for those who visit its beaches.
How many people does it attract?
Zigun announced that around 3,000 participants have registered for the parade this year, either on foot and with a fin in elaborate costumes or elaborate man-made poses. Rounding out the procession are 12 brass bands, 30 classic cars, a number of dance groups and even an act called "Wu Tang Clam".
Creativity is naturally encouraged.
Is the parade family friendly?
Well, that depends on your definition of "family friendly".
While children make up a significant portion of the parade's protesters and spectators, 3,000 participants have a variety of interpretations of "mermaid" and what the mythical creatures carry (or do not wear).
At the mermaid parade glitter is considered clothing, zigun said.
Who is organizing the parade?
Coney Island USA, a not-for-profit art organization committed to defending the honor of "the promenade entertainment that made the place famous, operates a museum, a circus show, and a shooting gallery whose revenues go together sponsoring the $ 200,000 parade with the support of the city and sponsors.
Is it similar to other parades such as Mardi Gras or Pride?
The Mermaid Parade is inspired by a little Everything, including the parade on July 4 in Zigun's hometown Bridgeport, Connecticut and the famous Carnival celebration in New Orleans, whose influences are reflected in the fancy costumes, the massive floats and the hand-crafted touch that befit him Adding spice.
But the Mermaid Parade is ultimately unique on Coney Island, with entertainment and hometown spirit deeply rooted in its DNA.
Mermaids only go ashore in one place once a year, and it is there.