Mermaid Conventions, Festivals, and Competitions
Being a mermaid is a unique activity and it can be hard to find other mermaids, but you don’t have to live your mermaid life in solitude! There are thousands of other people out there like you that love swimming and performing as a mermaid. Just like most other subcultures, you can find many mermaid conventions and festivals all around the world! It is a great way to finally meet mermaids face to face whom you’d only interacted with online before.
With COVID19 running rampant throughout the world, many events are put on hold for 2020, but there is hope! Many events have tentative plans to resume for 2021, some even hope to proceed later in 2020! Here are 11 mermaid events to look forward to and what can be expected of them:
1.Coney Island Mermaid Parade (Around June 20th USA, New york)
Coney Island, NY, has been hosting a fabulous annual mermaid parade since 1983. It was founded with intentions of bringing mythology to life, building self-esteem for residents, and encouraging artistic and self-expression.
The parade involves participants wearing costumes based around a different chosen theme each year. You’ll see costumes, floats, and decorations all based on mermaid mythology and ocean life. They celebrate the local community and artists, with around 3000 attendants.
Coney island is the perfect location for this event with many aquatic street names including: mermaid, surf, neptune, beach and atlantic avenue, ocean parkway and shell road, just to name a few.
There is a hippie-like, open-spirit feeling of inclusivity and a welcoming vibe like what you’d find at Burning Man. You can expect colorful, eccentric, and some more revealing costumes.
You have the option to be in the parade for a small fee of $25 or to attend as a spectator for free.
Watch this video of Mermaid Marielle participating in the 2019 parade!
Marielle suggests hanging out after the parade at the Coney Island Mer-Meetup (find the group on facebook) hosted by Cookie DeJesus, the Harlem mermaid pod on the beach! You can swim and there is an amazing ambiance with music and drum circles.
- World Mermaid Championship (in September CHINA, guangzhou)
This athletic competition in China showcases 50 mermaids from around the world, who will demonstrate their mermaid swim skills. Judges with backgrounds in things like swim coaching, freediving, and cinematography will assess them on their technical swimming skills, acrobatic figures, breath-holding, artistry, and mermaid ensembles.
Participants get to perform in a competition tank that is 12 meters long and 2.5 meters high. They will perform an underwater choreographed routine with music, show off their mermaid ensembles, and perform specific mermaid movements and skills. Kids and adults can participate and there are amazing prizes, like a cash prize of ¥200,000.
You can participate as an athlete but also just as a spectator. The competition is spread over 3-4 days including an opening ceremony, the kid's competition, the adult competition, a compulsory and a routine on music performance. There is also a big fair with vendors or aquatic and mermaid products plus an underwater fashion show with swimmers performing in designer clothes. This is something really unique.
Learn more about how to participate in the world mermaid championship. You can also participate in regional competitions like the North American championship to qualify yourself for the world championship.
Video: Watch the 4 episodes of Mermaid Marielle’s Vlog from her experience as an athlete representing Canada at the 2019 championship in Guangzhou, China
- MerFest International, previously Mermaid MegaFest (in June USA Michigan)
This convention, formerly called Mermaid MegaFest, takes place in South Haven, Michigan. It is a large gathering of mermaids/mermen and ocean enthusiasts. The founders of this festival are committed to raising awareness of the importance of ocean conservation and attract tourists to discover their beautiful town.
This festival is known for its mermaid gathering on the pier with a world Guinness record for the largest mermaid gathering in the world with around 450 mermaids together.
The town of South Haven is really energized and embraces this event. All shops sell cute mermaid themed products and have aquatic-themed decorations in the front window. The main attraction is the giant tanks with mermaid performers swimming for your entertainment. Make sure to try the mermaid painting class and walk on the commercial street to visit the boutiques and take a stroll on the pier at sunset.
With the new management, the event will be moved from South Haven downtown to a close-by waterpark. It will be hosting the North American mermaid championship, where there will be live mermaids swimming in tanks, a drone light show, live bands, and much more!
Mermaid megafest 2018
Mermaid megafest 2019
- Miss Mermaid International (EGYPT / TUNISIA)
Miss Mermaid International is a pageant for mermaids that features about 40 mermaids from many different countries. Their goal is to raise awareness for ocean conservation in a glamorous and fun way!
One mermaid will be chosen from each country following a national competition in their respective country. Contestants are selected based on swimming skills, beauty, and figure.They are judged on their swimming skills, their costumes, their intellect (based on an interview) and underwater posing.
The 2019 edition was held in Egypt at the Baron Palace 5 star resort. This competition lasts about 10 days and includes a series of competitions, such as a breath-hold distance swim, catwalk fashion show, talent show and underwater posing. In addition to the main competition the mermaids participate in fun photoshoots and outings to discover the local attractions.
The 2020 edition is supposed to take place in Tunisia. Learn more how to participate in the miss mermaid pageant.
- Mermagicon (in March USA Washington D.C )
MerMagicon was founded in 2018 and is a gathering of about 300 hundreds mermaids for a big swim meet and workshops. It is three days of glitter and aquatic festivities in Washington D.C.
This is a great event to attend if you are looking to become a professional mermaid. There will be workshops on silicone tail making, mermaid business, underwater modeling and more! You can expect to meet some mermaid celebrities who will share their experience as professional mermaids. They also hold a mermaid ball with a lot of disney music and dancing! It has the feel of a prom with extravagant gowns with glitter but the attendees are mostly 20-30 years old women. We are never too old to dress up as princesses! They have open mermaid swimming where you can interact with other mers. It is a kid friendly event that includes arts and crafts and story time! Don’t forget to go check out the fair, where you can meet in person silicone tail manufacturer, purchase mermaid tails and accessories like shell crowns, clothing, and jewelry. We suggest staying at the main hotel of the convention to be in the action of all the activities. The aquatic center is about a 15 minute drive from the hotel.
- San Marcos Mermaid Festival (Summer Texas)
San Marcos is the “mermaid capital of Texas.” All over town you can find beautiful statues of mermaids and there is a mermaid mural painted on the side of a café that features the words “Keep San Marcos Beautiful.” They are passionate about conservation of the river there.
Each year the San Marcos Mermaid Society holds a SPLASH festival. That stands for Stewardship, Preservation, Local, Arts, Sustainability, Heritage. The festival includes a parade, a fair with vendors selling mermaid art and accessories, a swim in the river with local mermaids, and finally a mermaid ball!
Something you must do is go swim in the San Marcos river, it is crystal clear and it feels magical with mermaids swimming all around. You can also enjoy a lazy ride down the river sitting on an inflatable tube.
Mermaid Ball in San Marcos Texas
- Mermates (in May, Belgium)
Belgium hosts a mermaid festival each year around May. It’s a huge gathering that takes place in a diving center with a huge tank that is ten meters deep and has around 4000 fishes. It’s a fun place to take pictures, swim with friends, and explore its depths.
Along with being a huge social gathering, they also hold workshops to learn more about being a mermaid, free diving, mermaid makeup and hair, underwater posing, synchronized swimming and more.
- Merlympics (UK / Germany)
This is a competition that was started in Germany in 2015 by Mayim UK Mermaid Academy. It is mainly for kids but there is an adult portion as well. It is run by mermaid swimming schools with the intention of including their students in competition with other mermaids.
Some of the competitions include swimming races, individual routines, group routines, and performance of specific mermaid skills. You must be at least eight years old to enter and must be able to swim 50 meters in a mermaid tail. You can only enter if you are a part of one of the associated swim schools. If you are not a student of any swim school you can always go to watch or even volunteer to help out.
- The California Mermaid Convention (summer USA)
This convention takes place in the summer, usually around July, in Sacramento, CA. It’s a fun mermaid meetup with many opportunities for socialization, celebration, and education.
There is a promenade that has live music and people wearing elaborate costumes. Some people even dress their dogs up! There are vendors selling mermaid merchandise and local shops get involved as well. They do a parade, a contest, some activities for kids, and even workshops on things like underwater posing and mermaid photo shoots. The Dive Bar, which has a 40 foot tank and does mermaid shows, hosts a party.
- Mercon Australia
Mercon Australia takes place around different parts of Australia and can be hosted by many different people and organizations. It’s mainly about socialization of mermaids, mermaid fans, and ocean enthusiasts.
Mermaids can gather together and swim in the harbor and there is a cruise where you can see dolphins and go swimming. Workshops are also held to teach mermaid related skills such as underwater posing.
- Key West Mermaid Festival (in July, USA Florida)
Key West is a charming little island in Florida, with a vibrant and artsy scene. The Key West Mermaid Festival first kicked off in the summer of 2019. It was started by a resident named Kristi Mills, who has a passion for mermaids and runs a shop called The Captain’s Mermaid Boutique.
The festival in 2019 ran for three days and was filled with myriad magical events. There was a parade, music, a dance party, a mermaid swim, the opportunity to have breakfast with a mermaid, and lots of vendors selling art, jewelry, tails, and all things mermaid.
No matter your level of mermaid experience, there is a mermaid event for you! They are always jam-packed with fun and excitement! There aren’t many things as magical as being surrounded by mermaids. You’ll meet interesting people and see wonderful costumes. Men will often dress up as pirates for these kinds of events, but many also embrace the mermaid aspect! Mermen participate and even those who don’t wear tails will get into it, with costumes and sometimes glitter beards!
Mermaid events have fun for everyone! They typically aim for inclusivity, featuring mermaids and mermen of all demographics, and activities for people of every age and gender. Hope to see you at one of these fin-tastic events!