Fancy Yourself a Mermaid?

Come one, come all…the annual Portlandia Mermaid Parade is launching on Saturday, July 27 in downtown Portland. The event is FREE (always nice) and, as noted on the event website, “(the) Portlandia Mermaid Parade is a grassroots artistic event aimed at celebrating the community's connection to Portland's rivers and port history as well as celebrating all things mermaid and water-myth related.” This years’ theme is “East meets West.”

All ages are welcome at this FREE event. Heck, who doesn’t love a great parade? Image Courtesy: RedTricycle.com

All ages are welcome at this FREE event. Heck, who doesn’t love a great parade? Image Courtesy: RedTricycle.com

When I first saw the title of this event it brought up immediate images of the storied TV show, Portlandia. Of course, this parade is not a direct offshoot…but I do expect to see some similar characters and behaviors. Indeed, this parade should be a giant display of culture and artistic expression….something Portland as a whole does quite well. That said, the name “Portlandia” is the name of the river goddess statue that sits above the entrance of the Portland Building. Created by Raymond Kaskey, the Portlandia statue is, “the second-largest copper repoussé statue in the United States, after the Statue of Liberty.” So, it’s all about connecting to the creeks, rivers, lakes and the ocean. The NW is a land of water…and this parade aims to celebrate the mythical creatures that “just may” inhabit it.

This video grab from YouTube (no author found on Google) shows the fun at the head of a recent Portlandia Mermaid Parade. Everyone can be a mermaid! Image Courtesy: YouTube (unknown video author)

This video grab from YouTube (no author found on Google) shows the fun at the head of a recent Portlandia Mermaid Parade. Everyone can be a mermaid! Image Courtesy: YouTube (unknown video author)

Here is another quote from the event page that helps frame this event and its additional intentions:

The Portlandia Mermaid Parade is also intended to celebrate the living culture of professional mermaid entertainers now thriving in Oregon and through out the Northwest who help to bring the magic and mythology of water myths to people everywhere. The Portlandia Mermaid Parade also recognizes the increasing struggle for creatives in the region to express their artistic ventures without the negative impacts of gentrification and other limits placed upon them. The parade is a revitalization of Portland’s artistic energy and an opportunity for creatives to have a more public forum for fantasy-based self-expression.
Some will take things to the next level, donning mermaid tails and going for a swim in the Willamette River! Enjoy! Image Courtesy: PortlandMermaidParade.com

Some will take things to the next level, donning mermaid tails and going for a swim in the Willamette River! Enjoy! Image Courtesy: PortlandMermaidParade.com

 

Event Details

The Portlandia Mermaid Parade is launching on Saturday, July 27 at 12:00pm 4:00pm. The gathering point will be the Japanese American Historical Plaza2 N.W. Naito Parkway, Portland, OR 97209:

  • 12 p.m. - Gathering & Opening Ceremony

  • 1 p.m. - Parade begins

  • 2-4 p.m. - Beach party at Poets Beach

Here is a link to a MAP that shows the gathering/start point.

The Event Page once again: http://www.portlandiamermaidparade.com

The Facebook Page for the event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1155503951157541

Have fun!

Dan Meyers