Fins & Fun: Head to the Second-Annual Mermaid Parade

This summer Una The Mermaid is inviting Portland families to make waves at The Second Annual Portlandia Mermaid Parade. Last year’s event was such a hit it’s happening again. Held Saturday, July 29, this grassroots, artistic event celebrates all things magic, mythological, and mermaid. So grab your flippers and fins and read on to find out everything you need to know before you head out for a  day under the sea.

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photo: Betty Tsang via flickr

About Una

Una is a private and community entertainer who mermaids to bring out the imagination and inner child in everyone. With a background in transpersonal psychology—and as a professional mermaid—she uses the healing powers of creativity to help others find and grow the magic in their lives.

The De-tails:

What is it?
The Portlandia Mermaid Parade is an opportunity for people of all ages and genders to come together and experience the magic and mythology of mermaids. The parade is named after the river goddess statue by Raymond Kaskey, located in downtown Portland. The theme of this year’s parade is “Water is Life” and it is free to enter, walk and watch.

When and Where
The opening ceremony and gathering time begins at noon at the Japanese American Historical Plaza along the Portland waterfront. The parade starts at 1p.m. and the mermaid swim and beach party goes from 2 -4 p.m. at Poets Beach!

The parade route goes along the Portland waterfront sidewalk walkway, making its way to Poets Beach under the Marquam Bridge ending with a mermaid swim and beach party. It is a little over one mile long, is walked entirely on the sidewalk and is ADA friendly.

photo: Allan Beaufour via flicker

How To Get There
If you don’t want to swim through traffic to get to the parade the MAX is on route, or you can park at the Smart Park located on NW Naito and Davis Street.

What To Wear
The parade is focused on promoting and inspiring creativity and body positivity so water sprites can wear what they like (and you too!) however, mermaid and underwater themed fashion is encouraged. Think pearls, glitter, shells, color, and a sprinkle of magic. As long as everyone is dressed up you’ll be good! We love the idea of your whole school of fish following a theme.

How To Parade
Make sure you have your walking shoes or should we say swimming fins! If you’re entering into the parade, small decorated push floats, wagons, strollers, bicycles and pedi-cabs are highly encouraged. If you would rather watch, you’re welcome to sit anywhere along the parade route. Be aware that the Oregon Brewers Festival will be happening this same weekend, limiting a section of seating on the route.

photo: Steven Pisano via flickr

Before & After

Splash Like a Mermaid Pre-Parade
It’s highly likely that the temps will soar. There are two nearby land-dweller friendly fountains your family can splash around in to cool down. It’s also a great way to help your family feel the magic of the day.

Salmon Street Springs Fountain
1000 SW Naito Pkwy
The Bill Naito Legacy Fountain
2 SW Naito Pkwy

Post Parade Poets Beach Swim
The parade ends under the Marquam Bridge for a mermaid swim and beach party. Make sure to pack your floatation devices and some snacks or lunch. There are plenty of spots to picnic while you play.

Post Parade for Parents: Sirens Masquerade Ball
If you can snag a sitter for your sea sprites after the parade is done, jump into the official after party at the World Trade Center Sky Bridge Terrace. This celebrations will include a full bar, catered buffet, photo booth and more. Please note, this elegant event created to make for a magical night for all. No street clothes allowed!

World Trade Center Sky Bridge Terrace
26 SW Salmon St.

2nd Annual Mermaid Parade
Sat. Jul 29 at noon
Japanese American Historical Plaza
NW Naito Parkway & NW Couch St

Cost: Free

Have you been to a mermaid parade? Share Your experience with us in the comments below.

— Kris Wilhelmy


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