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The Mermaids are coming

January 27, 2015
By ED FRANKS ( , Pine Island Eagle

The 8th annual Parade of Mermaids will be held on Feb. 6 at Bert's Pine Bay Gallery.

Although the Parade has occurred three years previous, The Celebration of Mermaids is actually in its eighth year. The first Celebration of Mermaids in 2007 featured visiting mermaid Kate Dale, the Coney Island Mermaid Parade "Best Mermaid." The following year, we hosted a former "Wiki Wachee" mermaid, Jo DeShay, of St. James City. Jo brought photos from her years of swimming, including movie shots with Esther Williams in the springs of Wiki Wachee.

With the beginnings of the Island Pirate Fest, our event took on a new purpose. We began raising funds for "From Our Hearts" ( a local nonprofit organization of generous Pine Islanders, who strive to help in the battle against breast cancer. Our Celebration of Mermaids became a Parade of Mermaids, and grew into a new dimension of joyful giving. This year, the Celebration will begin with 2014 Fairest Mermaid, Eileen Wood, arriving via water.

Article Photos

2014 Mermaid Queen Ellen Wood.


Registration begins at 6 p.m., at Bert's Pine Bay Gallery, at the northeast corner of the Matlacha Bridge. At 7 p.m, the Parade of Mermaids will leave the gallery, walking west to the crest of the bridge where the mermaids will throw an offering into the water, with an incantation spoken to the ladies of the deep. The parade will then proceed back east, cross Pine Island Road, wind its way through Bert's Bar to the outside deck, where costume judging will take place. Prizes will be awarded for Fairest Mermaid and Most Creative Mermaid. There will also be a prize for Best Child Mermaid.

Food and beverages will be available to all for a donation to "From our Hearts." There will be Award-winning seafood chowder from Island Seafood Company, Mouth-watering chocolate mermaids from C.W. Fudge, as well as hor's deurves and wine from Bert's Bar and Grill. Refreshments will be available for a donation and will be served by, "From Our Hearts."



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