The parade started as a way to celebrate Monsoon season in Tucson, when the weather is akin to a typhoon at sea (okay, maybe it’s not that bad). Today the event captures the hearts of Tucson’s merfolk.
The family-friendly parade begins on Fourth Avenue. This year guests can attend the Mer-ket for face painting, sno-cones, and more. There will also be a costume contest with prizes and every child participant gets a free cone from Dairy Queen. After 9 p.m., things start to get a bit racier as the swarthiest of sea creatures head over to Surly Wench for a dance party.
Whether this is your first time attending or you’re a mermaid pro, you’ll need to stock up on nautical goodies. And what better place than the Avenue to go treasure hunting. We’ve rounded up some our tried(ent) and true spots for items that will have you singing, “look at this stuff, isn’t it neat?” Just like Ariel.
Mermaids are thrifty. They would definitely enjoy the thrift stores along the Avenue for collecting fun clothing items. Tucson Thrift has a wide variety of wigs, costume makeup, and more. They have always been a go-to for themed costumes and the mermaid parade is no exception. Once you’ve stocked up on loot there, head across the street to Goodwill to scourge their selection of hidden treasures.
Silver Sea Jewelry for accessories.
Silver Sea is the star of the Avenue when it comes to mermaids. Their hand-crafted jewelry is inspired by the sea and all of it’s glory. They have a mermaid mannequin in the window and you can buy other sparkly bits that will take your costume to the next level. Oh, did we mention that the owner, Lizzie Mead is a professional mermaid?!
Visit SilverSeaJewelry on Facebook for more information.
Black Rose Tattoo to get your sailor tattoo beforehand.
While we aren’t telling you to get a mermaid tattoo before the parade, if you were already thinking about it, Black Rose is the way to go. They have been tattooing arms, legs, and well, more since 1995. Guests are encouraged to come into the shop to meet the tattoo artists and make appointments in person.
Visit blackrosetattooers.com for more information.
Mermaids have impeccable hair and nails. They were sporting the rainbow hair trend long before it became a thing. Get your nails and hair polished at The Polished Bee or your hair colored at Tangled Salon. Both salons are known for their instagrammable work, which you can peruse for inspiration at @danielle.hairess & @thepolishedbee. Both places are by appointment only.
Bare Wax and Massage Studio for silky smooth, swim worthy skin.
The debate on whether or not merfolk actually have hair is pretty heated. While haven’t quite decided which side we land on, we do like the idea of having long, beautiful hair on our heads. Elsewhere? Not so much. We do know that a silky smooth bod makes one a better swimmer. So if you are interested in speed vs. folklore, Bare Wax and Massage would be a great place to go to wax poetic about where you think mermaids have hair. Go ahead, throw in a massage while you are there. Lounging on rocks looking pretty takes more energy than one might think.
Visit baretucson.com for appointments and details.
Razorz Edge for mermaid paraphernalia and pin-up style clothing
If you want to skip the mermaid get-up and go for something a little more sailor-y, we recommend Razor’s Edge. While they do carry some mermaid themed totes and clothing items, the store is known for it’s pin-up, punk vibe. You can pick up fishnet stockings and glitter here too!
Visit razorzedge.com for more information.
The Hut for a fish bowl.
A day of shopping isn’t complete without a strong drink. Swim over to The Hut for one of their many fish bowls or other tropical themed drinks. Remember, even mermaids need to drink responsibly, so don’t go overboard with the libations.
Visit huttucson.com for more information.
The Return of the Mermaids is this Saturday, August 12, 2017 from 12 – 11:55pm. Learn more about the event and line-up of activities on the Mermaid’s Facebook page.