Margate’s first ever mermaid parade

Margate’s first ever Mermaid Parade, aptly and wonderfully coined Mergate, celebrated seaside life and uplifted the voices of those protecting our beaches.


The event was SEA-SPIRED so dress up was encouraged, and those attending did not disappoint, from merfolk costumes, nautical fashion, pirate glam, sea creatures and marine mythology.


We caught up with Daphna, the organiser behind the event to find out a little more about the inspiration behind launching such a unique and spectacular event:

“As a native New Yorker, I went to the annual Mermaid Parade in Coney Island, Brooklyn. When I discovered that Dreamland here in Margate was inspired by the Dreamland in Coney Island, I thought of organising a twin parade – Margate style, hence calling it Mergate.

“The purpose of Mergate is to celebrate seaside life and uplift the voices of those protecting our beaches, and so we raise money for both Rise Up Clean Up and RNLI Margate. Mergate is also an opportunity to bring together the local community regardless of social class, age, politics, gender, etc. It is a unifying event where we share the love we all have for our home.

“I knew this had the potential to become a big event and so would’ve been happy if 100 people showed up this first year. Our donation tickets at the Oval sold out in 3 days and we estimate 600-700 people from all out Thanet, the Southeast coast and London walked in the parade. Next year we expect at least double that amount.

“People are already planning their outfits for next year, and we had two local businesses approach us the following day to be 2024 sponsors. The month leading up to Mergate, Mer-May, will be full of workshops and events aimed at helping you create outfits and get into the Mergate spirit.

“I’m the one with the red military coat dressed as Pirate Queen, holding the Mergate flag designed by local artist Zoe Artingstall.”

Photos taken by local photographer Cemanthe McKenzie

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