Why do they dress as mermaids?
That's where the mythology comes in. When Zigun moved to Coney Island in the 1970s, many of its crumbling buildings were topped with nautical stone figures, including mermaids, porpoises and Neptune clasping his trident. There are even streets named Neptune and Mermaid.
When Zigun announced mermaids would be walking on land, people baulked. But sirens of the sea are an integral part of Coney Island's history and a big draw for parade-goers.
A queen mermaid and King Neptune are crowned each year, too. This year, the Royals are Arlo and Nora Guthrie, who grew up on Mermaid Avenue with their legendary singer-songwriter father, Woody Guthrie
Ahead of Saturday's parade kickoff, Coney Island will honour the late Guthrie by renaming the street where they lived "Woody Guthrie Way."
Stars like Queen Latifah, Debbie Harry, Lou Reed and David Byrne have all reigned over the parade proceedings throughout its history.
Does it happen the same time every year?
Yup. The mermaids march the same weekend as the summer solstice, the longest day of the year and the official start to summer in the Northern Hemisphere.
Zigun originally asked the city to hold the Mermaid Parade on the Fourth of July, but officials told him the day was already too busy. So he settled on the start to summer, the season that earned Coney Island its claim to fame.
He said he modelled the parade after international summer solstice celebrations, so at the end of the route, he and a priest of varying faiths -- this year, it's a Native American shaman of the Lakota people -- ask the neighbourhood water spirits for good weather during the summer, booming business and safety for those who visit its beaches.