New York Times September 15, 1911
My, my! Rowdies in Coney Island? It would hardly be surprising, except that the article above is from way back in 1911. And by pure coincidence, the wonderful photo above is from exactly the same time period. You see, way before there was a Mermaid Parade, there was the Mardi Gras celebration which was held yearly from 1903 to 1954. Judging from the article, it must have been a happening affair. 500,000 people partying on the beach? No wonder the police were overwhelmed
by " boisterous horse-play."
Straw hats were a special mark for the rowdies. All along Surf Avenue, after 8 o'clock, hats could be seen, tossed up in the air by rowdies, who, with loud shouts would trample on them. Souvenir canes in the hands of pleasure seekers were seized and smashed. The actions of the rowdies made it impossible for several restaurants opening directly in Surf Avenue to serve their patrons. Every few minutes, a gang of rushers would hurry through knocking over tables, sweeping glasses to the floor, and upsetting tables.
Ah, the good old days of Coney Island!
To read the entire article, click here
[where: Coney Island, Brooklyn]