I used to think of Ariel when I heard the word "mermaid," but now, I think of "Montrose."
Stories of mermaids have been around for centuries, and so has the practice of dressing up like one. But down in the Lone Star State, there's a whole community of MER-THUSIASTS that takes its love for everything HALF MAN, HALF FIN, very seriously. We're talking PARADES, COSTUMES, EVENTS, and even an entire ORGANIZATION dedicated to the preservation of the mermaid culture in Texas.
Yep, that's right. There's a mermaid culture in TEXAS. Just ask the Montrose Merman, a guy with a tail and an affinity for the mer-life. Or Sirena Sarah, who travels the world with her tail and even offers mermaid swimming lessons.
Fun-seeking FIN-ATICS from all over the state meet-up at mermaid festivals and themed parties. They congregate in backyard swimming pools, showing off their mermaid swim techniques and their fully-functional tails.
Some of these tails can cost over $2,500, but that's because they're made from silicone, beautifully hand-crafted, and painted like the true works of art they are. "Merrowfins" by Matthew Quijano is one of a few companies that's highly coveted in the mer-tail market, and several of his Floridian creations are swimming around the Lone Star State.
If you're like me, and a couple of G'sies AIN'T SO EASY to throw down on some good tail (heh😏), well, don't sweat it. There's merfolk that's broke, too! Cheaper options will work just fine for a quick out-of-the-water photo shoot or just for general sunbathing. If you're looking to dress up for a parade or festival, you might consider getting creative with thrift store stuff and whatever you can find at home. Some glitter on a skirt and a little face paint goes a long way. And when you're around a bunch of fellow mermaid-lovers, no one's gonna care WTF you look like anyway!
The San Marcos Mermaid Society hosts an annual mermaid festival in the fall. This small Texas town, coined "The Mermaid Capital of Texas,"(here's why it's call that) openly invites all FANS-OF-FIN to go TAILS OUT for the weekend.
The event kicks off with a fancy, night-time BALL, and the next morning, a PARADE that winds through the streets of downtown, featuring FLOATS, marching BANDS, and plenty of MERMAIDS and mermen alike.
The fun continues with the Mermaid Aqua Faire in San Marcos Plaza Park, where live MUSIC, local FOOD, and street performers encourage community engagement and welcome fans of all ages. There's an artist market with JEWELRY, FIGURINES, SCULPTURES, and more so folks can take home with them a piece of the festival. But not only that, there's an actual river that flows STRAIGHT THROUGH San Marcos, which makes it perfect for some real TAIL-IN-THE-WATER ACTION or maybe just some pretty sweet photo ops.
Mermaid Week is mid-September, but plan your trip to San Marcos early because hotels book fast. I'd suggest looking into an Airbnb with a pool (like one of these) so you and your friends have a place to dip your tails.
**New to Airbnb? USE MY LINK to sign-up and save us BOTH some money**
You can also check out Salado's Sirena Fest, another fin-tastic festival in Texas.
And if you're looking to travel A BIT FURTHER, definitely check out Sirenalia's Mermaid Retreat. Here's a video👉 The 2018 Belize Mermaid Retreat
The Texas mermaid/merman scene is LIT right now, so if you've ever considered getting in on the fun, now might be a really good time.
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About the Author:
Natalie "Natie Fresh" Ortiz likes to spend her money on donuts🍩 and plane tickets. She's a low-key bad ass who's hiked an active volcano🌋, swum with stingrays🏊, jumped out of an airplane🛩️, and white-water-rafted thru the Grand Canyon🚣. Her taste for adrenaline is like my taste for chocolate lava cake with a scoop of Blue Bell homemade vanilla 🍨...oh👏so👏strong👏and👏without👏end👏😋. Each week, she lyrically transports us thru an outrageous adventure via her travel blog, "VayCray." Money-saving tips included free of charge✌️
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