Today’s an anniversary in the community of Weeki Wachee, Florida.
Well, it would be, if it still existed. The state dissolved the municipality this summer, given that it had about 15 residents.
But its claim to fame lives on, and it started on this day in 1947: the first performance of the Weeki Wachee Mermaids.
These are professional mermaids who put on choreographed shows for hundreds of thousands of visitors a year, completely underwater.
The mermaids don’t use scuba gear or snorkels.
Instead, they breathe through air hoses that are connected to their dressing rooms with 64 foot long tubes.
Needless to say, mermaiding takes a lot of practice, studying the movements in the water and out, practicing how to breathe through the hose, and listening to the guidance from the underwater sound system, to help coordinate what you’re doing with fellow mermaids – all of it done in a mermaid outfit.
And yet there are plenty of people who not only audition for the job, they dream of becoming mermaids (or mermen, who are also part of the show; they’re officially known as “princes”).
Some mermaids have even seen their kids become mermaids.
Hopefully, none of them ever run into that troublemaker Ursula the sea witch.
This year the Oklahoma Banjo Fest is underway, completely online, which includes several new inductees to the Banjo Hall of Fame, interviews, performances, and – even jam sessions. Virtual hootenannies.
You mean you’ve never had a banjo jam session on Zoom before?
More mermaids than men (Mashable)
Oklahoma Banjo Fest (Travel OK)
Mermaid photo by Steven Martin via Flickr/Creative Commons