Thursday, March 20, 2008

Coney Island Rowdies!

Pardon Me For Asking blog has an interesting posting about a "rowdy" Mardi Gras celebration held yearly at Coney Island from 1903 - 1954 (way before the Mermaid Parade). Check out the 1911 NYT newspaper clipping: 500,000 people partying on the beach, and the police were overwhelmed by "boisterous horse-play."

Straw hats were a special target of the rowdies. All up and down Surf Avenue after 8 p.m., hats could be seen flying up into the air, only to be stomped on and crushed upon landing. Gangs of "rushers" would hurry through restaurants, knocking over tables, sweeping glasses to the floor and upsetting chairs.

Gangs would also stuff confetti into ladies' mouths and otherwise "manhandle them."

This went on for 50 years? Ah, the good old days...

Those Rowdies in Coney Island ... 1911 PMFA

Photo by Jeff Pearce, Creative Commons license

1 comment:

otbkb said...

McBrooklyn, please email me. louise_crawford(at)
thanks. louise