Annual Mermaid Festival captivates San Marcos

todaySeptember 26, 2023 127 1 5

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By Danielle De Lucia

Chief Editor of News

SAN MARCOS — The Mermaid Capital of Texas celebrated the beautiful river last Saturday with the annual Mermaid Festival. Every September the San Marcos community unites with a celebration event – parade and fair. The event gives attention to the unique culture in the town and awareness of the San Marcos River, home of the mermaid.

A mermaid shining and waving to the crowd during the San Marcos Mermaid Festival parade.
A mermaid shining and waving to the crowd during the San Marcos Mermaid Festival parade. | Annika Rutledge

Mermaid Parade and Festival

One word to describe the energy of the Mermaid Parade would be happiness, people came energetic to show love for the river and community. Some people came to the parade dressed as their own mermaids, with amazing mermaid makeup and costumes. “It [the parade] gives people the opportunity to create their own persona with the mermaid,” said July Moreno-Holbrook, founder of the nonprofit group the Mermaid Society of Texas.

“The whole purpose of the festival is a celebration, bringing our community together in celebration of all things great about San Marcos. From our University to our community to our arts, and more specifically for bringing attention to the river, the mermaid itself is a symbol of a protector of the river,” said Moreno-Holbrook.

The mermaid symbol is encouraging the San Marcos community to care for the natural environment and why there is importance for protecting the water resource.

In 2016 the Mermaid Society started — the organization’s action of bringing awareness to the river is growing more and more each year. “There are more people now invested in helping to protect the river and having a bond with the river. In that, it’s [river] in the town that they live in and there is more reason to be protective of this beautiful river,” said Moreno-Holbrook.

The parade floats show how much effort and pride people have for the river. The floats this year were all decked out with mermaids and sea creatures. Some floats were community-focused with athletes from SMCISD: all were passionate about the parade celebration.

At noon the fair began, filled with live music and cultural dance performances. Food trucks and vendors encompassed the festive, keeping everyone united in commemoration. The vendors came from all over Texas selling art, jewelry, plants etc.

“It takes a village to make this festival happen and we are so incredibly thankful for our volunteers and to our sponsors that make it [the event] possible,” said Moreno-Holbrook.

San Martian resident blowing bubbles at the San Marcos Mermaid Festival.
San Martian blowing bubbles at the San Marcos Mermaid Festival. | Annika Rutledge

Mermaid Society’s goal

“We, our programming is specifically the Youth Eco-Guardianship education… we just launched our Youth Eco-Guardianship Program on the 20th. Now, we are in all schools providing books that are dedicated to eco-ship education and of course, mermaids. Our goal is to nurture and inspire our youth in San Marcos to become stewards of the beautiful river,” said Moreno-Holbrook.

“Announcements about this year are going to be pretty extraordinary… There are a number of events that are being added to the calendar that are going to be pretty exciting,” said Moreno-Holbrook.

To learn more about what the Mermaid Society is doing and how you could be a part of improving the town check out their Facebook page or website.

Written by: Preethi Mangadu

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