San Marcos might not have a beach, but that hasn’t stopped it from being named the Mermaid Capital of Texas. It all started back in the 1950s, when local amusement park Aquarena Springs opened along the banks of the San Marcos River. The park closed in 1994, but locals never forgot the Aquamaids in tails and tutus who would cavort before a glass window in the park’s underwater room.
In 2014, locals rallied to form the Mermaid Society of Texas, and the Texas Legislature officially declared San Marcos to be the Mermaid Capital of Texas. Nowadays, the town celebrates with a month-long festival each September, culminating in the Downtown Mermaid Promenade and street fair.
Meet the KT Mermaids
As proud members of the San Marcos community, it only seemed right that Kissing Tree residents should have a float in the parade. Joy Berberek headed up the float committee last year and was onboard again this year. “Last year was all about ‘Making a Splash at KT,’ and this year the focus is on saving our rivers,” Joy said.
Using Our Tulles
The committee ordered yards and yards of fluffy purple, lime, and aqua tulle to be waves and had several painting parties to create the signs and trees that decorated the float. “It’s a community effort,” Joy said. “Last year, we all brought real branches to make a giant tree. This year we’re making waves, and we have a skirt to go below that looks like scallops. We have a lot of fun doing it!”
We All Float On
The group assembled the float on the Friday evening before the big parade so that early Saturday morning they could make the slow journey to the staging ground. Our float featured four mermaids with brightly colored tails and four human ladies in KT shirts. Fearless Activities Director Kevin Wilson rode along on his bike to take pictures and provide support during the parade route. “It was a very large turnout – the best ever,” Joy said. “We had a blast!”
We can’t wait to see what the group comes up with for next year. If you want to join them on the float,