Photos: Mermaids (and a few pirates) for Margate’s first Mergate festival

Mergate parade led by organiser Daphna Photo Frank Leppard

Photo by Frank Leppard

Some 600 people turned out to join the parade in the first ever Mergate festival in Margate.

The event on Saturday (June 3) was the idea of native New Yorker and now Margate resident Daphna Rowe who hoped to bring people together and also raise funds for Rise Up Clean Up and the RNLI.

Photo Frank Leppard

Daphna and husband Jason, moved to the isle from London in February 2020, just before the pandemic hit.

Fragrance business owner Daphna said she had been to the Coney Island Mermaid Parade and loved it. Once she found out Dreamland  in Margate was inspired by the Dreamland of Coney Island,  she set about organising the twin mermaid parade.

Photo Frank Leppard

The event include a Mermaid Swim at the Walpole Tidal Pool, the Mermaid Parade from Tuner Contemporary along the promenade to Cliftonville’s Oval Bandstand followed by events at the Oval Lawns.

Photo Frank Leppard

Daphna Pictured above) said: “The inaugural event exceeded all expectations. We knew this had the potential to be big but did not expect such an enormous response the first year. We publicised primarily through social media. It goes to show that good old fashioned ‘word of mouth’ works magic.

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“We estimate roughly 600 people walked in the parade from all over Thanet and the South east including Folkestone, Canterbury, and Whitstable -even the Brighton mermaids marched alongside us! Plans for 2024 are already under way. This will absolutely be an annual event.”


  1. Well done Daphna (and Jason) Hope 2024’s event is even bigger. (Would advise against holding it on cup-final day though!)

  2. What do they need to raise money for the rise up people this island has a lot of unemployed people who need jobs TDC employ seasonal beach cleaners instead of groups who are always looking for money that don’t last long off season there is very little litter on our beaches as nobody used them much if any what blows out of unempted bins by the council employment is what is needed not dole on sea especially groups who say our beaches are filthy which they are not attempting to stop people coming here they are not private they are for everyone belong to crown estate there is always someone trying to get money leave it to the council.

    • Good Evening Brian.

      I feel they need money to teach the local people how to use punctuation to effectively get their point across.

      Have a lovely evening ol’ boi.

  3. Well done to Daphne and Jason.
    How about organising a
    Talk Like A Pirate Day, too? I’m willing to help. But lack social media skills (at my limit, now!) to get it off the ground by myself.
    I think there is a national day in September for this event.

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