Coney Island comes to Shohola
Artists’ Market Community Center re-creates look and feel of New York's famous beach for a day of parades and sideshows


Salacia, female divinity of the sea, with husband Neptune, the god of freshwater and the sea. They are portrayed by artists Mef Gannon and Dan Dai of Shohola (Photo by George Leroy Hunter)

By George Leroy Hunter
MILFORD — Coney Island came to Shohola last Saturday, when the Artists’ Market Community Center hosted a themed exhibition by local artists — and a parade with local mermaids.
The event re-created the look and feel of New York's summertime beach of renown, complete with sea creatures, street performers, and circus sideshow.
Director and co-founder Nick Roes said the center is a place for "anyone with a creative idea. Whether through dancing, music and other art forms we want to help make it come to life. We have different themes each month, so this month one of our exhibiting artist Rose Chateau came up with the 'Coney Island in Shohola' idea. The Artists’ Market Community Center is filled with Coney Island themed artwork and decor. We also decided to have a mermaid parade too just like the actual Coney Island. So it is really a way of involving the community through art."
The mermaid parade route began in front of the center on Richardson Avenue and continued along Rohman Road, which runs in a circular pattern back to the center. Neptune the god of freshwater and the sea, with wife, Salacia, the female divinity of the sea by his side, were joined by mermaids, an assortment of sea creatures, and other participants. Visitors lined the streets to watch.
The Shohola Police Department made sure the parade route was safe from vehicular traffic by stationing an officer at the scene. The Shohola Township Volunteer Fire and Rescue Engine 1 was on display along the mermaid route.
After the conclusion of the parade, visitors met with artists at a reception inside the center. Refreshments were provided to guests as they moved through two floors of art.
Indie/rock/alternative band Spunday Mourning performed during the event. Fire dancer Raina Bowers of Callicoon, N.Y., captivated guests with slick moves while handling a flaming stick. Sideshow performer James Bajda of Greeley did some amazing tricks, including having an audience member stand on a board atop his chest and stomach. Sharp nail points beneath the board pushed against Bajda's flesh with no effect, which earned him great applause.
The "Coney Island in Shohola" exhibit will continue through August. Visiting hours and information for artists interested in exhibiting their work are provided on the center website at artistsmarketcc.com
Art on display at the Artists’ Market Community Center is available for purchase.