Debora Iyall, New Wave Mermaids, and the Sacramento Mermaid Parade

2 May

So there are many extremely fabulous mermaid extravaganzas on the horizon, and as a mermaid expert it is of course my duty to keep you informed about each and every one of them. One brand new one is the first Sacramento Mermaid Parade,  happening this July 16th in Sacramento, home of the recently opened Dive Bar where mermaids and mermen swim in a 7,500-foot aquarium above the bar. I know.

The parade begins at 1pm at the Rio City Cafe in Old Sacramento and makes its way to the Dive Bar. Prizes will be awarded for BEST COSTUME for both adult and children’s categories, and the Grand Marshall of the parade will be one Ms. Debora Iyall, best known as the lead singer of the new wave band Romeo Void. The band that did this awesome song,

which came out in 1982 and might be considered a new wave classic, not to mention the sound of yours truly’s misspent youth.

That means that between Coney Island (the Coney Island Mermaid Parade is June 18th) AND Sacramento you’ve got two prime opportunities this summer to apply body paint, glitter, and a fish tail… so you should probably start working on your costume now. Below, I talk with Debora about the parade and new wave, and I even lovingly try to get some insider tips for you. That is how generous I am.

So Debora, how did you get involved in the Sacramento Mermaid Parade?
Jenn asked and it sounded like a blast. I grew up swimming all summer long in Fresno and was usually the first one in and the last one out of the pool. My mom worked so we always got season passes to the local pool. I still swim year-round participating in water aerobics classes 4-5 times a week.

Can you talk a little bit about what potential parade-goers might expect?
People could expect lots of colorful costumes reflecting love for the sea and her creatures. A blend of all ages, races and genders will hopefully participate.

As Grand Marshall, you’ll be judging BEST COSTUMES for adults and children. What will your criteria be?
Costumes should be:

  • Appropriately ocean themed – Mermaids, Mermen, Mollusks and other sea creatures welcome.
  • Creatively designed with character
  • Good workmanship
  • Confidence and poise as befits a sea creature

What makes a prize-winning mermaid/merman?
A beautifully unique and sensuous costume and manner.

You’re best known as the lead singer and lyricist of Romeo Void, and I personally think that “Never Say Never” is one of the best songs ever. Do you feel there’s any overlap between new wave and mermaids?
Probably not, but mermaids love to frolic in the waves, why not new ones?

What might a new wave mermaid be like?
It would have a palette of contrasting colors like orange and blue, black and pink, red and green and bold with graphic polka dots or stripes.

Have you always been fascinated with mermaids (if you are) and/or identified with them?
I’d love to be a mermaid and would be a super strong swimmer with the right fin and tail. I always wanted to travel by swimming. I always wanted to swim to school and the store. If not a water-world I want to return to the equestrian mode of travel, I love horses. Also: if I have a totem animal it is the seal.  I don’t have a tattoo but I almost got one years ago of a seal scratching its head with its tail.

How would you explain the allure of mermaids – and mermen?
Have you ever done a mermaid kick in the water? The sensuousness of full body propulsion!

And finally, do you have any advice for aspiring mermaids?
Love your body! Remember: water is healing and we all deserve it and the admiration of our peers for our creative efforts and healthy risks.

2 Responses to “Debora Iyall, New Wave Mermaids, and the Sacramento Mermaid Parade”


  1. New Write-up and Debora Iyall Interview by “I Am A Mermaid” !!! | Sacramento Mermaid Parade - May 2, 2011

    […] I Am A Mermaid This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. LikeBe the first to like this […]

  2. The Sacramento Mermaid Parade’s Jenn Mehm-Oakes « I am a mermaid - August 1, 2011

    […] on July 16th. Here’s a link to the site, with plenty of photos, including of Grand Marshall Deborah Iyall whom I interviewed here in May. Also, I did an interview with one of the planners of the parade, Jenn Mehm-Oakes, in June… […]

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