By Haru Corynefor
Coney Island is kicking off the spring season the only way it knows how.
On April 3, Noisefest will bring an eclectic celebration of history, music, vaudeville and, of course, mermaids to the Boardwalk.
The festivities begin with a ringing of the old Dreamland Pier Bell to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the fire that engulfed and ultimately destroyed the old park that once stood in Luna Park’s place.
Then, the Jambalaya Brass Band will lead an honest-to-goodness New Orleans jazz funeral down the Boardwalk.
“There’s going to be some satire, there’s going to be some dead mermaids,” said photographer and video artist James DeMaria, who will be filming the “funeral.”
Finally, London-based artist Mr. Pustra will deliver a performance on his musical saw, an instrument once common in vaudeville that involves drawing a bow across the flat end of a handsaw.
So, why all the noise?
“A lot of people have been missing old Coney Island and protesting, and it’s time to wrap that up,” said Dick Zigun, artistic director of Coney Island USA, which is organizing the festival.
“That’s what jazz funerals in New Orleans are about,” he added. “Coney Island moves on.”
Noisefest [1208 Surf Ave. between Stillwell Avenue and W. 12th Street in Coney Island, (718) 372-5159], April 3 at noon. Free. For info, visit www.coneyisland.com.