I’m thrilled to announce that Coral will be returning to the National Aquarium in Baltimore and Washington D.C. for some fun events next month!
Join Coral on June 8 in DC and June 9 in Baltimore for World Oceans Day, with story time and ocean trivia. Participate in ocean-related arts and crafts, win prizes, and learn from National Aquarium experts about the oceans’ inhabitants, too! (Click here to learn more about World Oceans Day as an international celebration.)
Coral will be back at the National Aquarium in Baltimore on June 20 for Grade A Student Night, a special event to recognize Baltimore-area students for their academic achievements. This event is already sold out, so if you already have tickets, swim by and say hello while you’re there!
I learned recently that I was not the first mermaid to appear at the National Aquarium in Baltimore.
Karen Blair, the National Aquarium’s first mermaid. [via]
In 1978, a Baltimore City Hall aide named Karen Blair appeared as part of the National Aquarium groundbreaking. The Baltimore Sun has a few articles about how she was hired for the gig [original article
& part two
Debbie Walker and William Donald Schaefer [via]
The second mermaid, a woman named Debbie Walker, appeared at the National Aquarium in 1981 as part of the grand opening. According to the Baltimore Sun
She had to wear a skin-tight, sequined costume with a 15-foot train for that gig. A team of frogmen carried her across a makeshift pond and placed her on a rock. And as cameras from media outlets around the world clicked, flashed and rolled, three seals swam over to pay her a visit, followed by an equally frisky mayor of Baltimore, William Donald Schaefer.
The National Aquarium was to open in three weeks. The mayor was in the seal pool to pay off a bet. Walker, then 23, was his hired “mermaid,” and images from the bizarre spectacle gave her a brief and unexpected moment of international fame she says she’ll always remember.
The Baltimore Sun article has a video and more information about Debbie, and more images of her appearance are available here.
I’m grateful and excited to have been another mermaid at the National Aquarium!
Teaching kids about balloons and ocean pollution with author Debbie Dadey. Photo: Ken Stanek
I had such a blast over the weekend at the National Aquarium in Baltimore and Washington, DC, for World Oceans Day celebrations! This was my first official appearance as Coral and it went so well.
On Saturday in Washington, DC, I appeared alongside Debbie Dadey, author and co-author of 145 books, including The Adventures of the Bailey School Kids series and her new Mermaid Tales series. Debbie read a chapter from Mermaid Tales and had ocean conservation trivia for the kids in attendance. Sunday we did the same thing at the National Aquarium in Baltimore!
My favorite moment from the weekend was meeting and talking to the children who came to see me and learn more about the oceans. One little girl in particular was so concerned about making sure I got back to my home in the ocean at the end of the day that she asked her parents if they could drive me back to the beach! It was awesome to hear many other kids say they would recycle more and take care of the ocean after they participated in Debbie’s trivia.
Photos from the day are all over the website — thanks to Ken Stanek who took a lot of them, and my boyfriend who took the rest. And super thanks to the National Aquarium for inviting me to be part of their World Oceans Day weekend!