Mermaid Convention Coming to Greensboro Aquatic Center

Mermaidkariel 2
Photo courtesy of NC MerMania

For the second year in a row, merfolk from around the world will converge on the Greensboro Aquatic Center for a three-day celebration of swimming, workshops and fellowship Jan. 20-22. Last year’s event hosted approximately 300 mermaids from places as far away as France, England and Canada.

One of the most popular segments of last year’s convention that returns this year is the children’s programming — “Swimming and Story Time with a Mermaid.” This is a ticketed event open to the public in which children can spend time learning about the ocean and learning to swim like merfolk. Trained professionals will read stories of the ocean with a special focus on conservation. There are two sessions for this popular story time: Saturday 12:30-1:45 p.m. and Sunday 1:30-2:45 p.m. Cost is $40, which includes a 30-minute story time and a 45-minute lesson and swim. Spaces are limited. Buy tickets online at

The convention is also thrilled to welcome Philo Barnhart as the special guest. Barnhart is the animator of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” and “Beauty and the Beast” as well as numerous other animated films. He will meet with guests during the conference and take part in a panel discussion on Sunday at 3:45 p.m. The convention will also feature Mermaid Kariel, a pioneer in the industry who performs with her team of mermaids around the world.

Merfolk, men and women who don swimmable fish tails, are a highly popular sub-segment of the cosplay community. 

“Mermaiding” as the hobby is called, has been around for decades but has recently been trending in popularity due to increased media coverage and viral articles on social media. Combining athletic swimming skills, creativity and a passion for conservation to inspire people through fantasy, hundreds of men and women now work as “professional mermaids” around the world. Typical work includes entertaining children, teaching mermaid swim schools and fitness classes, and educating the next generation on the ocean and its creatures. The convention’s aim is to bring people together who are interested in this unique hobby to share knowledge, resources and friendship.

“NC MerMania was borne of a simple concept, a gathering of merfolk to swim together in friendship. A place where anyone with a tail would gather to feel welcome and that is the spirit that guides our efforts. It has grown beyond my wildest expectations into an event that garnered international media attention and an explosion of interest in this hobby. I am thrilled that Greensboro North Carolina can be the hub of this event,” explained Daniel Craig, NC MerMania founder.

For more information, please visit

Categories: Day Trips, Things To Do