House Resolution Names Mermaid Capital Of Texas

Barbara Schwarz
May 15, 2019 - 6:38 am

Photos courtesy of Mermaid Society of Texas


SAN MARCOS (1080 KRLD) - Democratic representative Erin Zwiener's latest resolution calls for San Marcos to get the designation as the Mermaid Capital of Texas.

She says the legendary figure has come to represent the city and its special relationship to the water resources of Central Texas.

San Marcos sits on and around the river of the same name. 

In the 1920's, a resort hotel was built on Spring Lake, which was created in 1845, Edward Burleson, a former vice president of the Republic of Texas, dammed the headwaters of the San Marcos.

And in 1950's, when San Marcos was home to about ten thousand people, Aquarena Springs amusement park was born. Its biggest attraction were so called "aquamaids" who entertained with synchronized swimming routines above the water and then dove underneath for an underwater picnic, while taking breaths of oxygen from nearby air lines. 

July Moreno, the founder and executive director of the Mermaid Society of Texas says "eating grapes and drinking soda out of a bottle...they really were very skilled at taking in oxygen and being able to perform."  The act, which drew up to 350,000 people a year, included Glurpo, the underwater pipe-smoking clown and Ralph the swimming pig.  (Actually there were a succession of Ralphs.  As they grew bigger, they were replaced.)   The performances, and the park continued until the early 1990's.

Moreno says her group exists to highlight the river and inspire all to protect and preserve it. They host a two week festival every September to do that. She says they are the only city in Texas who can truly make claim to the mermaid.