Brooklyn’s been doing a hell of job coming back from Sandy, what with the grocery store re-openings and neighborhood restorations, but that doesn’t mean everything just magically goes back to the way it was. The Mermaid Parade, for instance, was already struggling before Sandy tried to drown Coney Island, and that just made things worse. There’s even a chance the parade doesn’t happen this year, but Coney Island USA is trying to cover costs with a last ditch Kickstarter. So let’s save the Mermaid Parade!
Part of the problem is that the annual parade of bright clothing and weirdness and bonhomie has been a victim of its own success. It attracted an astounding 750,000 people last year, and projected crowds like that take permits and police presence. And that takes money. Coney Island USA, which does a great job curating the weirdness left on Coney, is but a struggling non-profit, and after having to dust themselves off after Sandy, found themselves facing a $100,000 budget shortfall. So they’ve turned to us, the people who have enjoyed the Mermaid Parade all these years, to help them out.
Donations to the Kickstarter will go towards logistics, permits, security, staff and staff amenities, insurance and equipment. And what can you get for all that? The rewards range from a Freak Flag download all the way to buying your way to King Midas for $10,000. And hey, if you’re gonna do that, can you maybe just throw bags of money to us plebes in the crowd during the parade? In between those two extremes, you can get things like 3D pictures (with 3D glasses, natch), access to a VIP deck with sweet views of the parade, and your name on a parade banner. Which actually sounds pretty awesome. So, put aside some beer money for a couple days, raid your girlfriend’s change jar, eat nothing but bread for a couple days. Let’s save the goddamn Mermaid Parade!