Save the Coney Island Mermaids!

by Darcy Sturges


As a rather recent transplant to NYC, I learn new things every day. Today I learned that Coney Island hosts a parade of mermaids in the summertime! What’s more, these mermaid parades have been happening for the past 30 years! WHAT. So cool! It sounds like a slice of nirvana, like a little sliver of Burning Man (which I went to and loved and talk about whenever I can—but back to Mermaids!).

What is this parade, you ask? It is a parade of mermaids—and so much more. As the Save the Coney Island Mermaid Kickstarter describes, it’s an “American celebration of ancient mythology and honky-tonk rituals of the seaside,” all about artists, community, “Brooklyn weirdos.”

The date is set for June 22nd, with an expected turn-out of 1,500 creative merfolks from all over the five boroughs.

But wait: the parade might not happen. Hurricane Sandy, known for causing mass destruction all over the place, also happened to wipe out the museum, side-show and gift shop that were the main sources of income for the parade. Without this income, they have a current deficit of $100,000. Wow. Yikes.

You can help save the Coney Island Mermaids! The parade’s new Kickstarter has gone up with the goal of reaching $100,000. This money will cover parade management, permits, security, supplies, uniforms, food for staff, insurance, and day of event equipment (like porta-potties). As of writing this, the Kickstarter page has received $35,079 from 760 donors.

The last chance to make a donation is Monday, June 3, so there’s plenty of time to crunch some numbers and see if you can donate! They have a wonderful slew of pledges, ranging in price and awesomeness from $5 and a Freak Flag to $10,000 and a strong, mysterious promise for an awesome time.

You’ll be in good company if you donate, too: Judah Freelander, who plays Frank on 30 Rock, made this PSA for the cause.

Creativity, expression, the excuse to dress like an awesome, epic creature—this can’t go extinct. Save the Coney Island Mermaid!


Photos via Blogstage.Backstage and Scot Eder.


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