NYC’s beloved Mermaid Parade needs help staying afloat.
Coney Island USA, the organization behind the annual parade, launched a fundraiser Tuesday seeking $50,000 to cover the costs associated with the June 17 event. James Fitzsimmons, the nonprofit’s executive director, said the parade’s popularity has grown tremendously since its debut in 1983, but the costs of permits, security and other expenses have been draining his group’s finances.
“There are anywhere from 400,000 to 800,000 people seeing the parade and that requires a lot of logistics and planning,” he said. “It’s difficult, because we’re not really a corporate parade.”
As of Saturday evening, the campaign had raised a bit over $6,300.
The parade is famous for its colorful floats and paradegoers decked out in their homemade, nautically themed best who proudly prance down Surf Avenue.
It has attracted celebrities over the years, including Blondie band members Debbie Harry and guitarist Chris Stein, who are slated to be this year’s queen and king.
The campaign, the second spearheaded by Coney Island USA for the parade (the first came after superstorm Sandy) will run until June 17. Any extra money will go toward the nonprofit’s main budget, which is used for the Coney Island Museum and arts projects in the area.
But regardless of the campaign’s success, Fitzsimmons said the show will find a way to go on.
“As an institution, we will beg borrow and steal to make sure it happens, but we need the people’s help,” he said.