Donors save Coney Island's Mermaid Parade
The freaks of Coney Island will get a chance to fly their flags again this summer after organizers of the Mermaid Parade raised $100,000 to keep the revelry alive.
"Close to 2,500 people dug into their pockets to make sure the people's parade, the artist's holiday, is happening," said Dick Zigun, founder of the Mermaid Parade and the nonprofit Coney Island USA.
The Mermaid Parade was going to be shelved this year to focus Coney Island USA's resources on fixing the nonprofit's headquarters, where the June 22 event is organized, Zigun said.
The fundraising campaign started three weeks ago, with money pouring in through Kickstarter, a website that crowdsources donations. Most people contributed small amounts, though there were four donors who pledged $400, according to the parade's Kickstarter page.
"We're feeling the love here," Zigun said. Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz is helping generate money for the Mermaid Parade by offering the top two donors to join him on a special float.
"So start picking out your outfits -- or lack thereof -- because on June 22nd we are going to make 'shore' this parade is bigger and better than ever," Markowitz quipped in a statement.
Zigun started the Mermaid Parade in 1983 and it is now a Coney Island mainstay, where artsy New Yorkers don garish and skimpy costumes.
"Now we got three weeks of working our a---s off," Zigun said. "But we're going to do that with a smile."