New York's favorite glitter-filled, shirts-optional, nautical-themed extravaganza is returning to Coney Island on June 17, but it's going to need to land some extra cash if it wants to stay afloat. In order to make sure the 35th annual Mermaid Parade makes a splash, the organizers have created a crowd-sourcing fund campaign called "Feed the Mermaid."
As the country's biggest art parade, the one-of-a-kind event requires a lot of mer—ahem—manpower, including 450 volunteers and staff members coordinating and facilitating the motorized floats, cars, marchers and thousands of spectators. The crowd this year is likely to be particularly big; Debbie Harry and Chris Stein, of Blondie fame, are leading the parade as Queen Mermaid and King Neptune. The campaign's $50,000 goal will go toward obtaining city permits, porta potties, tents, security and other necessary equipment.
Since its beginnings, the Mermaid Parade has been organized by Coney Island USA, a non-profit arts organization based in the historic seaside neighborhood. Anyone who wants to show off their own whimsical hair, seashell bikini, mesmerizing body art, hand-crafted puppet or more is welcome to march in the parade for a small fee (learn how to register here). To support Coney Island USA and the parade with a contribution see the official Feed the Mermaids campaign page.