2013 Coney Island Mermaid Parade halfway to fundraising goal

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 23:  General atmosphere at the 2012 Mermaid Parade in Coney Island on June 23, 2012 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.  (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)
Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images

When Hurricane Sandy tore through Coney Island six months ago, it devastated local businesses and poured seawater through the famed New York Aquarium. The sea lions weathered the storm just fine, but the mermaids were badly hit.

Yep. It was looking pretty bad for the mermaids for a while there.

But thanks to a Kickstarter campaign, they appear to be making a comeback just in time for their annual extravaganza of flesh and fins. In just five days, organizers have raised nearly half of the $100,000 they estimate they will need in order to hold the 2013 Coney Island Mermaid Parade.

“The Mermaid Parade isn’t just mine,” Dick Zigun said in a video posted on the campaign’s Kickstarter page. “I made it up, but it’s yours too.”

Zigun is the self-professed “unofficial mayor of Coney Island” whose nonprofit Coney Island USA also runs the local museum and freak show. He founded the Mermaid Parade thirty years ago and leads the procession every year dressed in an antique black bathing suit, banging a drum with heavily tattooed arms.

“Let’s face it, we’ve had some hard times,” he said. “Six months ago where I’m standing was up to here in floodwater. Our headquarters was totally destroyed. We’re still recovering hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage and it’s just beyond us. We can’t pull it all off this year.”

Hence the fundraising effort. In the same zany spirit that entices almost a million people to the famous parade every year, people who donate $40 get to take home a tote bag, a set of seashell pasties (unisex!) and a (literal) freak flag.

The money raised will go toward portable toilets, permits, security, insurance and other sundry expenses.

If the organizers meet their goal, the parade is set for June 22.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

FDNY debuts new fire simulator for blazes at…

The New York City Fire Department christened its newest, state-of-the-art, custom-built simulator at its training academy on Randall's Island Tuesday.

Local

Bronx cop saves baby who stopped breathing

A Bronx police officer is credited with saving the life of a 2-month-old baby who stopped breathing Tuesday morning. Police Officer Johnny Castillo, 38, was…

Local

Brewer celebrates Women's Equality Day with voter pledge

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer celebrated Women’s Equality Day Tuesday by pledging to register at least five women voters before the Oct. 10 deadline. Brewer…

Local

NYPD looking for lewd D train rider

The NYPD is enlisting the public’s help to find a man they say performed a lewd act on the D train Saturday evening. The incident…

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 12,…

If you've wondered whether Ali and Bethany knew each other, you got an answer tonight: Yes, and in a very tangled way. But many lingering…

Entertainment

Cymbals Eat Guitars Have Everything to 'LOSE'

At its most basic level, a rock band can be thought of as a family, a group of people selflessly devoted to a cause. When…

Entertainment

"Bachelor in Paradise" recap: Episode 4, 'Week Four'

Some things are hard to watch in a “Human Centipede” sort of way. Other things in an “American History X” sort of way. Does “Bachelor…

Movies

Fall Movie Preview: 10 films to see this…

Despite being awards season, the next four months bring a glut of remakes, rehashes and sequels. Here are 10 that should be better worth your time.

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

NFL

Dimitri Patterson suspended only for rest of preseason…

Dimitri Patterson ended up getting just a slap on the wrist.

Sports

Eugenie Bouchard excited for 'rowdy' fans at US…

Eugenie Bouchard is sure to endear herself to New York's tennis faithful as she tries to win her first grand slam title across the next two weeks.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at…

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at top, Nationals climb

Wellbeing

Who is having the most orgasms?

  Single lesbians report having orgasms more often than heterosexual women but both gay and straight men still come out on top of the climax…

Home

Jonathan Adler shares his tips for a great…

Jonathan Adler took a break from boogie boarding at his beach house to tell us how to keep that Labor Day party festive.

Travel

Most popular Labor Day weekend destinations

Priceline.com released its Top 20 destinations for the end of summer, including Labor Day weekend. If you’re heading to any of these spots, expect a…

Wellbeing

Working your way to type 2 diabetes: Job…

When it comes to type 2 diabetes, a stressful job can be as risky for your health as a bad diet and no exercise. A…