The once-endangered Mermaid Parade will live to fight another day. Thanks to $10,000 raised by a benefit concert featuring former Dresden Doll Amanda Palmer last weekend, Coney Island USA says it's now got the funds necessary to allow the semi-nude mer-spectacle to meet its $100,000 fundraising goal, after it almost went extinct following a thrashing delivered by Hurricane Sandy.
Tim Pendrell, development director for Coney Island USA, told us today that the parade's Kickstarter will reflect the success as soon as the hefty check from Bowery Ballroom clears. As of right now, the official tally is just over $97,000, but that will likely change by tomorrow, Pendrell said.
"We’re really excited. When we started this a month ago, we had no idea if it was going to work out," he said. "To be able to cover our shortfall is amazing."
Significant damage to Coney Island USA's property prevented the group from allocating its usual funds to the parade, which has grown significantly in recent years. Including the cost of security and insurance, Pendrell said the event's expenses have soared upwards of $190,000. The extra $90 grand not covered by the Kickstarter will be raised through more typical avenues like grants, entry fees and sponsorships.
Last year, the Mermaid Parade attracted around 750,000 visitors, up 250,000 from most years, Pendrell said. Considering the national attention garnered by the Kickstarter, he said he wouldn't be surprised if this year is even bigger. And now, Coney Island USA has the funds to ensure that the parade won't be threatened again for a long, long time.
"I think the parade is going to be in good shape for years to come," he said.
The Mermaid Parade will be held on June 22 at 1 p.m. (an hour earlier than its usual 2 p.m. start time.) Registration for marchers is open—click here to sign up.