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Mermaid Parade 2011. Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/20801313@N00/5853908251.

Mermaid Parade 2011. Source: Flickr.

This year, the annual Coney Island Mermaid Parade is in trouble. The Coney Island Museum and performance space, the parade’s main sources of funding, were destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, and now the parade needs $100,000–well outside its budget–or else the tradition may go extinct. The annual Mermaid Parade is the largest free art parade in America. Every summer, for the past 30 years, the Mermaid Parade has served as a celebration of art and creativity in New York. It is an occasion for artists and “weirdos” to express themselves through costumes and floats inspired by mythology and “honky-tonk” seaside rituals, marching together down Surf Avenue, Mermaid Avenue and Neptune Avenue for all to see.

Mermaid Parade, 2012

Mermaid Parade, 2012. Source: Coney Island Kickstarter.

The museum and performance space were destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.

The museum and performance space were destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. Source: Coney Island Kickstarter.

Squids at the Mermaid Parade in 2004. Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/67694608@N00/606889953.

Squids at the Mermaid Parade in 2004. Source: Flickr.

Mermaids on stilts at the parade in 2008. Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/82976024@N00/2724018769.

Mermaids on stilts at the parade in 2008. Source: Flickr.

You can help save the Mermaid Parade by donating onĀ Kickstarter before June 3rd, 2013. And don’t forget to come to the Parade–as a mermaid or a spectator–this summer, on June 23rd.

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