Coney Island USA (CIUSA), the not-for-profit arts organization that for the past 37 years has presented the Mermaid Parade, today revealed more details about the 2020 event. The Parade, to be held on August 29th at 1:30pm, has morphed into a Tail-a-Thon. The Tail-a-Thon is a loving parody of a telethon and will be broadcast over the web at https://www.coneyisland.com. While it is a parody, the event will include real fundraising for a set of six selected charities (plus CIUSA).
Parade participants (marchers, musical groups, dance groups, etc.) will be performing live from remote locations or have sent in pre-recorded content. A select group of participants will be invited to perform live at the secret Coney Island location of the Tail-a-Thon Hub. The Hub, which will have very strict anti-Covid policies in place, is where the Tail-a-Thon hosts will be emceeing the festivities. They will be joined by a very small audience of VIP guests.
Besides the typical Mermaid Parade entries, the Tail-a-Thon will include appearances by celebrity guests. While the full celebrity guest list is a closely guarded secret, CIUSA has announced appearances by this year’s Queen Mermaid Lynn Nottage (Pulitzer Prize winning playwright), Ben Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie), Arlo Guthrie (folk rock legend), Jesse Malin (NY Rock God), Glenn Mercer (The Feelies), and Mojo Nixon (musician and radio host).
Contributions will be distributed to a carefully selected group of six charities (along with Coney Island USA):
BRIC is a leading arts and media institution anchored in Downtown Brooklyn whose work spans contemporary visual and performing arts, media, and civic action.
Coney Island Training and Education & Harlem Plus, part of CASES, works with high-risk youth in Coney Island and Harlem to prevent violence through job-readiness services.
The Lorraine Hansberry Statue Initiative at The Lillys is working to erect a statue of the great american playwright Lorraine Hansberry, author of A Raisin in the Sun, in New York City.
Salt and Sea Mission was founded in Coney Island and provides youth/family services — including an important food pantry.
Urban Neighborhood Services offers a spectrum of vital programs and services to traditionally underserved residents in Coney Island and other surrounding communities in Southern Brooklyn.
WOW Café Theatre is a women’s theater collective in NYC’s East Village, which promotes the empowerment of women through the performing arts.
Dick Zigun, the Artistic Director of CIUSA, reflects, “When we started the Parade in 1983 we could never have imagined the events of 2020. But I’m happy to be here to see us adapt to a new reality – and to preserve the essence of the Mermaid Parade despite terrifying challenges. You don’t want to miss this show!”