One of our favorite summer events in NYC, the annual Coney Island Mermaid Parade, was forced to postpone its 2020 edition due to coronavirus, but organizers remain dedicated to throwing some form of the parade this summer. On Saturday (6/20), which was Summer Solstice and would have found mermaids taking over Coney Island in ordinary circumstances, organizers instead streamed NOT The Mermaid Parade, but Parade Sized Entertainment, where they revealed their plans for this year. They are hosting Tail-a-Thon, a de-centralized benefit broadcast, on Saturday, August 29. Here's more about what that will entail:

Well, we love the Parade community too much to host the Parade in our typical fashion. The thought of any of you risking your health is simply too much for us to bear. On the other hand, the Parade is about people showing off their creativity, celebrating summer, having fun and COMING TOGETHER. So how do we come together and avoid jeopardizing our health?

The Parade will be DE-CENTRALIZED. That means people will still be able to come together at venues around the globe to celebrate with friends. It won't be the hundreds of thousands of people in one physical space that we normally have — but all of these venues will be connected via video streams to the Parade Tech Center — where our team of Coney Island Video Aces will combine the streams and broadcast out to the general public.

We of course know that 2020 has given us lots of surprises, and our plan is ready for more of the same. Parade participants (and by that we mean marchers) will have the option of participating from home. We will also accept pre-recorded segments for including in the broadcast. So we are prepared no matter what Phase we may be in.

And there are some real benefits of a streamed decentralized parade. It will mean that the general public will essentially have a seat on the reviewing stand — just like our infamously incompetent Judges.

But what about Bribes?

Besides being decentralized and streamed…the Parade will be a telethon — wait — scratch that. It will be a TAIL-A-THON. In lieu of Bribing the Judges — you can donate. And not just to us.

We fool around a lot, but we recognize and empathize with the desperate situation of so many of our fellow humans. We want to do our part, and will be distributing at least half the proceeds of the Tail-a-Thon to a group of charities. The beneficiaries will be selected by a blue ribbon committee. In the coming days we will announce the members of the committee. We are also asking this year's Mermaid Parade royalty Lynn Nottage and Jeremy O. Harris to hand pick two of the charities.

And folks, the Tail-a-Thon will be awesome. We plan to really do this thing right. Don't be surprised if, like classic telethons, you don't see some incredible celebrity guests. While it isn't written in stone — current plans call for the Tail-a-Thon to be 8 - 12 hours long! That means plenty of screen time for all participants. And the new question everyone should be asking is, "who will sing You'll Never Walk Alone?"

If you're interested in being involved, whether it's through "marching," sponsoring, hosting a venue, or just watching, you can fill out a form for more information.

Check out pictures from the 2018 Mermaid Parade in the gallery below.

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