Dick Zigun told Brooklyn Paper Radio he would gladly let Budweiser sponsor the Mermaid Parade, because the seaside bacchanal has gotten too big for his arts group Coney Island USA to back.
“All kidding aside, that damned parade, which is such a great party for New York City, cost me and my little, tiny not-for-profit arts organization over $100,000, and we struggle to break even,” he said. “The reality should be that it makes enough money to fund our funky wonderful artsy programs the rest of the year, and if Bud or any other big sponsor came in and helped us with our expenses, we don’t mind helping them with advertising.”
Zigun made the pitch after Brooklyn Paper Radio hosts Vince DiMiceli and Gersh Kuntzman accused his annual art march of going “lamestream” because this year’s Queen Mermaid was a Sports Illustrated model Hailey Clauson.
Even the sideshow impresario admitted that crowning a professional beauty queen was an odd move for the carnival of weird.
“This year we went shockingly mainstream — almost like the Mermaid Parade was a satire of itself,” Zigun said.
The announcement Clauson would be parade queen came days before Sports Illustrated announced a first-ever concert and festival at Coney Island’s new 5,000-seat amphitheater — and that parent company Time Inc. struck a deal with the amphitheater’s operators — Barclays Center manager Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment and concert monolith Live Nation — to collaborate on more live events in New York.
Sure they’re multi-million-dollar companies, but they’re bringing more action to the People’s Playground, Zigun said.
“It is impressive, not lame, that Coney has Ticket Master, Live Nation booking national rock and roll shows. And they are bringing in the Sports Illustrated beach show in August where you go to watch cover girls play volleyball, I think.”
Swimsuit babes was all DiMiceli needed to hear.
“I’d pay to see that,” he said.