With the Mermaid Parade officially canceled, the Coney Island nonprofit behind the event is hoping to celebrate creativity in another way this year. Coney Island USA announced on Friday plans to host a “Put on a Funny Face Design Contest,” described as the “world’s first-ever mask design contest.” The virtual contest is being presented by Spectrum News NY1 and will be judged by yet-to-be-announced celebrities of Coney Island.
The Put on a Funny Face contest is meant to honor the “new culture of homemade masks,” while also recognizing the strength of New Yorkers. “We are in awe of the maker community and how they have filled in the ‘mask gap,'” Dick Zigun, the founder and artistic director of Coney Island USA, said in a press release. “And the fact that they did it with beauty, elegance, and humor is even better. It is our honor to honor them.”
Celebrities, who will be announced at a later date, and former Mermaid Parade royalty will judge the contest, according to the nonprofit. And unlike the judging of the Parade, “there will be no bribery or any hanky panky of any kind,” the nonprofit explains.
Prize categories for the DIY face masks–as described by Coney Island USA–include the following:
- Best Overall Mask: The top prize
- One New York Mask: The best design that celebrates NYC, selected by NY1
- Coney Themed Mask: A Coney Island-inspired design
- Mermaid/ Neptune Mask: In honor of “the most wonderful of sea creatures”
- Formal Mask: Puttin’ on the Ritz via face mask
- Historical Mask: “We like Olde stuff”
- Baby Mask: “A mask for a baby, or a mask that makes you a baby. You decide!”
- The People’s Choice: The public will be able to vote on their favorite design through an online form
- The Judges’ Choice: The “corrupt and inebriated” judges from the Mermaid Choice will select their favorite
In addition to the mask design, there will also two separate awards: The Community Service Award, celebrating a local organization that has supplied or distributed DIY masks, and the Best Mask Wearing Encouragement Meme, a social media message that has encouraged mask-wearing.
Entries, which can be submitted here, will be accepted until May 25. Winners are expected to be announced on June 1.
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