My name is Cassie J. Sneider and I'm the author of Fine Fine Music, a memoir about getting into rockandroll and growing up in a small town on Long Island called Lake Ronkonkoma. Our town features an actual haunted lake that until the 1960s was a swimmable summer destination, a trailer park, and, since the Recession, lots of boarded up buildings.
There is also a yearly St. Patrick's Day parade that I hadn't attended since I was a teenager. Last year, I was home visiting my family and went with some friends, family, and their children. What I remembered of the parade was kilted bagpipe players and trucks with bar-owners throwing promotional keychains. Those were still there, but there was also a flatbed with 20 porta-potties on it, two cesspool trucks, and a creepy anti-choice float with a floating fetus that said, “ABORTION STOPS A BEATING HEART!” in Vivaldi font.
I knew I could do better.
For the last few months, I have been thinking about how I could make the dream of being in the Annual Lake Ronkonkoma St. Patrick’s Day Parade a reality, and after many letters and phone calls, I have the go-ahead. Now I need your help.
I want my float to be child-friendly, interactive, and celebrate the history of our town. These are the things I would like to accomplish with my float, as well as what I need:
THEME: There is a legend that an Indian princess killed herself in the lake and drowns a swimmer every year. Usually, it’s just drunk people falling in or daring each other to get to the other side. For the parade, I am dressing as The Lady of the Lake and inviting all friends, fanclub members, and YOU to dress as swimmers, albino alligators, sharks, old-timey lake-goers, Nessie, and anything else thematically mythical.
FOR THIS I NEED: to rent a flatbed truck and buy a ton of glitter, foamboard, and supplies.
FREEBIES: Bars usually throw keychains or Mardi Gras beads to little kids, and maybe I’ve seen too many episodes of COPS, but I feel like that’s a little weird. I would like to give away copies of my book, as well as zines, cookies, and other cool stuff I would freak out over if I was a little kid.
FOR THIS I NEED: to reprint my book, which costs a bundle, and buy a lot of party store stuff and zines from friends. I want to give away things that will make people consider that there is life beyond our town.
I think that for anyone growing up in small, culturally-repressed places, the first different, out-there, zany thing you see can be life-changing. As someone who grew up here, found rockandroll, and left, I would love to give back to the community, make people laugh, but most importantly, make people think.
Any help in making this dream come true would be so SO appreciated.
Thank you for consideration. I hope to see you at the parade.
Cassie J. Sneider
Risks and challenges
The biggest obstacle in this project will be getting a large number of people to come out to eastern Long Island early in the morning to suit up for this parade. (Asking NYC-ers to travel outside of the city on a weekend is like asking them to make their way to a space station or parallel park a tractor trailer.)
I think I would be really bummed if nobody "got" the concept of my float, because it would mean that only me and the 90 year-old woman working at the Lake Ronkonkoma historical society are chuckling at the living theater of our town's folklore.
I'm really good at handling crisis situations, and I have a lot of really terrific, supportive friends, so I think this project will be a success.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (16 days)