Parade Float Ideas

Ideas to Build Parade Floats

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Zumba on Your Fiesta-Themed Parade Float

Posted by paradefloats on April 1, 2013

Some things are too good not to share. Celebrations of Latin American cultures, such as Cinco de Mayo, have grown through the years into traditional community-wide festivals in cities of all sizes.

Zumba is also too good not to share. Promoting a diverse collection of Latin music styles along with fitness, fun and charitable giving, Zumba’s popularity shows no sign of waning.

It’s an inevitable match.

So let’s talk about your float decorations. What you want to think about first are bright colors or even the proverbial “riot” of colors to generate visual energy.

You may well ask if you’ll find the colors you need in basic parade float materials and the answer is yes. Fringe and festooning comes in all your primary colors and with choices of vinyl and metallic versions. Floral sheeting, usually the first choice for covering decks and decorations, gives you even more color options including unusual hues such as hot pink and teal.

The next step is to pick out large props and decorations. How about signage? There are at least four ways to identify your group or slogan in a decorative way, and you’ll want to choose based on budget, time, number of volunteers, re-usability and other factors. They are: pomps, fiesta banners, posters and personalized props.

The Fiesta Arch, shown above at right, is a lovely example of a prop in bright colors that can carry a message. Printed on both sides, you won’t have to worry about orienting it just so on the float; and with a height of nine feet, everyone will see the text. While it may require anchoring and some internal bracing, this made-to-order piece is a big, beautiful time-saver over building from scratch.

Pull motifs from your arch to complete the presentation. Mylar balloons in the shape of musical notes, maracas props and wearable sombreros from the Fiesta store are examples of additional decorations that will help pull the look together.

From there, it’s time to add sound and movement to your visual feast. Will your Zumba team actually dance on the float? It could be that building and using stanchions will meet safety regulations, or that the dancers will perform alongside the float and leave the riders to something tamer. If you haven’t already, check with the parade authority as soon as possible and plan accordingly.

Will you be building a parade float for Cinco de Mayo or other Latin American festival coming up soon? Let us know in comments!

Posted in Balloon Decorations, Fiesta Float, Float Building Tips, Float Decorating, Holiday Float, Parade Float Supplies, Parade Planning | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Build a Red Carpet, Hollywood Parade Float

Posted by paradefloats on February 1, 2013

With the right colors, materials and props, you can build a dazzling “red carpet” style Hollywood parade float that will leave onlookers happily star-struck.

Laying Out the Red Carpet
For a red carpet float you’ll want – you guessed it! – a foundation that is primarily red. There are several ways to do red, however. A classic deck covering is floral sheeting, which lends plenty of texture and comes in vinyl or metallic versions. You might also select sheet mylar or cracked ice rolls, depending on how you want your “carpet” to catch and reflect the light.

You can continue a monochrome look on the skirt and below it or you can change it up with black, gold or silver float decorations such as floral garland, festooning and fringe.

Twinkling Hollywood Theme Kits
Yes, we are talking about taking props outdoors if your climate and season allow it. Hollywood props theme kits can save oodles of time and work just fine if well-chosen and well treated.


For corrugated props such as arches and columns, be sure you know which designs are printed on both/all sides or just one, and select according to the envisioned float setup. Then think about how to reinforce and anchor these props against the rigors of outdoor travel using utility OSB board and other inexpensive materials and fasteners. The Hollywood Pizazz arch from the Deluxe Set the Stage Hollywood party kit is an example of an arch (printed on both sides) that will need special care to travel well – but it’s oh, so worth it for the 10-foot visual splendor of this piece! The 3D giant popcorn box that comes with Set the Stage is also a hit wherever it goes.

Another Hollywood set we really like for a red carpet float is the Hollywood Glamour kit, shown above. The large, reusable props include a circle arch and square column of fabric-covered metal frames and a huge Hollywood marquee-style vinyl banner. We especially like these pieces for a twilight parade because you can add twinkle lights to them and easily incorporate other lighted decorations such as 3D wire stars or palm trees.

Finishing the Float – and Yourselves
Once you’ve selected your large float decorations, explore other Hollywood decorations such as our special Hollywood mylar balloons, and don’t miss the Hollywood party apparel! Look your most mah-velous for the parade, Dah-lings, in top hats or boas, brandishing canes or golden Hollywood-style award statuettes.

Posted in Hollywood Float, Parade Float Supplies | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Five Theme Ideas to Kick Start Your St. Patrick’s Day Float

Posted by paradefloats on November 7, 2012

It’s not too early to start brainstorming themes for your St. Patrick’s Day parade float for 2013.

St. Paddy’s Themes in General
Sometimes a general parade theme or slogan is set for you. Kansas City is a community that does it this way; check it out. A good general theme will be open to plenty of interpretation so it should not interfere with creativity.

General Irish themes that are the most popular include hospitality, heritage and folklore. Since all of these tie into Irish and Irish-American culture, chances are that whatever strengths you have to contribute to a float – for example, accomplished musicians – you’ll easily be able to brainstorm a parade float that works with the general theme.

Irish Parade Float Themes for 2013
As promised, here are five theme ideas to help get the ideas flowing. We’ve numbered them, but they are in no particular order of preference.

1. Irish Family Affair. Highlight your heritage with a float identifying the clan that claims the Irish branch of your family tree. Construct the crest, tartan, and other symbols, and splash the family name across Irish event banners.

2. Leprechaun Laughter. Sure, there are plenty of other Irish folklore characters, but probably none as kid-friendly as the leprechaun. Incorporate rainbow party supplies, and recruit a wee one to pop up from out of a well-anchored large plastic cauldron and toss chocolate gold coins to the crowd.

Plush Leprechaun Hat with Beard3. Shamrock Shenanigans. This is a classic Irish parade float idea based on an enduring symbol of Ireland and appropriate décor for most participating organizations. Don’t be afraid to put a modern or unusual twist on it, though, for example by mixing the traditional Kelly green with a bright neon or citrus shade. Want inspiration? Make a trip to Green Party Supplies.

4. Castle Capers. Ireland is covered with ruined, conserved and reconstructed castles, so building a float using castle theme supplies or fairytale backgrounds is as Irish an idea as using its flag. Inhabit the “castle” with “residents” wearing period dress, if possible.

5. It’s a Pub Life. This is a fantastic float for a group with a close association to social times spent at the neighborhood pub, such as a traditional musical group or a rugby team. Construct it with a large table, St. Patrick’s party props such as the pub arch entrance shown above right, and bunches of beer mug mylar balloons.

St. Patrick’s Parade Float Basics
The start to anything worthwhile is a good foundation. No matter what theme your group ultimately decides on, materials from Parade Float Decorations such as floral sheeting, fringe and festooning will help to give your St. Patrick’s Day Float a polished, professional look.

Posted in Holiday Float, Parade Planning, Spring Float, St. Patrick's Day Float | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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