Parade Float Ideas

Ideas to Build Parade Floats

How Not to Build a Losing, College Parade Float

Posted by paradefloats on August 1, 2013

It could be the Homecoming parade, a city-wide Halloween parade, or even a summer parade that’s showcasing local businesses, including colleges. Whatever the occasion, you surely don’t want to build a losing college parade float.  Wow the crowd and make the parade watchers so excited about your school that they’ll stand up and cheer!

Start with a Theme and a BannerSpiritline
Maybe your float will simply be a celebration of your school, or perhaps you’ll want to focus on one particular group or sport, or even do something way out of the ordinary like an island or vampire theme. Feel free to get creative! Then, present the school’s name and theme of the float on a personalized banner. That way people can really see you coming and eagerly await to see what your float is all about.

It’s All About Color
One way people will recognize you coming down the street is by your school colors. Deck your float out with floral sheeting and fringe in the school colors. After all, you’re proud of your school, so show it by splattering those colors all over your parade float. Make sure everyone participating in the float is dressed in school colors as well. If you’re going with a traditional school spirit theme, have them wear temporary tattoos and carry fan poms to create a crazy spirit-filled atmosphere.

Create a Focal Point
Color and spirit aren’t enough to keep you from creating a losing college parade float. You’ll need a focal point, something that will catch everyone’s eyes and make them say, “Wow!” Maybe it’s a giant football that will attract everyone’s attention, or a big head cutout of the dean. Perhaps it will be your school mascot disco dancing on the float. Whatever it is, make sure it will either impress people or make them laugh.

Don’t Forget About Sound
The most obvious way to create sound for your float is by using the school’s marching band. If that won’t work, or the school doesn’t have one, blast some music from the truck pulling the float. The music can go with your theme, or you can play the school song on repeat. You might also want to alternate playing the school song with some chants from the school cheerleaders.

10szcdytrrGive them Something to Remember
Depending on the reason for your float, you’ll want to hand out something to parade watchers. Create cards for the event with the school’s web address and phone number and hand out to people watching the parade. Of course it wouldn’t hurt to hand out some candy as well. There’s no way your float will be a losing one if you’re handing out goodies to the crowd!

Get the Crowd Involved and They’ll Never Forget You
Whatever you do, get the crowd involved. There’s nothing worse than a parade float with no interaction from the viewers. Get them cheering, clapping, grabbing for candy, anything! Make them feel a part of  your college parade float, and there’s no way anyone will think it’s a losing one.

Posted in Athletic Float, Cheerleading Float, Mascots, School Spirit, Sports Float | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

My City is Cooler Than Your City- Ten Must-Attend Fall Parades

Posted by paradefloats on July 1, 2013

Welcome Fall!

With the big summer holidays drawing to a close, it’s time to start looking toward the fall holidays. Fall means the return of yearly festivals, celebrations, fairs, and parades! Here’s a list of ten must-attend parades and festivals.

Ten Must-Attend Fall Festivals and Parades

  1. Iowa State Fair: Taking place in August and located in Des Moines, the Iowa State Fair not only has wonderful food, but also a livestock show and many other contests and competitions.Flower Hair Clip
  2. Aloha Festivals: A three-month-long statewide festival in Hawaii? What could be better than that? All the islands get involved in this massive celebration of art, music, dance, and food. Thinking about creating your own Aloha Festival? Look into grass skirts, flower hair clips, and realistic leis for guests at your festival.
  3. Blueberry Festival: In Plymouth, Indiana, a four-day festival takes place over Labor Day Weekend in September. This festival draws more than 300 craft vendors from all over America as well as over 100 different food booths. There’s also a hot air balloon portion of the festival as well as a Labor Day Parade.
  4. German Village Oktoberfest: This Columbus, Ohio festival is dedicated to food! With the traditional funnel cakes and kettle corn, there are also the German classics—brats, schnitzels, and sauerkraut. There are a variety of events to entertain everyone, including a tractor pull and a comedy German alpine hatshow. You may see quite a few German alpine hats and steins— why not wear a hat of your own?
  5. National Apple Harvest Festival: The first two weeks of every October in Arendtsville, Pennsylvania are occupied with this festival. In addition to all manner of apple-related activities, there is also a petting zoo, hay rides, chainsaw carving, and a variety of antiques (farm equipment and a cider press to name a few). The parade is made up of antique and classic cars.
  6. Madison County Covered Bridge Festival: Another wonderful October festival, this is set in Iowa during the second full weekend. What sets this festival apart from the others is the quilt show, car show, and demonstrations by artisans of the old-fashioned ways of life. This festival is another with an antique car parade.
  7. Circleville Pumpkin Show: Taking place in Circleville, Ohio, this festival not only boasts two pageants, a pumpkin pie eating contest, and a Great Pumpkin weigh-in, but also seven parades!
  8. Missouri State Fair: Dating back to 1901, this state fair is one the biggest in the nation. There are concerts from many national acts, tractor pulls, shopping, races, and a farmers market.
  9. Halloween Balloon Festival and Parade: In Galena, Illinois, 25 hot air balloons gather for an evening glow, an early-morning launch, and a parade on the last weekend of October. After the parade comes another evening glow, during which there is a trick or treat opportunity for the kids in attendance.
  10. Johnny Appleseed Festival: In Fort Wayne, Indiana, this September festival includes the arts and crafts, food, and kids’ activities, but also shows living history with military encampment and a band of bagpipers making their way through the area.

There are a wide variety of festivals and parades all across our great nation—these are just a few! This fall, go explore your state and find a new festival or two!

Posted in Parade Planning | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Build a Better 4th of July Float

Posted by paradefloats on June 1, 2013

The 4th of July is On Its Way!

It’s that time of year again! Memorial Day, summer vacation, it all means that the Fourth of July is right around the corner. With the Fourth come the parades—did you make a Fourth of July float for the parade last year? If you did, you’ll definitely want to make this year’s float better than last year’s. Here are a few tips that may help you…

Build Your Float One Step at a Time

Start with the basics—after you’ve found the perfect parade trailer and the right vehicle to pull it, you’ll need to search for the perfect decorations. If you want to go all out, decorate the car to match the trailer! The easiest way will be to getSilver Metallic Fringe a car decorating kit and then focus on more detailed decorations for your float. You could also use a custom trailer decorating kit, but you could also get the individual float supplies, such as metallic or vinyl fringe, tissue festooning, and grass mats. You’ll want red, white, and blue, obviously, but make sure not to overdo it. Try combining it with silver—either use silver metallic fringe or silver festooning, then the other decoration in red, white, and blue. You could, for example, use silver Red White and Blue Festooningmetallic fringe (possibly more than one layer) along the bottom of your float and then twist together a strand each of red, white, and blue festooning to make a larger strand (or use a few strands of the already-combined red, white, and blue festooning), then wrap that around the rail along the trailer. Line the trailer bed with grass mats so the parade participants have something soft to stand on. Once your trailer has the basic decorations, you can have more fun with it.

Making Your Float Better

Now you can have some fun with the decorations. If you want to make a sign for your parade participants to hold during the parade, you’ll need Styrofoam letters. If you don’t want to keep these white, simply paint them with a water-based paint (acrylic, latex house paint, or latex spray paint will work, as long as the label reads H2O). You could paint the letters red and blue and put them on top of a background of white twistees. In addition to the sign, you could place bunches of balloons behind your sign holders.

The participants on the float who aren’t holding the 4th of July sign could either toss candy to parade observers along the route or have a little more fun with the holiday. With proper supervision, you could allow your float participants to have sparklers while you drive the parade route. Your participants could also toss handfuls of confetti into the crowd along the route while others toss the candy.

The most important thing to remember when planning your 4th of July parade float this year is that you want everyone, participants and spectators alike, to have fun at the parade. As long as you’ve accomplished that, your float, the parade, and the holiday have been a great success. Start planning now for the perfect 4th of July float!

Posted in Float Decorating, Float Planning, Fourth of July Float, Parade Float Supplies, Parade Kits, Patriotic Float | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

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