Parade Float Ideas

Ideas to Build Parade Floats

Lasso Some Spirit with a Western Float

Posted by paradefloats on July 3, 2007

Cowboy HatsA western float is a fun theme idea that works well with western-type mascots such as bears, coyotes, longhorns, etc or with western themed Homecoming dances. Use one of our slogans (substituting your mascot or your opponents where needed) or come up with your own!

-Wanted: A Tiger Victory
– The Mustangs Win the West!
– Showdown at the MHS Corral
-Spur the Eagles to a Victory
– Jail the Jaguars
-Lasso the Falcons
-Rope the Rangers
-Tame the Wildcats
-Stampede the Lions

Once you’ve selected your slogan, chose colors to help you design your decorations. Some great colors schemes for a western float include brown, black, green, red, orange, yellow, and your school colors.

Once you have your slogan and theme picked out, you’ll want to make a sketch of your float. This will greatly cut down on confusion, mistakes and waste when you build your float. In your sketch, include the placement of your slogan, colors and designs for your decorations. For example, if you want the fringe to be green and the trim to be gold, label this on your sketch.

Next, calculate how much you will need of your building and decorating materials. Here is an approximate break-down of the materials you will need per square foot.

.83 feet of Floral Sheeting
.07 lbs. of Scatter Grass (optional)
.46 feet of Fringe
.74 feet of FestooningStraw Bales

Simply take these measurements and multiply them by the square footage of your trailer. (To determine the square footage, simply multiple the length by the width.) The result is how much material you will need. For example, if your trailer is 200 square feet, you will need 92 feet of fringe (.46 x 200 = 92).

Get to work on your float, starting with covering your trailer to create a colorful base for your decorations.

Cover the deck and sides of your float with floral sheeting. scatter grass or grass mats can be used on the deck instead of floral sheeting. For your western float, we suggest using brown floral sheeting on the deck and sides.

Attach fringe to the bottom of each side of the trailer. This will cover the wheels and make the float look like it is really “floating.” We recommend orange or yellow vinyl fringe for a western theme.

Edge the sides of your float with festooning. Attach the festooning between the floral sheeting on the deck and the floral sheeting on the sides of the trailer. This accents the float’s straight line while creating an appealing color contrast. You can also use the festooning between the floral sheeting on the sides and the fringe. Red festooning would look great on a Western float.

CactusAdd your slogan to the float using styrofoam star and letters basics letters and numbers. The letters can be attached to the floral sheeting using hot glue or nailed to a piece of plywood attached behind the floral sheeting. You can leave the letters white or paint them with interior latex paint.

Now that you have your base created, add inventive decorations.

Create a giant “OK Corral” for the middle of your float. The corral can be a simple square or a circle. Start by making six 3’ high x 6” diameter posts to serve as a frame for your corral. For each post, make a tube using 3’ high x 6” diameter posts to serve as a frame for your corral. For each post, make a tube using 3’ high x 20” wide chicken wire (available at hardware stores), attach the wire to a vertical wood beam and stuff with brown tissue pomps in every other opening. Attach each post to a wooden base for support. Create fence rails by stringing brown festooning between the posts. You can find chicken wire at most farm supply or hardware stores.

Cowhide BalloonsAdd an “OK Corral” sign to your corral by making two 6’ high x 12” diameter posts. Stuff the chicken wire with brown tissue pomps and add a wooden base for support. Then attach floral sheeting and Styrofoam letters to a sturdy piece of cardboard. You could also make the sign from chicken wire and tissue pomps. Write “OK Corral” or substitute your school name or slogan. String the sign between the two 6’ high posts.

Have your mascot stand in the center of the corral wearing a cowboy hat and a sheriff’s badge, holding a rope. You can recruit another student to dress up as your opponent’s mascot and be in the ring with your mascot. Your mascot can be lassoing your opponent or tying him up to a post.

Add western gear such as Cacti, cowboy boots, wagon wheels, horseshoes, and saddles around the float to enhance your western theme. Scatter hay and hay bales around the float for an authentic western touch.

Inflate lots of cow hide balloons with helium and tie them together in bunches with curling ribbon. Make four separate bunches of balloons and place one bunch on each corner of your float.

You can also consider making a giant cowboy boot, sheriff’s badge or small Chuck Wagon from chicken wire and tissue pomps. Use some Western theme kit compontents for your float, minimizing the actual building you have to do – an OK Corral sign and fencing or Saloon Entrance make great touches.


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