Parade Float Ideas

Ideas to Build Parade Floats

Archive for the ‘Holiday Float’ Category

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 »

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 »

Awe-Inspiring Christmas Parade Float Ideas

Posted by paradefloats on October 16, 2012

If you’re planning a Christmas parade float this year, you’ve come to the right place for ideas and tips.

Christmas Parade Float Themes
As you know, the basic Christmas categories are the Nativity or Santa. However, other themes geared to winter (at least in the Northern Hemisphere) are usually acceptable, too. An ice castle or snowman theme, or those related to winter sports and pastimes such as skiing or sledding can use wintry colors but with Christmas-y accent colors. Savvy use of metallics on a float gives a nod to the holiday as well as the season.

Christmas Float Basics
To us, one of the most exciting developments in winter float decorations has been the introduction of snowflake floral sheeting. We think you’ll love it for a float deck or decoration that looks like it’s blanketed in snow or ice.

Of course, there are several other ways to suggest snowy or icy goodness. You could use white, iridescent or even silver floral sheeting for your snow-blanketing needs depending on the look you’re going for.

Next, select coordinating materials to finish covering the trailer. An earlier Parade Floats Christmas post includes a guide to the amounts of floral sheeting, festooning and fringe you’ll need for proper coverage.

Christmas Theme Props
In a climate of generally good weather, Christmas theme kits such as Nativity and Sugar Plum make it easy to decorate a float with large, colorful cardboard Christmas props that will essentially just need bracing and securing.

Our new giant 36” greeting cards are terrific for featuring the photos of team members and float sponsors.

A less-than-dependable climate – or when you need durable items that will store year after year – calls for decorative items made of different materials. You can still build a winter wonderland, but select wire snowflakes and snowmen made of corex; and you may want to surround your gingerbread house with corex gingerbread men and our party candy set that has wooden bases and cellophane covers.

Do also take a peek in reusable decorations, especially for wire structures and artificial trees, and check Christmas backgrounds and banners for sturdy vinyl backdrops and signs.

Once you selected the right props and signs, what’s left to consider is your imagination in pulling it all together. Speaking of which, check out some cool pics from the Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade in Tempe, Arizona. Now, that’s what we call floating your boat – or is it boating your float?

Posted in Christmas Float, Float Decorating, Holiday Float, Winter Float | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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