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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!


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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 »

Five Ideas for Your Easter Parade Float

Posted by paradefloats on March 1, 2013

He is Risen

A great way to celebrate Easter and spread your message to the community is by participating in a parade.  Start out by covering your float with white pomps tissue squares.  Use the pomps to create a very serene cloud.  Add several white pearl balloons to the float.  Tie them at different heights with white or clear string.  Have members from your church’s children’s choir dress in white and sing Easter hymns as they travel through the streets.  While walking along side of the float, choir members can carefully give out Religious Cross Party Mints to onlookers.  Children will be especially excited to receive a special treat on Easter Sunday.  The Rejoice Personalized Banner will be a great addition to spread the word about your ministry and service times.

rejoicepersonalized banner

The Easter Egg Hunt

Easter Egg Hunts are one of the most popular activities for Easter.  Why not represent this exciting past time with your float?  Start by hanging green grass vinyl fringe on the sides of your float and covering the top with tissue grass mats.  Add one or two 8 foot balloon trees.  The Forest Background Illustration will be a perfect back drop for your parade float.  Add some balloons and flowers for extra hiding places and dimension.  The Easter Egg Cut Outs will be perfect.  Place them sporadically around on the float.  Ask the children from your group to pretend to search for them.

A Visit With the Easter Bunny

Seeing the Easter Bunny is a highlight in every Easter Parade.  Your organization will definitely earn attention with this float.  Start out by making a really fun base for your float.  The Custom Trailer Decorating Kit would be a great way to easily make your float outshine the rest!  The Easter Bunny will need somewhere to sit and the Easter Egg Standee Set is a great way to camouflage a barstool or similar chair.  Make sure the Easter Bunny and all his helpers have plenty of candy to give to parade goers.  Take advantage of the popular nature of your float and let everyone know about your group with the Easter Lillies Personalized Banner.

Easter Basket Float 

An Easter Basket is a source of joy for children all over the world on Easter morning.  Have several children from your organization decorate laundry baskets like Easter baskets.   Fill the baskets with eggs and candy.  The children can throw candy from their baskets to those who are watching the parade.   The kids on the float can even dress up like cute little bunnies themselves.  Retro flowers would make a great addition to this float as well as the Easter Egg Standee Set.  The final touch will be to include a personalized Easter Basket Standee to advertise your organization.

easter basket standee

Easter Wonderland

Create a magical Easter Wonderland.  Use gossamer to create a whimsical floor covering for your float.  Use Holographic Ice Curtains to add depth to the scene. Place several elegant tissue butterflies around the float.  Have an Easter Princess and her little bunny helpers pass out candy to passerby.

Start an Easter parade tradition in your community this year and then send us your pictures!

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