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.
3. 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.