Parade Float Ideas

Ideas to Build Parade Floats

Posts Tagged ‘Parade Float Supplies’

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 »

Build a Red Carpet, Hollywood Parade Float

Posted by paradefloats on February 1, 2013

With the right colors, materials and props, you can build a dazzling “red carpet” style Hollywood parade float that will leave onlookers happily star-struck.

Laying Out the Red Carpet
For a red carpet float you’ll want – you guessed it! – a foundation that is primarily red. There are several ways to do red, however. A classic deck covering is floral sheeting, which lends plenty of texture and comes in vinyl or metallic versions. You might also select sheet mylar or cracked ice rolls, depending on how you want your “carpet” to catch and reflect the light.

You can continue a monochrome look on the skirt and below it or you can change it up with black, gold or silver float decorations such as floral garland, festooning and fringe.

Twinkling Hollywood Theme Kits
Yes, we are talking about taking props outdoors if your climate and season allow it. Hollywood props theme kits can save oodles of time and work just fine if well-chosen and well treated.

For corrugated props such as arches and columns, be sure you know which designs are printed on both/all sides or just one, and select according to the envisioned float setup. Then think about how to reinforce and anchor these props against the rigors of outdoor travel using utility OSB board and other inexpensive materials and fasteners. The Hollywood Pizazz arch from the Deluxe Set the Stage Hollywood party kit is an example of an arch (printed on both sides) that will need special care to travel well – but it’s oh, so worth it for the 10-foot visual splendor of this piece! The 3D giant popcorn box that comes with Set the Stage is also a hit wherever it goes.

Another Hollywood set we really like for a red carpet float is the Hollywood Glamour kit, shown above. The large, reusable props include a circle arch and square column of fabric-covered metal frames and a huge Hollywood marquee-style vinyl banner. We especially like these pieces for a twilight parade because you can add twinkle lights to them and easily incorporate other lighted decorations such as 3D wire stars or palm trees.

Finishing the Float – and Yourselves
Once you’ve selected your large float decorations, explore other Hollywood decorations such as our special Hollywood mylar balloons, and don’t miss the Hollywood party apparel! Look your most mah-velous for the parade, Dah-lings, in top hats or boas, brandishing canes or golden Hollywood-style award statuettes.

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How to Make a Mardi Gras Parade Float

Posted by paradefloats on January 15, 2013

If you are building a Mardi Gras parade float, you know that time is running out to finish it! Here are some ideas for reducing the work a little while retaining the “eye candy” qualities you strive for.

Big Easy skirt frames: Besides using pomps and chicken wire, the other classic way to cover a skirt frame is to staple floral sheeting over it and attach fringe along the bottom of the frame — but there is a third way that saves steps.

Premium metallic decorating curtains come in heights of 8 or 12 feet. That’s tall enough to cover anything you’ve got. The curtains come in classic Mardi Gras colors, and we’re sure you’ll love the gleam and sweep of long fringe.

Attach curtains at the top of the frame just where the decking ends, and cover the seam between the curtain and the floral sheeting (or other decking material) with festooning just as you would any material transition. Lastly, trim the fringe to the desired length.

This Girl Guide publication has great illustrations of skirt frame options.

Big Easy Messaging: Identify your organization or share your parade float slogan with custom Mardi Gras banners, which incidentally will hang nicely against your fringed foil curtains. There are 30 designs and you can further customize any of them, so they are sure to be eye-catching and unique to your float.

Our banners are made to laugh at the weather. If you participate in a Mardi Gras parade every year, consider the most timeless design and message possible so you can happily re-use them.

There are few rules for designing a banner for a parade float and they relate to visibility: use the largest lettering that will fit, and a lettering color that contrasts with the background color.

Big Easy decorations: Mardi Gras props can be a huge time saver over building your own, and some props, such as street lights, require little fuss.

Consider your climate if you are looking at cardboard products, and if your prop is one-sided find a way to hide the back. Decorating curtains might, once again, be the answer here; just use our tall Showstopper curtain frames. Another idea is to buy two of a symmetrical prop and place them back to back – our Rendezvous buildings, shown above, would be perfect for this.

Balloons are also an easy decorating option. Most balloons will hold up just fine outdoors for the duration of a parade, and our Mardi Gras balloons are big as well as easy.

Decorate with balloons after you get to the staging area and as close to parade start time as possible for the freshest look. If pre-inflating, blow up and keep the balloons in an environment that has the same air temperature as you’ll find at the parade, to avoid the problem of deflation caused by going from warm to cold.

Find more ideas in parade supplies and if you have a tip of your own, please share in the comments!

Posted in Mardi Gras Float, Parade Float Supplies | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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