Whether celebrating Greek Independence Day through the annual parade sponsored by the Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York, or representing your Greek sorority or fraternity letters in a college homecoming parade, centring your float theme on the history of Greece is an appropriate idea. Ancient Greece was responsible for many memorable and studied concepts that you can adapt into a parade float to pay tribute to the country and its effect on citizens of today.
The Olympic Games
In 776BC, the Greek community invented the Olympic Games. Include parade float participants replicating the first five Olympic Games atop a float to include running, wrestling, leaping, discus and javelin throwing. Transform the parade float trailer into an arena of cardboard boxes and tubes replicating the ancient stones used to construct the structure. Encourage each participant to wear a crown of olive branches which were commonly awarded to winning Olympic athletes. Another participant may pretend to play a flute to honour the winners which was a congratulatory tradition, and play the flute music on a float-powered sound system.
Choose five or six Greek gods of mythology such as Zeus, Apollo, Athena, Hermes and Poseidon to stand on a flowing white sheet-covered float trailer. Each participant is dressed as the designated god while holding items devoted to each god's character. Poseidon was known to carry a three-pronged staff known as a trident, and was the protector of all seas. He was known to have created the horse after a few failed attempts resulting in creatures such as the camel, zebra and seahorse. Zeus was ruler of the sky and Olympian gods while Apollo, his son, was known as the god of music. Athena, his daughter, was the goddess of intelligent activity and warfare.
Set the stage, or float trailer, as an exhibit with participants dressed in togas while building a piece of ancient Greek architecture such as the Parthenon. Paint large cardboard tubes as Corinthian columns and cardboard boxes in a faux stone finish. Each participant works during the parade to construct the famous temple of Athena Parthenos.
Paint parade participants in a white shade of nontoxic body paint and use temporary hair colour spray to replicate ancient Greek statues such as that of Discobolos and Hebe, the goddess of youth. Even though many Greek statues were nude, for public display purposes, a sheet may be wrapped around each participant as a toga.
Not only were chariot races a large part of the Olympic Games, but they were widely used for war. Create a chariot replica from a wooden frame and a chicken wire covering. Either papier mache and paint the chariot or use tissue paper pomps to adorn the float decor. Dress two participants as horses for the chariot and one driver may accompany them. Create a war scene with another chariot or replicate a victory chariot ride with a shield of armour and a sword held high by the driver.
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