Theme Ideas for Parade Floats

Updated November 21, 2016

Towns and cities all over the nation celebrate holidays and local events with parades. No matter the season, use your imagination and creativity to make your parade float vision come to life with some raw materials and a bit of manual labour. Prior to building a parade float, contact the local authorities or the parade-sponsoring department regarding policies and float regulations.

Summer Parade Floats

A 50s or 60s beach party is a festive summer float idea. Dress participants in beach wear and swimming costumes appropriate for any age spectator and cover the float trailer with sand. Create a barrier along each float trailer edge to keep sand from falling onto the street. Arrange a sound system onto the float powered by a marine or an RV battery to play beach music.

The summer season is an optimal time to peer up at the starry sky. Use this inspiration to create a summer parade float and build four posts on the corners of a parade float trailer. Stretch wire tightly between the posts and hang LED lit starts in varying lengths. Create a mound under a cover of green floral sheeting and a papier mache tree. Two participants are staged under the tree looking up at the stars to create an appropriate summer parade float.

Autumn Parade Floats

Halloween and Thanksgiving are two fall season holidays that often bring forth parades. Stage the first Thanksgiving on a parade float with a long family-style dining table and benches. Dress parade participants as both Native Americans and pilgrims with a table full of various Thanksgiving food items. Another Thanksgiving idea is to create a cornucopia frame covered with chicken wire. Glue tissue paper circles into each hole in various colours to appear as the cornucopia and have papier mache produce wired so it looks like it is falling from the cone.

Halloween can be celebrated with corn stalks, hay bales, haunted house frames and children dressed in spooky costumes. When on a drastically small budget, stage a hay ride float with children dressed as scarecrows, birds and pumpkins.

Winter Parade Floats

Winter holidays can be inspiring for parade floats. Create an enlarged menorah or kinara with a wooden frame, chicken wire covering and a plaster layer. When it's completely dry, sand it lightly to get rid of any large ridges and paint with traditional Kwanzaa or Hanukkah colours.

St. Patrick's Day invites visions of rainbows and pots of gold. Dress a child participant as a lucky leprechaun for a small float. Hearts and kisses are appropriate for Valentine's Day floats. Invite couples from the town that have been married for 50 or more years to star in the float. Although Valentine's Day parades are not as common, they are still prevalent in some communities.

Spring Parade Floats

Construct a basket of enlarged colourful papier mache eggs on your parade float trailer or dress participants in Easter bunny, chick and decorated egg costumes to ride on the Easter basket float. Earth Day is also a spring holiday that can be integrated into any early year parade celebrations. Create an enlarged globe and include various types of recycling bins and symbols on the trailer. Another Earth Day float idea is to stage a faux tree planting with participants atop the float.

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