Stumps Spirit Ideas

Your Homecoming, Spirit and School Event Headquarters… Since 1926

Put Together a Fantastic Spirit Parade

Posted by Stumps Spirit on August 24, 2008

Football Spirit FloatThe key to an awesome Parade is planning, planning and more planning! As soon as school starts, you will want to form a Parade committee to handle every aspect of the Homecoming Parade. Here are suggestions on what the Homecoming Parade Committee must do.

• Decide on an overall theme for the parade. Coordinate this with the Homecoming Dance committee. Be sure that the theme you choose is something you feel comfortable working with. And be sure that there are enough ideas for many floats to take part in the parade.
• Read our How to Build a Float Book. This is a must-have for any parade! You’ll find valuable tips, suggestions and unique ideas that will help you with all of your float questions.
• Check out the Float Designs on our site for ideas. Look through books and magazines for additional ideas.
• Plan the class floats. Have each class form their own parade committee. Allow the senior class to choose their float idea first, then the junior class, then the sophomores and then the freshmen. Make sure the different floats complement the overall theme of the parade. Do not approve anything that will be out of taste or offensive to the crowd.
• Check with your school’s alumni organization. Do they want to enter a float in the parade? If so, be sure to give them all the theme details, as well as the class float ideas. If they do not want to take part in the parade, then ask for their help with the overall organization of the parade. They may also be able to assist you with community contributions.
• Check with the school marching band, dance team and cheerleading squad. What will their role be in the parade? Are there other clubs and organizations in the school that will want to be involved?
• Go out into the community and see if you can find parade sponsors. You will need to use some type of vehicles for the different floats. Is there a local car dealership that would be willing to lend you cars for the parade? Ask about borrowing convertibles for float members to ride in. Provide advertising opportunities for community sponsors in your Homecoming brochure. Allow them to advertise their dealership on the sides of the cars they loan.
• Set up a subcommittee to work with your local police department. You will need to involve them to determine the route of the parade and general security issues. They will have to rope off the area you will be using.
• Determine timeline of parade. For example, how long will the parade take from start to finish? How slow will the vehicles travel? How far apart will you place the floats?
• Determine the order of the parade floats and the bands and other clubs that will participate in the parade. Be sure to have the senior class float as the last float in the parade.
• Establish a “rain day” plan. What will you do in the case of inclement weather? Will you reschedule the parade for another day? Plan to hold the parade anyway? Be sure to have a detailed plan in place, and advise all participants of the plan well in advance of the parade date. Set up a phone number for participants to call for information / questions on the morning of the parade.
• Set up a subcommittee that will work with the parade crowd. Arrange to have them supply the crowd with different items to use during the parade. Our pom pons, beads, confetti and candy will be perfect! Be sure to order these items well in advance of the parade, and have volunteers distribute the goods all along the parade route.
• Be sure to advise each class that they must have a driver for their float. You will want to use an adult for this job. A teacher, student advisor or parent would be a suitable choice. Be sure to give the driver instructions on how fast to go, a map of the parade route, and what to wear.
• Order your parade supplies float decorations as soon as you determine your float. Be sure to have enough fringe, floral sheeting, paint, and banners. You do not want to run out right before the big day!
• Spread the word and generate excitement about the parade. Advertise it in community newspapers, church bulletins, club memos, and any other place you think will reach a large number of people.
• Put up signs around town to spread the word about the parade. Be sure to check with local merchants before you hang signs on their store windows. Some suggestions include grocery stores, banks, car washes and establishments owned by school alumni.
• On the eve of the parade, put out signs on the parade route. Be sure to clear this with the police and other agencies you are working with. Use our paints, chalks, banners and letters to generate big excitement!
• On the day of the parade, arrange for all floats to be in place at least an hour before the parade start time. Line up the floats, start the first one on its way and have fun!

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