My favorite parades are those in small communities. The parade in our town is only two blocks long and lasts about 20 minutes, but we always arrive early so we can get a front row seat. We don’t want to miss those great family floats!
When I was growing up we always had a Hooton family float. My Mom and her sister designed and made a float for all of Grammie and Gramps grandkids to ride on. I don’t remember a lot of the details but I do remember having fun on the float and I liked getting a free ticket to the movie theater and 25 cents to buy a treat which was the prize for having an award winning float.
Having a family float in a local parade can be a fun activity for your family reunion. It’s also a great way for Grandma and Grandpa to show off their posterity. Here’s some tips to having a great family reunion float.
#1. Be sure to register your float with the parade committee in advance. Find out the specifics about entering before you begin building your parade float. Some parades have restrictions about throwing candy or passing out flyers so find out the rules and safety requirements.
#2. Once you know the size requirements and approved vehicles for floats, you will need to find either a truck and trailer or flatbed that you can use to create your float. If you don’t have access to a truck and trailer let your family ride their bikes or walk in the parade. Children in the family can dress in their team uniforms, dance costumes or school shirts, decorate their bikes and ride in the parade.
Another option is to put everyone in matching family reunion shirts, make a banner with your family name on it, give everyone a helium balloon and wah la- you have a “walking” family reunion float. Like they say, sometimes- “less is more”.
#3. Make sure you have plenty of help to assemble your float. You will have to build your float in a few hours so you will need to be organized.
#4. Money is probably going to be an issue for your family reunion float. Floats do not have to cost a lot of money to be fun. There are inexpensive supplies that you can use to make a fun float. Colored butcher paper, paint, cardboard, straw bales and balloons can create a very nice float. Cut out props from the cardboard, try making them more three dimensional by using folds or tape and glue. Make them big, the bigger the better, because your float will be viewed from a distance. Paint these props colorfully and be sure to adequately secure the props to the vehicle or trailer. Balloons are a great filler as are colorful crepe paper streamers. Make skirting to cover the sides and wheels by wrapping and securing with tape and a staple gun a length of heavy butcher type paper around the deck of the bed.
#5. Last of all, be sure you have a safe driver for your float. Grandpa is a good option if he doesn’t already have an assignment. After you have put your family reunion float together with crepe paper, balloons and staples all that’s left is to add your family.
And to feed all those hungry parade goers be sure and check out “How Much Do I Need To Feed a Hundred under the “Plan a Reunion” drop down at family reunion helper.