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Parade Float Ideas

Category Parade Float
Schools, organizations, and businesses often participate in parades for homecoming and holidays. Part of the fun and sometimes the stress is coming up with an idea for your float. This is a guide about parade float ideas.
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September 29, 2010

Here is a tip for creating a great skirt for your holiday parade float! Holiday parades are a source of great excitement for children and adults, not to mention a great frugal way to advertise for your business. This tip will make it look quite professional. This parade float skirt design will work with any wagon/trailer, flat bed or with sides.

Your first step will be to secure chicken wire to the float in the fashion of a skirt; like you would a party table skirt. If your trailer has a wood floor, you can use a good nail or staple; if it is metal, pull out the wire or zip ties. Be sure the tires of the wagon/trailer will not rub the wire and recheck it once the skirt is finished. If you find it is rubbing, fix some 2x4 wood at the top of the tire well to keep the skirt away from the tire.

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Stage two involves colored paper napkins, and lots of crumpled newspaper to create a pom-pom. Unfold each colored paper napkin and place, in its center, a wad of crumpled newspaper that is slightly bigger than the holes on your chicken wire. You will then keep the wad of newspaper in the napkin by twisting the napkin up, like you are making paper ghosts! This effect is achieved by placing the napkin center in your palm, and the wad in the center of that, and closing your fingers around the wad to make a "flower" shape, then twisting the neck of the flower and securing with clear tape. Your "pom-pom" can now be attached to the skirt.

Stage three is setting the pom-pom into the skirt. Take the pom-pom by the bulb (the wad of newspaper part) and push it gently into the desired hole of the front of chicken wire. Once you have completed several pom-poms and placed them in the holes of the wire, you will see the overall effect! You will have a fluffy skirt for your float that can be lightly spray painted if needed, and be used over and again, if removed and stored well.

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By dede smith from Macon, MO

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December 8, 20161 found this helpful

This is a guide about Cub Scouts' Christmas parade float ideas. Children's organizations, such as the Cub Scouts, often participate in local Christmas parades.

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January 29, 20170 found this helpful

Whether designing for a small scale school project or a community parade, there are many excellent ideas you can incorporate into making a Valentine's Day float. This is a guide about Valentine's Day float ideas.

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Questions

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By 0 found this helpful
March 21, 2005

I work for a credit union and we have been invited to join a local parade. We're all searching for ideas to add to the float. We want the name of our company on the float and we want to involve the crowd. Any ideas are greatly appreciated!

Kristalove

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By (Guest Post)
March 21, 20050 found this helpful

use chicken wire and tissue paper to spell out name and throw penny candy to the crowd

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March 22, 20050 found this helpful

Make it a theme for the Community, such as
use Puppy/kitten themes and have empty boxes
set up at Credit Union to collect stuff for animal
shelters, food, towels etc or go RedWhitenBlue
and HONOR Veterans and you will be surprised
how fast the float making will go, find the creative
person in the bank the one that decorates for every
holiday and put that person in charge ....
Have Fun , also toss out pens, pencils, magnets
with your LOGO>

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By (Guest Post)
April 9, 20050 found this helpful

I have some ideas...email me at mvm9607 @ aol.com (remove spaces) Mark

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By 0 found this helpful
September 21, 2010

I work with kids and I need a float idea for a parade that is coming up. The theme of the parade is Cavoilcade's 58 and Oil's Great.

By Brandi from Groves, TX

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August 21, 20090 found this helpful

Ask your community helpers: Firefighters, Police, Mailman, Doctor, Dentist, etc. to provide hats for the kids to wear.

Make Super large hats out of poster board, cut two holes in each (large enough for the child's arms), have them hold them up by placing their arms in through the holes, then they can still wave to the parade audience!

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August 24, 20090 found this helpful

Perhaps you could borrow or make historical hats: derbies, top hats, etc. If police and fire depts have old-fashioned hats, that would be cool! I can't remember the exact title, but there's a really good Dr Seuss book about the hats of Bartholomew Huggins (I think) that would be fun.

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September 22, 20100 found this helpful

Cavalcade-a group of horse drawn carriages or riders in a procession.
I see kiddos dressed like ponies, and some pulling wagons with kiddos in them, too cute!
Yarn manes and tails, everyone dressed in brown? Yellow felt for the "bridles and saddles"?
Not sure really what the point of the theme is when it comes to the "oil" part, but you could have the wagon(s) have an "oil spout" come up out of it. A black tube with some sparkly/shiney paper on it and some strips of the paper stapled to the top to 'spill' over and create a 'gusher'?

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June 29, 20090 found this helpful

I am looking for ideas for a small town parade float with the theme "Old Values New Ideas" for a veterinarian clinic.

By Shannon Shain from WY

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June 30, 20090 found this helpful

There are so many ideas you could go with! A building with a sign on it with animals in line to get in. Animals with bandages on different body parts. You could get together with the humane society and maybe promote adoption and/or spay/neutering programs. I would love to see pictures of whatever you go with! Good luck!

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June 30, 20090 found this helpful

Hi Michael,
Great Idea! I have worked for a Large/Small animal practice for over 27 years. We would have an open house every year. But, for a float, I would suggest using live animals, a surgery table and of course have your Doctors on it also. Display all the services your hospital provides and maybe even offer a free rabies vaccine (new clients only) as rabies is one of the cheapest vaccines your hospital buys. Be in scrubs/lab coats. Pass out candy to the children. I would use any advertising you have from your vendors ie: for frontline, advantage and of course any foods you sell at your practice. Use all the "free stuff" that they give you and pass them out. Are you a full service hospital? Make poster boards that display any of the services you provide.
Decorate it in the colors of your practice and don't forget to put your hospital's mission statement on the float also. Good luck

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June 30, 20090 found this helpful

For the old values, new ideas you might have some older animals that are up for adoption. Many people reject older animals as an option when looking for pets. If you have any geriatric patients, have them on board or walking around the float. If you have a behaviorist, show that old dogs can indeed learn new tricks.

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By 0 found this helpful
June 9, 2008

Our local community has a parade in the summer with the theme "Everyone Is Family". Any ideas for a simple float? Thanks so much.

Di from Colorado

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June 10, 20080 found this helpful

People (or Paper mache people, whatever medium you use) of every age, color, size, shape holding hands around a world globe or something that represents your hometown. Might symbolize family and community togetherness. Kind of corny but there's my two cents. :)

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June 11, 20080 found this helpful

Make a outdoor theme(like a campsite) Trees, picnic table etc. In the center make a imitation fire pit made with rocks. Have a diversity of people sitting around the pit roasting marshmallows. If you have someone who is musical, have someone playing guitar. "Home,home on the range" is a sure hit. Good Luck

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June 14, 20080 found this helpful

Use a flatbed trailer, put a carpet on it, dining room table, and create a scene of a family dinner. Use real people with dinner napkins tucked into their shirts, exaggerated hairdos, anything dramatic. Make a huge pot of big-gauge spaghetti, and show the Mom dishing up a big swinging blob of spaghetti (fake?) If you can use a generator, put it into a cabinet and set a TV on the cabinet with a movie in it of family scenes like 'Lassie'. You could do present-day or '50's. I guess you would not want to do a parody of the family, but instead celebrate genuine family good times.

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By 0 found this helpful
August 6, 2016

We are going to be in our town's Sweet Corn festival parade. We are a construction company (Redcliff Construction) and the theme is corn. Please help!

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February 28, 20170 found this helpful

I would just simply buy a lot of corn and create structures and arches with it. YOu could also buy big styrofoam and posterboard and make a giant corn on the cob. You can also just use a bunch of green, yellow in your float to represent corn colours

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By 0 found this helpful
July 12, 2016

We have a 4-H group and are looking for ideas for our float for the parade.

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By 0 found this helpful
June 14, 2016

We have a ski boat we will be entering in a 4th of July boat parade this summer. The parade theme this year is "Our Children". Any great decorating ideas?

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November 4, 20110 found this helpful

I am looking for float ideas for a veterinary practice, the theme is " All I want For Christmas". Thank you.

By E.F

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November 5, 20110 found this helpful

Picture this: The cardboard or wood front of a house,(painted to look like the front of a house,) yellowish, warm windows, with a dad, mom, and girl, and boy out front of the house, walking toward the entrance of the house. Show some picket fence, at least on one side, if not two sides.

The girl cutout is holding a kitten/or puppy cutout, and the boy has a puppy/or dog on a leash, cutout. Mom/Dad could be holding the kitten/puppy/dog/cat, bunny, also, entering the warm, inviting house with the picket fence. Or, they could be shown entering an apartment, etc.,

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November 8, 20110 found this helpful

"All I Want For Christmas is my two front teeth!" You could focus on the dental services and have big poster board depictions of cartoon animals flashing their whitey teeth.

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By 0 found this helpful
July 11, 2011

Any ideas for a parade float for a veterinary hospital with the theme "Honoring Those Who Serve"? Thanks.

By ValNR from NY

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July 11, 20110 found this helpful

Perhaps you could somehow incorporate the idea of K9s? I used to "adopt" deployed soldiers, and I know they had dogs with them.

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July 18, 20110 found this helpful

I recently read an article on a website about adopting out retired K9 army dogs. We are thinking right now maybe incorporate them, plus other service animals (seizure dogs/cats, seeing eye dogs, search and rescue, canine good citizen) and decorating the float to look like a dog.

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By 0 found this helpful
July 13, 2009

There is kiddie parade coming up with the theme "Unforgettable Memories". Any ideas for a float?

By Alex from Hillsboro, IL

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July 15, 20090 found this helpful

My first thought was dressing them like old tv show characters such as Darla, Alfalfa and Spanky from The Little Rascals, Howdy Doody, Gilligan and Skipper from Gilligan's Island, Scooby Doo and Shaggy, etc. You could make face masks of the real actors who portrayed them and have them on paddles or dowels so the person could just hold them up over their faces and then dress in character. Span the genres so all would know some of the characters. Maybe even come up with one of those old console tvs to put at one end of the float. Everyone has unforgettable memories of their favorite tv shows they grew up watching. Good luck!

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July 15, 20090 found this helpful

A few thoughts to kick start your imagination.
"A Day At The Beach" - white sand, palm trees, beach umbrella, sandcastles, beach towels, beach toys, beach ball, seashells
"Playground Fun" - grass, see-saw, swing, hula hoop, picinic blanket & basket, kite flying
"Playing Dress-Up" - gowns, wigs, hats, old high heels , make-up dresser with mirror and seat

Good Luck and have fun:)

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By 0 found this helpful
November 1, 2016

Our city is having a holiday parade and the theme is Trains. We are looking for any simple ways to turn our company van into a train. I won't have a lot of volunteers to help me transform the van, so it needs to be easy. Thank you very much.

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January 24, 20170 found this helpful

if you or anyone in your group has any artistic ability, you could stick white paper on the van and draw the outline of a cool old steamer locomotive on it http://www.hist  iteimages/R9.JPG

if not, you could spare $100 or so, you could have the picture i linked to, or any you like, printed at the local Staples and then glue/stick the banner to the side of the van. I guess you would want two banners, one for each side

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By 0 found this helpful
March 5, 2016

I am looking for ideas for a parade float to commemorate our high school's 50th birthday. Any ideas for simple, cheap, and attractive?

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By 0 found this helpful
January 9, 2016

I want to build a flatbed float with the theme heroes and villains to represent a hospital.

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January 10, 20160 found this helpful

For a hospital? Any way you can make the heroes doctors and nurses? The villains could be illnesses or germs, if you could figure out a way to represent them.

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By 0 found this helpful
December 16, 2015

Our high school boys just won the state championship and we are having a parade for them. What would be an easy quick way to decorate the float? The parade is on Monday.

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By 0 found this helpful
August 2, 2015

We are a conservation club and need a float idea. Please help!

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August 3, 20150 found this helpful

Wow...here's a few off the top of my head.

1. How about using TOTALLY RECYCLED materials to make some sculptures of either people, animals, local buildings, etc? It would take some effort and maybe you can get some artistic teenagers or an art club involved if you have the time, but it could really be pretty cool!

2. What about sending out notices that you will be COLLECTING some sort of recyclables (aluminum cans can be cashed in for your organization, or even the attendees used books..as one of our local groups do to recycle) at the parade float along the way? Then YOU will recycle them at the end of the parade. That will get your community directly involved with you and even look for your float!

3. Of course if you could create a beautiful woodland scene with scrubs (maybe a local nursery will loan you some potted plants and maybe a few animal lawn statues(?) if you add their name as a donor on the float) to show WHAT COULD BE when we conserve our natural resources...that might be thought provoking...Make a sign explaining that "this is what COULD be" when we care about our earth.

4.Lastly, you could always either have some brave and outgoing person or have a contest locally (ask your local paper, TV and/or radio station to help you promote it) have people send in their idea of MOTHER NATURE...where folks can dress up and email or send in photo's dressed up as MOTHER NATURE (and pick on or two or even ALL of them to join you on the float)....OR if it's too late ask all the STAFF and possibly their families (AT LEAST THEIR KIDS!) to dress up as mother nature for the float.

If there is anyway to get flower seeds for your staff to pass out along the route and invite the attendees to plant some flowers where they live, that would be great too and may help feed the local birds, butterflies and bees in the future!


I wish you the best of luck with your float! Wish I could see it!

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By 0 found this helpful
August 2, 2015

The theme is Father Marquette. Any ideas for a float?

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August 3, 20150 found this helpful

Well, I guess you have already considered dressing someone up as Father Marquette.
How about placing him and a few "indians" in a canoe, paddling down one of the rivers he traveled on the float? Might even set up that they catch a fake fish or two along the way just to stay fun for the float actors...

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By 0 found this helpful
July 28, 2015

We are a bowling alley with a strong group of youths who will be walking in parade with us. Our theme is Blue Jeans and Country Dreams. We have a flatbed trailer approximately 25' long. Any ideas or suggestions would be great. We want to incorporate the dreams of bowling a 300 perfect game plus the kids will be wearing blue jeans and their league shirts handing out free game certificates and of course candy.

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July 29, 20150 found this helpful

OOOUUUU...Sounds FUN!!
That is a good dream! I bowled a 290 once and will remember it forever!!
How about making an oversized bed with sleeping figure (or giant paper mache PIN with a sleeping face on it) with a sign that SAYS DREAMING OF A PERFECT SCORE above it's head. You could hang some pins out on springs all over the float/bed (like they were hit with a bowling ball) too...

My alternative idea would be to replicate a bowling lane and have someone look like they are actually bowling on it (going through the motions, perhaps with a dark balloon but NOT really letting go of the ball) with the kids hidden or swatting down on the other end of the 'lane' holding one pin each. When the bowler LETS go of their imaginary ball the pin kids either jump up with their pins in the air or throw them up in the air and catch them from down on the float - OR have the pin kids throw CANDY out to the parade attendees at that time! Have the STRIKE SOUND piped in somewhere too when they do so too!
Let me know what you do! Sounds like a good time!

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By 0 found this helpful
June 29, 2015

I work at a real estate office and we are going to be in a local festival parade. We can't come up with a theme. Please help! Our company s called Century 21 New Heritage.

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July 2, 20150 found this helpful

Well I would think HOME SWEET HOME, Home is where the HEART IS, The Three Pigs or other HOME based references would be great for business and fun too!
Or if you have the time and talents you can even mirror the characters from the wizard of Oz, including Dorothy, tin man, scarecrow, lion and wizard (with a small hot air balloon, small house and of course Toto?)and make a sign that says "There's no place like HOME" Using kids as the stars could really be cute too!!

Enjoy your Day!

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By 0 found this helpful
June 11, 2015

I own a small grocery store and we're having a town celebration and I need a idea for a float entry. The name of my store is Bonnie's Hometown Grocery and I also have a greenhouse called Bonnie's Bloomers. I would like to try to tie it in with some sort of song because I think a parade needs fun music. Any ideas?

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June 14, 20150 found this helpful

Ouuu...Sounds like FUN!
If you can choose any float theme How about "My Bonnie lies over the Ocean" and have a waterfall/water theme with your lovely plants surrounding it"?

The song is know by most people, catchy and you can invite the spectators to sing along, swaying with the music..and it reminds them WHO is hosting the float!

I love the name Bonnie's Bloomers too... another idea could be an oversized pot of Flowers/plants in the center of the float in a giant pair of bloomers. Having cute kids in oversized (and stuffed) bloomers would be especially memorable too!
Most of all... Have fun!

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November 5, 20130 found this helpful

We are having our annual Christmas parade and the theme is based on the lake where we live. The theme is Lake Cumberland Christmas. We have a bass boat and truck we want to incorporate into the parade, but are stuck on what to do. Can someone help? Thank you so much!

By Heather M

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January 3, 20140 found this helpful

We made a pirate ship out of a fishing boat on a trailer. We used wide black cloth from home depot meant for blocking weeds under garden dirt. then got some float suppies and made sparkling waves on the side. Painted pvc pipe brown and made masts. had a pirate ship steering wheel, used more black cloth for tied up sails. put kids in as captain hook, peter pan, wendy , mermaids etc. You can figure anyway to tie it in, instead of "Pirates of the Caribbean" it could be "pirates of the ....." "sailing over ...." or "....is our never, never land"

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November 4, 20110 found this helpful

I work in a hotel and we are hosting Santa. We need to design a float for a parade to take him to our local mall where he will be until Christmas. Any ideas?

By Sara

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November 4, 20110 found this helpful

When my husband & I play Santa & Mrs. Claus we sometimes make our entrance in a horse & carriage (it's there for rides for the kids). So I would suggest getting a carriage! If there is no horse, perhaps you could get a group of people dressed as elves to pull it! Or Santa in a wheelbarrow or some sort of golf cart that's decorated? A Segway? You get the idea...

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By 0 found this helpful
October 24, 2010

I wanted to know if you have any suggestions on how to decorate a float with the main theme being "Going for the Gold" the focus of it is our area's national peanut festival.

By renea from Dothan, AL

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October 25, 20100 found this helpful

A peanut standing on an Olympic award style platform with bread on one side and jelly on the other, each wearing a medal.

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By 0 found this helpful
August 9, 2007

Need float ideas! The nursing home where I work is participating in a community parade. The theme is "Doing for the Community". Any ideas?

Katie from Green Valley, AZ

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By cristy (Guest Post)
September 3, 20070 found this helpful

You could do like half of the float " if the community citizens didn't help" make it ugly and have actors being mean ect. Then the other half "if the community's citizens did help" and make it really nice with some actors pretending to help each other with something.

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By 0 found this helpful
October 14, 2005

I need some ideas for a Christmas parade float. I work at a gym. Any suggestions?

Katie from McComb, Mississippi

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By Tripleb (Guest Post)
October 14, 20050 found this helpful

Santa jumping rope or pumping iron w/some free weights comes to mind. Put some members in some reindeer - or better yet snowmen (cause they are round and plump) garb and have them exercising or pushing the sleigh........some could still be plump and some could be slim and encouraging on the rotund ones.

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February 25, 20050 found this helpful

I need a float idea for the Big Dog parade in Santa Barbara, CA in June. I am trying to incorporate two themes:

1) "Pets need dental work too" ( I do animal dentistry)

2) Recognizing Pet therapy dogs for our local hospice

-Tina Brandon Walters

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By kelly (Guest Post)
February 25, 20050 found this helpful

A smile can brighten everyones day. Show a dog sharing his great smile with someone else who really needs one.

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November 15, 20140 found this helpful

I need ideas to decorate a 14x7 and a half trailer. It will be in memory of my 23 year old nephew that passed away 2 months ago. He was a victim of a hit and run.

By Maria

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By 0 found this helpful
October 29, 2014

The theme is "It's a new day, it's a new way"; because we recently built the very first high school for our small town. I own an accounting firm and would like to have the name of my business on the side. The school's mascot is a Siberian Husky and I want to incorporate that as well, but I am having trouble finding one. Can anyone help?

By Deidree Giddens J.

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July 25, 20140 found this helpful

We are a line dancing group and are going to be in a town parade with the theme "Timeless Traditions". We have a 2 level flatbed and always put a theme on the highest level while we dance on the lowest level while traveling the parade route. Any ideas? I was thinking on the lines of family based?

By Wendy K

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July 23, 20140 found this helpful

What can we do to on a float to honor the memory of the 70th anniversary of D-Day that would be over the top?

By Sandi McQ

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June 14, 20140 found this helpful

Our small town museum group would like to enter a parade float this year. The theme is "150 years and growing" in celebration of the town sesquicentennial. Would anyone have a winning idea for this event?

By Carol from MI

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June 11, 20140 found this helpful

The Christian counseling office I work at is looking for ideas for a float. The parade honors the U. S. Coast Guard. Any ideas?

By Julie S.

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November 27, 20130 found this helpful

Our area private school just started a football team this past season. We would like to let the boys and the cheerleaders ride in the parade. I need a good idea for a float to incorporate the football players and the cheerleaders. Any ideas?

By Jodi

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