Parade floats for holidays and celebrations are no longer quite as difficult to create as they used to be. There's the option to consult with a professional, and props like grass mats, flower festoons and all manner of decorations no longer have to be hand-made but are readily available for purchasing. The existence of these ready-made supplies means there's a risk that yours can look pretty much the same as any other, especially if you're all sharing one theme. But you can make it stand out by working on a particularly nice idea.
- Take note of the theme. If a theme has been given, then you have to stay true to this theme especially for a holiday parade. This doesn't have to stop you from thinking outside the box and coming up with some wonderful ideas, but make sure that the message you want to put across is still related to the theme and be sure you'll be able to locate supplies and decorations that go with your theme.
- Take note of your calendar. Don't plan anything too grand when you don't have the resources and especially the time to do it. It's best to distribute the workload evenly within your group. If you've planned a few months in advance, then you can get everyone started on working on it bit by bit so none of you ends up harassed with too much work. If you aren't hurrying to finish something, you're bound to make fewer sloppy mistakes.
- Work with your inspiration. Get your inspiration from news, current events, a recently popular TV show, movies, or cartoons. Avoid ideas that are offensive or can only be appreciated or understood by only a few people. Also, whatever you come up with, you must allow that there would be children in the audience, so keep it family-friendly. You can stimulate your inspiration by looking at pictures taken from other events, from carnivals, views from hotels, or even the floats that have appeared in Disney World, and the balloons in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. All these can get your inspiration working.
- Get everyone involved. You can brainstorm with the rest of your group for ideas to have some fun. You can compromise by combining two or three ideas together, or work with one that everyone has decided on. Everyone's ideas can even give birth to a new one that's better than the one you could have thought up alone.
- Consider what supplies you have to use. The usual things needed are wires, staples, nails, double-sided tape, thumbtacks, wood, scissors and cloth. You can also make use of store-bought decorations. If you're making a papier-mâché figure, estimate how much paint you have to use for it and try to get everything you need at one time, especially if you're mixing colors that are hard to duplicate.
Easy ideas are plentiful. There are many stores who are more than willing to help you. Don't forget to check the day before to be sure all of the supplies you've ordered are going to be ready. If you're ordering balloons from a shop, make sure they know of it well in advance, and check up on them to make sure they haven't misplaced your order.
We hope we have prepared you to enter the next holiday parade with some original ideas!