Checklist for Making a Parade Float
As Labor Day nears, minds across the country turn to planning the traditional picnics, visiting friends and family and enjoying the local parades. Many people are building floats that will be included in the parade, and hopefully, they have already determined the float’s theme and basic design. Fortunately, making a float isn’t terribly difficult, although it can be time-consuming, depending on exactly how it’s decorated.
Step 1: Determine Your Theme
Before locomotion is considered and volunteers are enlisted, determine the theme for your parade float. If it commemorates an event, do some brainstorming with others regarding various trivia regarding the event. Is it historical? Is it a milestone anniversary? Is it local, regional or national? Is it cultural or traditional? Is it futuristic?
Knowing your theme will determine virtually every other detail parameter, so ensuring you have a workable idea is paramount.
Step 2: Dimensions
Make sure the dimensions of your float from the pavement to the upper limit meets local ordinances and height clearances along the parade route. It’d be heartbreaking to lose the top section of your float from wires or a stop light just before the judges’ stand. It would also become a safety hazard, and you might get fined.
Make sure the width has clearance on turns and from the bystanders.
Step 3: Stability
Ensure you don’t overload your platform, whatever it may be. Center the weight of the float equally front to back and side to side. You avoid tipping and breakage, and you save yourself, float occupants, bystanders and nearby property from injury or damage.
Solidly connect seats, props and everything else that isn’t supposed to move. If people will occupy the float, provide safety ropes and belts. You can often hide the items or decorate them as well to fully coordinate with the theme of the float.
Step 4: Locomotion
Jazzing up the mode of transportation in addition to the float itself can enhance a float’s image. Don’t hinder the operator’s vision or control, but dress the operator in themed costume, too. Drape seating with dark cloth or other occupants wearing similar apparel for maximum effect.
If your float will move under true horse power, include a draped cloth and decorations for the animal as well. Don’t hinder rein control, however. Also provide for clean-up duty if the horse should make its own contribution. Do likewise for any other animal that is included in your theme.
Step 5: Tax Deduction Possibility
If you spend money on your float or decorative locomotion, you can include a small slogan somewhere visible on it, or you might offer pens, pencils or buttons to the crowd in addition to any candy you might share. Order the items in bulk and present them to customers later and save even more.
If you can legitimately present some verifiable business aspect to the float and offerings, you may be able to deduct the expenses from taxes. Be sure to keep accurate records and samples of any type of item you give away. Pictures of the float that show the business aspect can be invaluable documentation.
This post was contributed by Holly Adams of Coupon Croc; visit for Debenhams bargains and save on all the supplies you need, for every project.Published in Art & Design
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