Homecoming season is here, and with it – parade season! Get ready for your Homecoming parade with the planning steps below. Make sure you form a parade committee as soon as school begins. The committee will be in charge of all the aspects of your Homecoming parade.
Parade Theme & Participants
- Decide on an overall theme for the parade. Coordinate this with the Homecoming Dance committee. Be sure that your theme is something you feel comfortable working with. And be sure that there are enough ideas for all the floats participating in the parade.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- Order your 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!
- Determine the timeline of the 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, 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.
Parade Advertising & Security
- 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 Banners 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 other establishments owned by school alumni.
- 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.
- 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, and have fun!